We've always wanted to homeschool, since well before we had children to even consider educating! We've debated on doing the PA virtual charter school, using the Seton or Catholic Heritage curriculums, unschooling, doing traditional or classic homeschooling, or creating our own curriculum. Last night, my husband suggested looking into Montessori homeschooling. We were aware of the Montessori method, but had never investigated the model as it related to homeschooling.
I've ordered the recommended text (The Joyful Child) for homeschooling infants through age three, using the Montessori method, in addition to The Complete Montessori Teaching Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers. One of the things that has drawn us to Montessori homeschooling is the fact that they have done research in educating infants, even prenatally! Also, this isnt a curriculum that we need to follow step-by-step, so the flexibility that we are looking for is there. We will, most likely, order textbooks from CHC or Seton because we do want to integrate religious studies into their secular studies, but we also feel a need (in part because of Peter's scientific background), to make sure that they have a diverse education. Even though they will be brought up Catholic, they will be raised with an understanding and (if we are lucky) a love of all different religions and customs.
Right now, Bobby and Maya are six months old. I've gotten quite a number of "how can you homeschool a baby?" questions. Obviously, we arent sitting them down at a desk and giving them homework! But there is so much education in play. Songs and conversation teach them language and, because their minds are sponges right now, songs and conversations in multiple languages give them the gift of being bilingual or even trilingual. Holding their hands and moving them over paper teaches coordination and, as they are becoming more aware of words and letters, teaches primitive penmanship. Hand motions and directed play teaches hand-eye coordination. Physical therapy and practice walking teaches balance. Loading them into the stroller and walking around the block not only gives them air and gets them outside, but opens their eyes to the beauty of nature. Taking them to church, watching religious cartoons, and reading the Bible with them teaches them our faith. They may not be able to articulate it today, but their minds are working. It may sound like a lot, but when you break activities into a few minutes at a time, you work within their attention span and it allows you to expose them to so much.
I feel so lucky to be able to stay home with them and educate them; I am grateful to know so many who homeschool successfully; and I am so blessed to have a husband who supports us financially, emotionally, and spiritually.
Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child's natural bent.