As homeschooling options become increasingly popular for families with younger elementary age kids, many different education methods are subsequently emerging. Some of the most popular options for at-home learning have been practiced for decades, and are just now becoming well known. The Montessori education approach is one of these methods.
The Montessori education method can be taught through online learning and can be used as an educational tool within the home. There are several online Montessori school programs that offer virtual learning and support for parents that want to do the teaching themselves.
The aim of this article is to inform parents of the benefits and variety that the Montessori education approach offers kids. The best part about the Montessori approach is that it can be individualized to the student, and is flexible within the home. The appeal of the Montessori homeschooling approach is clear, but perhaps most significant to parents trying to juggle multiple jobs or schedules at a time.
Montessori in Schools and at Home
Many people are familiar with the main aims of Montessori education; to let the children lead and direct their own learning in the hopes that these children will grow up to be lifetime learners. Montessori schools offer dozens of ways for the students to control their own education. The special environment of a Montessori school creates just the right atmosphere for independent and self-driven learning to occur.
Montessori schools are full of instruments, specific toys and materials, and children of all ages. Everything from the desk organization to the architecture is built to foster an atmosphere of learning and creativity. The teachers at Montessori schools are trained specifically to help children take the lead in their own education.
There are several obstacles that can get in the way of sending a child to a Montessori school. For example, Montessori schools are simply much less common than traditional schools. Most Montessori schools also charge tuition in order to cover the expenses of the program, which can put this education out of reach for many parents. Free and public Montessori school options exist, but they are few and far between.
Because of these and other challenges present, many people are looking for a way to provide a Montessori education to their children from their own homes. Thankfully, more and more options have been popping up that can provide online and virtual learning to students while following the Montessori program.
Related: Worth the Cost? Why Montessori Schools are So Expensive
Though there are some challenges associated with these programs, an at-home Montessori education can be available to everyone. All types of families can make this type of education work.
Whether you choose to enroll your child in an online virtual learning Montessori program or if you want to use the Montessori Method to homeschool your child yourself, there will be challenges along the way. Let’s take a look at the options that you have.
Lots of parents would love to spend more time with their children and would love to take a more central role in their education. Montessori homeschool offers parents both of these things while still helping a child to learn some independence from their parents.
Homeschooling your children in the Montessori method offers several other advantages as well. For one thing, the Montessori method is best to begin while a child is still extremely young.
Many educators recommend that children begin to take part in Montessori learning from the ages of 2.5 – 6 in order to give them a strong learning foundation. While homeschooling, you are free to begin your child’s education at whatever time you choose.
Montessori homeschool programs also help parents to take a frontal role in their child’s education. Throughout their time in school, you will both be able to grow closer together as you learn from one another about the world. Thanks to the flexible structure of some Montessori homeschool programs, you can keep in line with Montessori ideals in order to help your children focus on their strengths while addressing their weaknesses.
However, Montessori homeschool does have some distinct disadvantages. For one thing, the materials that are typically part of Montessori learning can be expensive and difficult to acquire. Everything from the moveable alphabet to water pitchers to multicolored beads might be recommended as part of Montessori learning. While these materials are not always essential, they are recommended.
Furthermore, homeschooling your child can be difficult and time-consuming. As much as they may want to, many parents simply do not have time to homeschool their children because of other commitments like a job. Homeschooling means more than just teaching your child during school hours; the Montessori method requires parents to be trained and capable. For most parents, an online program led by a trained teacher is the better option.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, online learning has become more and more commonplace while also receiving more and more support. Before the pandemic, there were few if any online Montessori courses; after all, the reason that Montessori schools are distinguished from their traditional counterparts is largely because of the materials that such a school program demands.
However, new programs have been made which take the best parts of online learning and combine them with the goals and purposes of the Montessori method. Teachers use a variety of techniques to teach the students concepts while also supplying the children with activities that they can choose from. Independence as always is prioritized.
These Montessori online programs find ways to help the students to learn without requiring sets of Montessori learning toys and materials. They modify their curriculum to need only basic materials and provide parents with a list of what they will need for each semester. Parents are also informed as to how they can best create a learning environment for their children.
Generally, Montessori online programs expect that students do most of their learning independently, with just an hour or two of virtual connection with the teacher. Some Online Montessori programs also supply a series of helpful videos to the students. Depending on the school, children might spend more time online in virtual learning or they might spend more time doing activities presented to them.
Though online Montessori programs make several efforts to provide authentic and high-quality Montessori learning, they do have their shortcomings. For one thing, there are many distractions in a home that can pull children away from their learning. Montessori schools are able to create an environment that is entirely centered on learning, and each child has frequent contact with the class director. A child’s home lacks these advantages.
Online Montessori programs also lack a lot of the interaction that is available in typical Montessori schools. Montessori schools have activities throughout the day that are completed with other students. Classrooms are also usually designed with children of a variety of ages in order to help children interact with different people. Online programs miss out on these factors.
Despite these drawbacks, many parents are turning to online Montessori programs in order to have more control over the education of their children. Though it can be an extra challenge to turn to online learning, many parents believe that it is worth it to have their child taught by the Montessori curriculum, especially if there are no Montessori schools nearby.
Best Montessori At-Home Learning Options
If you are looking for a good online option for Montessori learning, there are several options to choose from. Thanks to the variety, you can find the program that is perfect for you, whether it be something that is intended to be supplementary to a homeschooling model or if the program will take on the majority of the teaching process. Here’s a look at some of the best at-home options in Montessori learning.
Trillium Montessori Homeschool
Trillium Montessori Courses is a group that provides parents with the guidance and instruction that they need in order to be effective teachers and homeschoolers. This program helps parents to understand what the difference is between standard education and Montessori education. The program includes guidebooks for parents on how to teach, how to organize their home, and how to create a healthy learning environment.
The main course has three main sections, each focusing on a different aspect of Montessori Homeschool. The course costs about 190 dollars and allows for parents to ask their questions and learn how to be an effective teacher of Montessori education to their children. Parents will still need to acquire their own materials and textbooks for when they begin homeschooling, but they will know what they need to get.
Learn and Play Montessori School
The Learn and Play Montessori School is an online school that has programs for younger students ages 3-6. They start in preschool and teach through Kindergarten, seeking to give children a strong base to go into any kind of school for first grade, whether it is a traditional school or a Montessori school. Montessori learning emphasizes the importance of starting while children are young, and the Learn and Play Montessori School takes that to heart.
LAPMS provides parents with everything they need to support their child in the child’s online learning. The teachers help the parents understand what materials they need and what roles they can play in the child’s education. They are able to help parents find good times for the child to participate in virtual learning via video calls as well.
Enrolling in the LAPMS costs a one-time fee of 50 dollars. Each month of access to the learning content and the daily Zoom sessions costs a further 545 dollars. Additionally, parents will need to buy materials that will be needed in class. These can range from specifically sized blocks to many-colored beads.
Guidepost Montessori Virtual School is another program that offers online Montessori education to students. Their curriculum consists of teaching from certified Montessori guides, daily activities, and the use of materials that are regularly shipped to students in the program. Their education is for students from preschool ages to the 6th grade.
The virtual school from Guidepost Montessori is a popular one among parents that are looking for online Montessori education. The virtual school provides options for parents to teach or for the school’s teachers to do the instruction. They offer several choices to parents and students as far as how much support they need or want.
With full-time enrollment in Guidepost Montessori’s virtual school, tuition costs 750 dollars for children below the age of 7 and 1,200 dollars for students in elementary school. This price includes the daily instruction and the price of all of the materials needed for the class. At the start of each semester, the materials that you need will be shipped to you.
Alternatively, you can take the “Parent as Educator” path and pay 200 dollars a month for access to all of the teaching helps and materials. If you want to find your own physical materials, the program will cost only 99 dollars per month. Overall, this program is able to change to suit all of your needs, though it does come with a somewhat heavy price tag.
Lotus Montessori Academy
Lotus Montessori Academy is like many other Montessori schools that have been seeking to offer more online support to parents and students that want to find quality online Montessori education. They offer a wide curriculum that covers music, language, and several other subjects. This program is for students from 3 to 9 years of age.
Lotus Montessori Academy offers a pay scale that can fit whatever the parents are looking for. They offer tuition at 700, 800, and 900 dollars per month, with each tier offering a different amount of education support. Lotus Montessori Academy will also ship the learning materials that you need to your door.
All in all, there are many options available to parents that want to provide at-home learning to their children in keeping with the Montessori method. Whatever your particular needs are, you can find a school that will fill them. Though it can be expensive, you can be sure that a Montessori education can be found even at home.