Today, I want to challenge you to get into community. Specifically, I want you to find a like-minded group of Montessori advocates to support and inspire you along your Montessori journey.
Day 21: Get Into Community
Community is an invaluable resource with a lifestyle as all-encompassing, and (dare I say) against the norm, as Montessori. Community can support you through the tough moments, provide insights or answers, and celebrate your victories with you — those very Montessori victories that your usual community just might not get.
Start off by googling and searching various social media sites for local groups that match your needs. Homeschool groups, playdate groups, whatever it is that would support you with where you want to go with the Montessori Method. You’ll be surprised at what is available to you. I live in a city with two private Montessori schools and no training centres, but I’ve found other Montessori homeschoolers — including Montessori-trained teachers! I’ve also found a community of other homeschoolers of different disciplines, and a community of diverse parents who support my decisions.
Some of my daily community comes in the form of online groups. Joining a Montessori Facebook group can offer support, inspiration, accountability, and friendship — with a far more diverse (and active!) community than you may be able to find locally. Today, I encourage you to get out there and explore the communities available to you.
If you’re not on Facebook, there are Google+ and Yahoo groups that also discuss Montessori, or you can always contact your local library or community newsletter to start your own local group!
I would be remiss if I didn’t start off this list with my own Facebook groups — Combining Reggio and Montessori and Christian Montessori Network. The content and discussions of these two groups are very different and both groups are relatively small and new.
Montessori 101 is by far my favourite Montessori Facebook group and the one I would most encourage you to dip your toes into. The group can feel a bit overwhelming as there are literally THOUSANDS of members, but you can participate as much or as little as you want, and Aubrey Hagris, the beauty behind Montessori Mischief, is always there to keep an upbeat and cheerful tone. The group has a healthy mix of Montessori teachers, bloggers, homeschoolers, and newbies, and the conversation topics cover every imaginable aspect of Montessori.
Five of my favourite posts from Aubrey are:
- This was the first post that I ever read by Aubrey, and I immediately loved her blog for it.
- I love that Aubrey is not afraid to tackle the big subjects — like Introducing the Subject of Racism to Preschoolers.
- Top Ten Shopping List for Montessori Mamas — enough said?
- Maybe if we all get together and peer pressure Aubrey, she’ll produce a couple more videos. Her vision is so inspiring, and this video and accompanying post about how Montessori looks in her home is just inspiring.
- OK, not a post, but a category. Aubrey’s Easy Activities page is a wealth of information for how to easily achieve real Montessori!
Other groups that I belong to and would recommend include:
- Montessori on a Budget run by Lisa Nolan of Montessori on a Budget. MOAB is another large and active Montessori Facebook group, the majority of active members are homeschool parents, and often parents of preschool-age or younger. This is a great group to belong to if you want to consider alternative ways to incorporate or afford Montessori. Get Social is their sister site which is a smaller alternative.
- Montessori Homeschooling, run by Beth Wuertz of Grace and Green Pastures. This is a great group for those with older children who are committed to the homeschool life! There are some parents of younger children here, but they don’t dominate the conversations as much as they do in other groups.
- Bringing Up Montessori Infants and Toddlers, run by Tina Ahlstrom Laubach, a Montessori toddler guide who really helps break things down and encourages parents not to worry about advancement and “mini-Primary.”
- Montessori Mom Share, run by four women including Amanda Clotts of …, is another smaller group which is dedicated to parents who are implementing Montessori with children ages 3 and up. I’m less active in this group than in others, but for such a small group they share some amazing resources!
I hope you’re able to explore the communities that are out there for a bit today — and to avoid being sucked into a Facebook vortex for hours, try setting a timer!
Join a couple of groups and in a week or two, stick with the ones that seem the most in line with where you are and what you want to be doing!
And if you know of any other great online Montessori communities, please share below in the comments!