Thursday, January 24, 2013

Frequently Asked Montessori Homeschool Questions 14 and 15

Q14:  Do you do your own housework?

A:  Sadly, Yes.  There was ONE YEAR when the boys were maybe 1 and 2 years old when I had a barter set up with someone.  I taught her daughter music lessons and she cleaned my house.  But that was just for one year.  The end result is that my house is not as clean as it should be.  I am a Flybaby. If you are familiar with Flylady you know that there is the bare minimum of doing a "one hour weekly home blessing" and cleaning up your hot spots daily but ideally you are also rotating deeper cleaning of rooms in your house all year long.  I have been in survival bare-minimum mode for years.  About once a month my parents take charge of the boys for a whole day and I catch up on things.

Q15:  When do you make all of your materials?

A:  As stated above,  I usually make some kind of material for school EVERY NIGHT.  Often times I do it while sitting on the couch with my husband while we watch a movie.  Other nights, I might make things for an hour and we both read all night.  Sometimes he really wants to watch some hideous man-show so we go our separate ways and do our own thing.  I have an inner standard for what things should cost and if it isn't "too expensive" I buy as much of the materials as I can.  I have enough to do as it is.  I also can make things during the boys' work sessions depending on how the day is going.  At the very least I use "school time" to do a lot of the research and reading that I need to do to keep up with them.  I usually only spend about an hour a day making things, but sometimes I just want to push through an album or a project and will spend three hours a night for a several nights in a row like I did when I made all the fraction materials in one week.


  1. The material making DOES slow down... eventually ;)

    By close to upper elementary, if you've been diligent up to that point, you will find that suddenly you have just about everything on hand, minus stuff they want for particular interests - but those won't be made-by-mom items - those will be purchased, borrowed, visited, or made-by-child. Yay! I am there now - finally. It DOES happen! ;)

  2. I truly hope so. This is for the birds. I know more than one family that didn't continue Montessori after primary because they were just sick of making stuff. I kind of like making stuff, but even I'm getting burned out right now.

  3. Something that makes the situation all the more difficult are companies such as Michael Olaf that are discontinuing (or already have discontinued) their elementary lines altogether because of the reality that most elementary materials ARE hand-made, or are very personal to the particular group of children.

    Well that makes sense... until we look at the math materials (can be home-made but few have such time and patience! and some of that material needs VERY particular tools (ahem - anything that costs over $200 at Nienuis))...

    and until we consider the growing desire amongst Montessori homeschoolers to continue through elementary.

    So just when elementary is "growing", companies (at least 3 I know of) pull out and leave us with only the most expensive options - as well as some options that have no album page or the options that are supposed to be child-created.

    Can you tell I've been trying to sort out the various companies and their offerings and not having any luck? :)

  4. Personally, I love making materials. It is very rewarding when my daughter ask me and your draw this so beautiful? and you can teach with things you do.!! It is sometimes exhausting, but I agree with MBT, every day one can do something! Like you EVERYDAY I print, laminate, cut or prepare something ... I LOVE IT!!!