By Briana Carrion.
In Sweden, “we” don’t homeschool. It’s presumed that you will leave your child at daycare at the age of 1, and it’s actually illegal to homeschool past the age of 6. As you can probably guess, the concept of homeschooling is foreign here, and it’s generally considered a less healthy alternative to daycare for a young child’s development. That’s part of what makes my family’s situation so unique: even though it’s definitely not the norm, I live in Sweden and homeschool my children from age 0 through 6 (every moment it’s allowed!).
As you can imagine, when I say I homeschool, there is rarely a kind word uttered in reply. The two most common misconceptions I hear about homeschooling are that it’s 1) ambiguous and unstructured, or 2) an anti-society form of elitism. So, I’m here to set the record straight with the truth about Montessori homeschooling and child-led learning. This is my Montessori homeschooling story.
I didn’t know about Dr. Maria Montessori’s teachings when I became a mom. It wasn’t until after I’d had two beautiful babies that Montessori’s teachings caught my heart. I felt seen, heard and at home in the way Dr. Montessori loved and cared for children. I decided to learn more about the Montessori philosophy as it resonated well with my values. I read Montessori books and relished in gentle parenting when my babies were very small. Perhaps the most influential book I read was The Montessori Toddler, by Simone Davies. If you have a baby approaching or going through toddlerhood, I recommend it as a really helpful, insightful and refreshing read!
When my oldest child turned three, I sensed his readiness for more than strictly play-based learning. And so, again I began researching and reading. There is A LOT of information available about Montessori education and Montessori for homeschoolers from 3-6, but nothing that really gave me a holistic overview and specific steps to get it done. And, since I am not a trained Montessorian – and don’t plan to be – I was overjoyed with the guidance provided by a Montessori curriculum with structure, record keeping and a systemic methodology build in. If you have seen the scope and sequences provided by Multisori, then you know there is NOTHING ambiguous or unstructured about Montessori homeschooling! M3 by Multisori curriculum has given me everything I need to dispel this common misconception.
And, just from a practical perspective, having access to the M3 by Multisori Montessori homeschooling curriculum helps me so much! It saves me time and money, and I can use it with all of my kids, often simultaneously. I don’t have to create our homeschooling materials from scratch. I don’t overspend on expensive manipulatives. The lesson plans tell me exactly how to present everything, often with a script (and that makes life so much easier when I’m sleep deprived!). And, the exercises and games are super fun and Montessori aligned. So, my kids love it and so do I.
If you are considering Montessori homeschooling, there are, of course, many things to discover and learn about the philosophy. But, perhaps one of the most important things is the perception of the child’s potential. The child is incredibly intelligent and very capable, and our role as parents or caregivers are to be guides and observers. This really dispels the myth that Montessori homeschooling is elitist. After all, we focus on our children’s potential and humble ourselves to accomplish this goal.
Another thing you will stumble upon as you look into Dr. Montessori’s teachings is the concept of child-led learning. We, the adults, learn how to recognize and nurture sensitive periods, brain development and our children’s way of learning things. We observe their interests and what makes their little hearts happy, and then we let our children be part of leading their educational journey. This is done together with our adult structure and competence. We track our children’s progress and we do our best to keep up with their individual needs as we let them lead with their incredible passion for life.
The Montessori philosophy is far from being fuzzy, and far from pushing children to their extreme limits to make them superior. It is helping them explore the incredible potential their developing brains have and allowing them to enjoy growing up. Ultimately, Montessori philosophy helps kids become independent, functional and healthy adults.
With Montessori homeschooling, we allow our kids to pick, choose, and specialize. They learn through exploration, movement and play. They learn at their own pace. This is what makes Montessori so great for all of the various types of learners. It allows for early readers and late readers. It makes time and space for kids who struggle and are in need of extra support with obstacles and disabilities. Not only that, but we teach our children to participate in real life activities such as cooking, cleaning, caregiving, nurturing, reading, exploring, engaging with people of all ages, and learning about different seasons in life.
Having homeschooled for four years now, I feel confident saying that Montessori homeschooling is nothing but a beautifully balanced middle, an effective way of raising children to thrive. I believe it’s one of the most gentle, human friendly & wholesome ways of raising strong, wise and kind human beings.
/ Briana Carrion.
Briana Carrion is a Montessori homeschooling mom who uses Multisori's complete, uncomplicated Montessori homeschool curriculum for her 2-6 year old children. She lives in Sweden with her beautiful family and is inspired by the work and teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori. You can connect with her at www.brianacarrion.com, on Instagram and on Facebook.