One of my customers emailed me the other day to ask my why I’ve chosen homeschooling over having my kids attend a Montessori school. I thought I had talked about that in my blog, but I guess not!
I suppose my reasons could be divided into two categories: practical and philosophical. Practically, the closest Montessori school to me that has elementary is about 25 minutes away. Actually, it’s where I used to work. It’s a fantastic school, but the cost is considerable. Of course, tuition is just one part of the price: once you add in the travel costs and extras like school supplies it’s quite a bit of money.
Having been a Montessori elementary teacher, I have materials to fill an entire classroom. I bought a lot of stuff when I was teaching – that was before I had made an entire classroom’s worth on my computer. Also, of course, I have the training too. As far as my daughter goes (she’s 3), I know enough about preschool to do a credible job of working with her and I’ve accumulated quite a few toddler and preschool materials.
My son actually did attend a Montessori school for preschool, so I’m not against attending a school at all. But of course tuition for 3 mornings a week is much less than full-day elementary.
As far as philosophical reasons go, I find myself enjoying the freedom that homeschooling brings. I like that my children are really pursuing their own interests; that is encouraged to a certain extent in Montessori, but in a classroom full of children there are limits to how much independent study the kids can do.
I want to be flexible about it, and things may change. There is a Montessori preschool opening up near me for this next year and I’m thinking of sending my daughter there a few mornings a week. I think she would love it. The only thing we probably would never do would be traditional schooling, simply because I personally don’t believe in using standardized tests, letter grades, and homework in children’s education.
So, we’re a schooling/homeschooling family depending circumstances and ages. So far, this mix seems to be working well. I’d love to hear your reasons to choose either homeschooling or a Montessori school for your children!