LIVABLE LEARNING - Preparing the Home and the Heart

"To be disciplined is to be a disciple of order."

S.V. Wilhelmi

I have been incredibly amazed at how this whole project has come together. Until I started writing this web site in 2003, I did not realize how well Montessori education and Catholic education work together, and furthermore, how Livable Learning seems to be the element that pulls them both together in a homeschooling environment.

As I wrote my first book "From Creative Chaos to Livable Learning" I realized that I was teaching myself in the process. For that reason exactly, I alone cannot take the credit. It is through the Holy Spirit that I might claim any successes. The book started out as a story of my personal journey from chaos to a more livable order in my home. As it developed, the book took on much more of the Montessori flavor than I had originally intended.

Both the Montessori Method and the Catholic Faith are based on a universal order and founded in universal Truth. To be a follower of Montessori is to be a disciple of order. To be a Catholic is to be a disciple of the Creator of Order. Montessori embodies the teaching of Truth in education, whereas in the same way, the Catholic Church embodies the teaching of Truth in Faith. Pedagogy is the science of teaching, with Montessori being the scientific application of education. Theology is the science of God, with the Catholic Church providing the scientific application of Faith.

Montessori did base many of her teaching methods on the pedagogy of the Catholic Church. She, herself was a devout Catholic. She was a genius to many; very deep and philosophical, yet very approachable and practical. Despite those who would choose to distort her original teachings, the Montessori Method has survived the test of time. I have no doubt that the success of her teaching methods was due to her passionate quest for the truth. At the very foundation of both Montessori education and the Catholic Faith is the overwhelming element of Truth. The Catholic Church too, has survived the test of time and continues to triumph in the face of distortions. The point of all of this is not to say that if a person does not follow all of the original teachings of Montessori that he will not benefit. Nor is it to say that if one does not follow all the teachings of the Catholic Church that he will not go to heaven. More simply, it is to say that if one does choose the direct path of Montessori in education, or if one does choose the direct path of the Catholic Church in matters of faith, he will reap the greatest benefits inherent in the Truth each possesses, which will ultimately lead to the development of the fullest potential of the human person.

I am the type of person who needs an overall plan and then the freedom to make my own adaptations from there. I get overwhelmed and paralyzed with too much detail. My creation of a "Livable Learning" lifestyle is what I needed to maintain a successful environment in my home and in our homeschool day. I was not able to find the style of resources I needed to bring order to my home, nor was I able to find a comprehensive, user-friendly presentation of Montessori education for homeschoolers, nor of Catholic Faith applications to everyday school subjects. I want the "meat" of Montessori and I want the "meat" of the Catholic Faith. I want it direct and I want it understandable. You will find the writing in my resource manuals designed just as the Montessori presentation --  with as few words as possible, or without "twaddle" as those who use the Charlotte Mason method would say.

I have felt an urgent calling over the past year towards my writing. I am feeling in many ways overwhelmed by thoughts of what may come of all this, and in that I ask your prayers to lift up my work to the ultimate end of God's will and calling. Maria Montessori said it so well when she said:

 "To collect one's forces, even when they seem to be scattered, and when one's aim is only dimly perceived -- this is a great action and will sooner or later bring forth fruits."

My prayer for you is that you will open your mind to the sacrifices needed to become a disciple of order for the sake of your family and your homeschool environment, and that in the process you will continue to open your heart to the joys of being a disciple of God the Father, Himself, the Creator of Order.


Suzanne Wilhelmi

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