Sunday, May 18, 2014

Guest Post by Kelsey Kamentz of Family Montessori

Today we have a guest post by Kelsey Kamentz from Family Montessori.  She is sharing about their homeschool Montessori hybrid program.  The opinions she is expressing are entirely her own.

Family Montessori of Lebanon 

As homeschoolers, most of us know that one size rarely fits all.  If you’ve ever been to a homeschool conference you’ve seen a thousand different perspectives on how to educate a child and ensure their best future.   

Ever heard of Classical Conversations?  Charlotte Mason?  Un-Schooling? 

The reality is Homeschooling is changing.  Today, families incorporate different methods to suit not only their children’s learning style, but also their families’ lives as a whole!    Many homeschoolers are part of larger co-op organizations and even these structures are morphing to fit the needs of each individual community. 
One organization redefining traditional education here in Ohio is a Homeschool/Montessori hybrid called Family Montessori.   
Family Montessori's structure is a unique balance of flexible, family-based learning and a Montessori classroom environment geared to enhance a child's natural development. Unlike traditional Montessori, parents are trained to volunteer in the classroom with their children during “class days".  
Kate, a FM mom, was surprised at how impactful her experience volunteering in her daughter’s classroom has been.  “It is so thrilling to watch her uncover a new talent or make a new discovery.  What has surprised me is how much I personally have benefited from [FM].  Spending time in the classroom has given me new parenting tools to use at home, and the confidence that I can support [her] as she develops and discovers the world around her.  Our whole family has benefitted from the FM community; not just during school hours, but throughout the week.”  

This homeschool-hybrid provides a unique structure for children, but more importantly for families as a whole. And their dedication to homeschooling allows families to live as individuals according to their own priorities, passions, talents and beliefs. 

FM was born out of the struggles of these families; who, like many others, desired to homeschool their children effectively.   
“[Before Family Montessori] I had homeschooled Finn in addition to his attending a private pre-school. We knew from observing this pairing that he would benefit from an environment which provided positive peer to peer experiences. The traditional structure of learning proved a challenge to his "hands-on" style of discovery.” Says Megan of her 7 year old son “As a family, we wanted for him to be a part of a community. A place where he could be encouraged by the work modules and style to grow his passion for learning. We believe Finn's greatest ally at school is his own self-motivation and for a child, motivation is most eager when the child feels confident to explore organically. That's why we love FM. The community, the structure, and the love of learning it fosters in Finn.” 

The reason FM is such a powerful community is exactly that – It’s a community!  A place for families to grow alongside their children.   
As an organization, FM's philosophy centers on three things: 

Education is about social, emotional and academic development.  Each child is uniquely created with his or her own individual learning style. Family Montessori engages each child, helping them develop at their own pace.  

The biggest advantage any child can have is a strong family. FM is dedicated to supporting these most important influences in each child's life, through discipleship support, potlucks, workshops and more.  

Our goal is for our children to become well-educated, thoughtful adults who have a strong sense of community.  To this end, FM families participate in many service opportunities. 

"Life has become so fragmented” says FM founder Rachel Sachs "Conventional education centers on the child, separate from his family. homeschooling focuses on the family, but even that can sometimes feel isolating - especially for homeschool moms!" 

This is why Family Montessori exists - to be a support system to families and a place of growth for children. To build a community of grace and reach out to others. 
To learn more about FM visit them on Facebook, check out their Website or call 513.800.8023 

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