I’ve often had parents ask about Montessori playgroups or Montessori homeschool co-ops. My experience is as a Montessori teacher, then Montessori teacher/school owner, and then Montessori homeschooler. As a homeschooler, we took part in co-op groups for extracurricular activities but never in a Montessori co-op.
So, I decided to do some online research and share some resources I found that could help you if you’d like to start a Montessori playgroup or Montessori homeschool co-op. While there are elaborate Montessori co-ops that recruit and hire trained Montessori teachers, I want to focus on Montessori playgroups and co-ops you can set up to be run by parents, whether or not you consider yourself a homeschooler. Some are started by Montessori certified teachers and others by Montessori homeschoolers who use Montessori at home but don’t have formal Montessori training.
Just individualize your co-op or playgroup for your family and the children who will be attending. You could either have a central location for the Montessori classroom or take turns inviting the children into your homeschool classrooms with a common set of rules. You’ll need to decide if you want to offer the playgroup or co-op for free or for a fee. I’ve read about both. Certified Montessori teachers are more likely to charge a fee for their playgroup or co-op. You can choose whatever frequency you prefer. Some have classes a few times a week, some weekly, and some monthly.
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How to Start a Homeschool Co-op
Here are some posts about how to start a homeschool co-op. These aren’t specifically Montessori homeschool co-ops, but they could have some helpful information for you.
- How We Run Our Homeschool Co-op from Teach Beside Me
- What to Consider When You’re Considering a Homeschool Co-op from Simple Homeschool
- How to Start a Homeschool Co-op and Make It Thrive from Catholic Icing
Montessori Homeschool Co-ops
Note: Many of these co-ops are no longer available. (Montessori homeschool co-ops often are offered according to the homeschooling situation of the co-op leader or age of the co-op leader’s child or children.) The information is still very useful.
Melissa from Vibrant Wanderings had a number of posts on a community homeschool classroom (photo from Our Community Homeschool Classroom post). In their particular Montessori classroom, Melissa was already a certified Montessori teacher,and the classroom was set up in her home. It was probably closer to a traditional Montessori school than many Montessori playgroups or homeschool co-ops. Her blog is no longer available, but the photo shows one way to set up a classroom in your home that could be used for community activities.
Kathy von Duyke has a post on Building a Montessori Homeschooling Co-op at Homeschool World.
Susana from Montessori Candy has a post on Starting a Montessori Co-op.
Stay at Home Educator has a series of Preschool Co-op posts, including Preschool Co-op Weeks 1-13 (photo from Investigating Seeds in a Preschool Farm Theme – Week 2), a 5-post series on How to Organize a Preschool Co-op, Circle Time for the Mobile Classroom, and Preschool Co-op Q&A. This isn’t specifically a Montessori co-op, but many of the activities are Montessori-inspired activities.
Lisa from Our Country Road used Montessori-inspired trays when she taught at their monthly homeschool co-op pre-k group: 22 Fun Christmas Activity Trays, Winter and Valentine’s Activity Trays, and Summer Fun Montessori Trays (photo).
Stephanie from Discovery Moments shared an example of hosting a Montessori homeschool elementary lesson in The God with No Hands.
Colin Wee was the coordinator of a Montessori playgroup in Australia when his daughter was a preschooler. He tells about his experience in a post about Let Your Child Take His Turn at Teach Preschool. He also writes about the Montessori Work Cycle at Ezine Articles. (Note: they use the term “jobs” at the playgroup in Australia, whereas we use “work” in Montessori schools in the U.S.)
Kylie from How We Montessori tells about the Montessori Early Learning Activities (MELA) playgroup in Brisbane, Australia.
Montessori Nature has a peek into an infant/toddler Montessori playgroup in Australia.
Montessori at Otari in New Zealand has a playgroup as well as a preschool.
Do you have experience with a Montessori playgroup or Montessori homeschool co-op? If you do, please let me know about your experiences in the comments. If you have a blog post about your Montessori playgroup or homeschool co-op, please share your link so I can add it to the post.
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