Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi promised his Method as a means of education for all that was easily manageable by mothers at home for early childhood, leading eventually to a wholesome person characterised by morality. In order to develop this Method, Pestalozzi published “Wie Gertrud ihre Kinder lehrt” (How Gertrud Teaches her Children) in 1801 and then his so‐called Elementary Books, especially the "Buch der Mütter” (Books for Mothers) in 1803. However, not only was home education to be reformed, but also the subsequent education in school. For this purpose Pestalozzi erected his institutes in Burgdorf, Münchenbuchsee, and Yverdon and fostered the publication of teaching manuals. The Method was advertised in the language of redemption for all. This article examines to what extent the promises made by Pestalozzi and his colleagues in his Institutes covered the interests of the consumers outside the Institutes. What was it that the parents of the students expected from the education in the Institutes? Were these expectations compatible with the promises made by the Method and its creator? Why exactly were the students sent to Burgdorf, Münchenbuchsee and Yverdon? How did the parents react to the gap between promise and reality? And to what extent were Pestalozzi's efforts an attempt at popular enlightenment?