Starting a Montessori School: Part 2

    Building the School

    The county inspector was on board with the school above the garage! We treat it the same as a living space over a garage, which just means we need extra fire prevention materials. The space will need to be ADA compatible, which means we need a wheelchair stairlift and a large bathroom. None of that is insurmountable, just expensive.

    We applied for building permits in the first week of November. It seems that as the weather began to freeze, so did our progress. The permit application is stuck on “pending.” Septic and well permits are moving along a little faster.

    *All I want for Christmas, is “aproooove,” ooooh baby.*

    Prepared Environment: The Reading Program

    The school is meant to open in less than a year, so I’ve been prioritizing the important materials I’ll need for the start of school. I do not love the other Montessori reading programs that are available (I’ll do a full write up on the blog later to explain why), so making my own reading program was a top priority.

    I’ve actually had the materials made for months, and I’ve taught the lessons for years at my previous school. Every student I’ve ever had has learned to read– it’s non-negotiable.

    So these past few months have been spent writing up those lessons, going back and finding my sources, and formatting a book for others to use. I’m really proud of what I’ve made.

    The physical guidebook will be available on Amazon, and I’ll sell the digital downloads here on the website.

    Rhyme and Reason Reading Program flip booklets
    Rhyme and Reason Reading Program sound cards
    Rhyme and Reason Reading Program picture cards
    Rhyme and Reason Reading Program picture cards

    Currently Reading

    This is my favorite part of these updates– I love talking about the books I’m reading.

    Most of what I read this month was research papers and technical articles on the science of reading. I presume most folks don’t want to read those, but if you do, most are listed in the bibliography of my book. Or you can shoot me an email and we can nerd out together.

    Sold a Story

    By: Emily Hanford

    Have you listened to this podcast!? You must. It’s Watergate for public schools.

    It made me angry, it made me cry, it made me passionate about bringing proper reading instruction to all children.

    The Language Instinct

    By: Steven Pinker

    I feel like I should have read this book five years ago. It dovetails so well with my interests on childhood development, language acquisition, and “man the rational animal.”

    Steven Pinker is an excellent writer. Even if you aren’t terribly interested in the biological basis for language development in humans, read it for the prose. It’s a masterclass in nonfiction writing.

    Why Our children Can't Read Diane McGuiness book cover

    Why Our Children Can’t Read

    By: Diane McGuinness

    This is a re-read. And I’m certain I’ve recommended this book elsewhere on the blog and on Instagram– it’s that good.

    On this visit, I was looking for the scientific studies that she references and looking them up myself to verify she’s representing them appropriately. She is.

    Do you know someone who would find this interesting? Share it!

    3 Comments

    1. Thank you for sharing your journey.

      My dream is to one day open my own school, and to be able to know someone so bright and determined is inspiring.

      I cannot thank you enough.

    2. Dear Emily,
      Reading your posts have become a regular bed time habit for me. I have always wanted to start a Montessori School, maybe it will take me sometime to get there. Your writing keeps my spirit fired , every time I read / visit your website I feel more committed to the cause.

      Thanking you for keeping me there .

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