This book is very important to all of humanity. In 2020 we were taken to a new level, returning to the simple life and the family. In school or at home we must show our children that the world is a fantastic place by giving them the keys to the universe and following their authentic interests.
—Lyda Franky, Director of the AMI Montessori Affiliate for Colombia, South America
Montessori education is education for life and parents are always the most important teachers of their children. Schooling has been taken over by professionals in the last 100+ years but, because of Covid-19, parents are learning to practice their most important role as model and guide for children. With help and patience we can forge a path to help children discover the meaning of life and how to find an important role in the future. Parents, and teachers of all kinds, can take advantage of this time to think about the purpose of education in the way that Montessori described her method, that is “an education for life.”
The book Montessori Homeschooling, One Family’s Story, based on 15 years of homeschooling from elementary through high school, is helping parents, traditional teachers, and Montessori teachers or guides, keep in mind a wider definition of education in mind. Rather than spending time trying to keep up with a traditional or Montessori academic curriculum, you will read about how to support important skills such as: time management; working—constructively and with respect— in collaboration with the family and the wider community; following curiosity to create an independent academic path; learning in such a way that the concepts are mastered, enjoyed, and retained; responsibility; having first hand experience in the present that will enable one to be a valuable contributing member of the wider community as an adult, and more.
For more information CLICK: MONTESSORI HOMESCHOOLING
One Example from the book – BIOLOGY DURING THIRD GRADE
See more details about one of the years, third grade, here is a post from the time when the book was still being written.
CLICK: THIRD GRADE
Children learn to respect others by being respected. We adults become able to love and respect our children by learning as much about the physical, psychological, and mental needs at different stages of development, and becoming adept at observation, looking for and recognizing them. Learning to respect each other is essential as we spend more time together as a family, and as we develop new systems for teachers and students to work together.
Here is a quote from the chapter “The Young Adult, 7th to 12th Grade”:
By 1993 I had been teaching and working with children from age two through the high school for many years. I was approached by two Montessori teachers in Portland, Oregon who wanted to pick my brain about their elementary and middle school teaching practice.
Maggie and Kathy and I spent several days together in our home. On the last day we spoke about how to guide children while showing respect. I knew, as I heard them talk about their classes that they were speaking to students with a different voice than they would use in speaking to peers. I wanted to help them understand how being talked to in this way feels.
We were seated at a picnic table in our yard. I asked both teachers to stand next to each other on the deck against the wall of the house. Then I spoke to them the way my teachers might have spoken to me in traditional school when I was growing up, and unfortunately the way I still hear some Montessori teachers speak to students at times. They stood next to each other, waiting.
I stood next to the picnic table with my arms crossed in front of me and with a serious (teachery) expression on my face. But still using a polite voice I said:
We are going to walk down the hall. Please stand in line.
Kathy put your hands by your side.
Maggie, no talking. Did you hear me?
I’ll wait here until everyone is ready.
Maggie looked shocked, and then she slumped forward and called out, “Stop Susan, I get it! “
HOMESCHOOLING BEFORE THE ELEMENTARY YEARS
During the years that our family were homeschooling I learned much more about parenting, teaching, following a child, and to share what I was learning wrote two other books: The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Education for Birth to Three and Child of the World: Montessori, Global Education for Ages 3-12+. These books were written as a result of communication with parents, traditional school and head start teachers, and Montessori teachers. They will be helpful for parents of younger children.
Here is more information and links to these books:
The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three
It is generally agreed by neuroscientists today that 80-85% of brain growth occurs prenatally and by the end of the third year. This book supports this growth emotionally, physically, and intellectually as it is based on the Montessori 0-3, Assistant to Infancy, training. The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three has been proven to be of value in many ways, including:
(1) Adolescent human development courses
(2) Prenatal classes
(3) University education courses
(4) Montessori 0-3, 3-6, 6-13 teacher training courses
(5) Parent education groups, in person and online
Part One, The First Year: The Senses; Reaching Out and Grasping; Sitting up and Working; Crawling, Pulling up, and Standing; Unique Development and the Child’s Self-Respect
Part Two, Age 1-3: Care of Self, Others, and the Environment; Toys and Puzzles; Music; Language; Art; People; Plants and Animals; Physical Science and Math
Part Three, The Adult: Preparing the Environment; Parenting and Teaching
Appendix: How I Weaned Myself (A Child’s Perspective); Comparison of Montessori Assistant to Infancy Practice and Birth-Three Traditions in Bhutan; Maria Montessori; The Assistant to Infancy Program; About the Author
CLICK: THE JOYFUL CHILD
Child of the World: Montessori, Global Education for Age 3-12+
Part One, Age 3-6: Caring for Oneself, for Others, and for the Environment; The Preparation and Serving of Food; Toys and Games; The Earth, Physical Sciences; Plants and Animals, Life Sciences; People, Social Sciences; Music and Art; Language; Geometry, Math, and Measurement
Part Two, Age 6-12: Transition to the Elementary Years; The Earth, Physical Sciences; Biology, Life Sciences; The Humanities, Social Sciences; The Arts; Language; Invention, Geometry, and Math
Part Three, Age 0-24: Stages of Development; The Young Adult Age 12-18; The Adult, Age 18-24
Part Four, Parents and Teachers: Preparing a Learning Environment; Parenting and Teaching; Maria Montessori
CLICK: CHILD OF THE WORLD
The Red Corolla, Montessori Cosmic Education (for age 3-6+)
This book is based on the author’s lectures on the 3-6 cultural subjects for a Montessori teacher-training course.
(1) The Work of the Adult—creating an album that fills in the gaps in the teacher’s general knowledge
(2) The 3-6 Children’s Culture Album—directions for many practical life, sensorial, and language lessons, in the areas of physics, botany, zoology, history, geography, music, and art
(3) The leaf collection, and botany classification outline—including many botanical drawings and explanations on how to begin the work of exploring botany
(4) Formal Language/Poetry Album—Directions for creating the beginning of the teacher’s language album to be added to year after year
Included are two articles previously published in Montessori journals:
The Child’s Discovery of a Global Vision and a Cosmic Task, from the NAMTA Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 2015
The Music Environment from the Beginning to the End, from the AMI Journal 2014-2015 Theme Issue “The Montessori Foundations for the Creative Personality”
CLICK: THE RED COROLLA
(The Author, from Montessori Homeschooling)
Before discovering Montessori Susan first worked as a Latin tutor for high school students, and then as a counselor for girls in a juvenile detention center. She participated in the NAMTA (North American Montessori Teachers Association) research of Montessori environments for adolescents and was the editor of The Erdkinder Newsletter. Susan earned Montessori diplomas for 0-3, 2.5-7, and 6-12, worked as a school administrator, and has taught children from age two to thirteen in Montessori environments. She is a school consultant, speaker, and examiner for the Association Montessori Internationale. Susan’s children and grandchildren have all attended Montessori schools. Susan has traveled in more than seventy countries, beginning when she was a sophomore in university. She earned a degree in philosophy at San Francisco State University, a graduate degree in education at Loyola University in Baltimore, and studied multiple intelligences under Howard Gardner at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her website is www.susanart.net
LOCKDOWN LEARNING QUESTIONS CONVENTIONAL CHILDREN’S EDUCATION, by Dr. Angeline S. Lillard
I would like to share a recent blog post of a friend of mine, Angeline Lillard, psychology professor at the University of Virginia. She, along with many others, is watching the Covid-caused learning-at-home movement carefully. This is an extremely interesting, timely, and valuable article and I urge you to read and share it.
THE COVID SILVER LINING
Covid family and school situations, and many other results of this crisis, are terrible in many ways for many people. Many people are trying hard to discover what good can come from this situation as in all unhappy conditions. I am trying to do the same.
Throughout the years teachers in school have met the needs of children in more ways than just academics. For example in our community school staff are working on providing food, computers, sympathy and understanding for students and also for their families.
Looking for a silver lining, it is the case that today we have the chance to study and to learn more about what makes children happy, what makes them want to learn, and how we can help them thrive. It is easy, but, as we hear so often, “We are all in this together.”