SEVERAL HELPFUL MONTESSORI BOOKS
It is not possible to learn everything from a book, but there are are several, based on Montessori experience at home and in the classroom that have been found to be very helpful to parents and teachers during these days. They are all written by a Montessori teachers trained at 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 levels, and with many years of experience with children and young adults from birth to 18 years of age.
Aid to Life, Montessori Beyond the Classroom, contains two chapters especially valuable for parents “At Home from 0-6” and “At Home from 6-18”. Montessori Principles support far more than academic learning. Being at home with families is our chance to explore the potential of learning to contribute to a social group, explore individual interests, explore many ways to work and learn.
Child of the World: Montessori, Global Education for Age 3-12+ is the best first book for Montessori at this age. Although it is useful for teachers at all levels, it is mostly used by parents to understand their child from a Montessori perspective. It is also a main text for Montessori homeschoolers.
CLICK: Child of the World
Montessori Homeschooling, One Family’s Story is based on 12 years of homeschooling from elementary through high school, while both parents worked full time. It helps parents understand a wider definition of education. We can forge a path to help children discover the meaning of life and how to find an important role in the future.
Every parent and Montessori teacher should read this book.
— Montessori 3-12 Teacher and Consultant in The Netherlands
CLICK: Montessori Homeschooling
Rather than worrying about trying to keep up with an academic curriculum, learn about the importance, and how to support, 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; getting to know oneself, 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.
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
Respect is not just a thought. It is an action. Children learn to respect others by being respected. 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:
CLICK: THE JOYFUL CHILD (age 0-3)
CLICK: THE RED COROLLA (age 3-6)
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
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.”