Last weeks I could see lot of people being concerned about following Montessori method because it seems to be too expensive or already became too expensive. In fact, Maria Montessori started her teaching in the poor environment and worked with orphans, used only few special materials designed by herself. So if whoever tries to make you believe that Grimms rainbow, rocking board, busy board or wooden cutting fruits are Montessori musts and you really have to have them to be cool, you can be sure it’s just the good seller’s marketing tactics.
Montessori method is something else then just colorful wooden educational toys. I can only recommend reading few books of Maria Montessori to understand what she really was talking about. The layman would buy all the wooden toys, because this is the first impression that people get when we speak about Montessori. You really don’t need to buy anything to be Montessori, the best tools are available everywhere around us and in nature. Less is always more in Montessori.
Montessori is a philosophy, not a brand.
Montessori is an application of concepts, not a bunch of stuff and fancy shelves. Use what is at hand right now without the urge to do unnecessary shopping.
As my son is getting older and older, I can see the things and activities that attracts him most at home are different from what I would imagine for him. Home environment is not a school and till you don’t do your homeschooling, it will never be. My beautifully arranged shelves are right now, in his 25 months, most of the time covered in dust but yes, I still continue rotating the materials and making new ones, because I LOVE IT. I am enjoying the order and cleanliness of newly arranged shelves and I admit I do it for myself 😀 He is just in the phase of practical life activities, doing everything from cleaning the wash basins to repairing broken stuff at home. What do we need to make child feel independent in practical life activities? Lot of time and PATIENCE, everything else is there around us, stool to climb on to repair broken light, knife to cut mushrooms, spray bottle to wash the windows 100 times a day, soap to clean the wash basin.
Maria Montessori designed her special material for children of 3 years and above. Only 11 months more and my shelves will get some use 😀 … that’s what I am imagining. To get the understanding which materials are Montessori and which just fancy educational toys, you can read Dr. Montessori’s own Handbook by Maria Montessori, it’s written in simple language and all her materials are nicely described. You can be sure you won’t read about Grimms rainbow in her work.
On the other side, Montessori materials can be handmade and you can find lots of ideas on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook. Using your own materials made up from recycled items will make your Montessori way of living very reasonable. Simple things like cutting the legs shorter on tables and chairs which you already have at home instead of buying fancy new furniture makes Montessori accessible to everyone.
Do not feel like you are not enough Montessori without having all that fancy stuff outside. Preparing your space for independence, practical life activities, patience and respect for the child are the most essential tools and all available for free.