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Scheduling using work plans Montessori-style?


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DD has requested that I present the week's (or 2) worth of work in a work plan format, and let her work through it on her own schedule. She spent 4 years at a Montessori school before a brief foray at a private classical school and then home about 1.5 years ago. She says it suits her best and I'm willing to try and make some accommodations, but I'll admit that scheduling has never been my strong suit and we definitely haven't found any kind of a groove yet. Has anyone done Montessori-inspired work plans for upper elementary/middle school? (DD will be in 6th grade and is accelerated in some subjects too)

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Not much there for Upper El/Middle, but lots of examples. But I still have quite a few examples from when DD was at the Montessori school. But I'm now trying to glom that principle on top of classical philosophy and more mature content/materials, and that juxtaposition is quirky at best. I also think I worry that I will have trouble keeping DD motivated to finish the work plans in a prompt, timely fashion (when she was in a classroom, she was motivated to be the first (or one of the first) to finish).

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http://www.montessoriworldschool.com/public/pdf/curriculumElemII.pdf
Subject Descriptions, Subject Outlines, Trans-disciplinary Units, and bullet point breakdowns by grade 

http://www.blog.montessoriforeveryone.com/montessori-basics-11-materials-and-resources-for-elementary-9-12.html
A list of basic Montessori materials that this site considers essential to Montessori Upper Elementary

http://ed.sc.gov/agency/se/school-transformation/documents/UEInventoryupper.pdf
An inventory list for a Montessori Upper Elementary classroom in SC

http://montessori123.com/collections/upper-elementary
The Upper Elementary products available at Montessori 123

https://www.alisonsmontessori.com/Upper_Elementary_Age_9_12_s/190.htm
The Upper Elementary products available at Alison's Montessori

http://moteaco.com/912scope.html
Upper Elementary Scope Document

http://montessoricompass.com/scope-and-sequence?utm_source=Montessori+Compass+June+2013&utm_campaign=MLI+12-3-2012&utm_medium=socialshare
Detailed Scope and Sequence!!!

 

http://www.freemontessori.org/?page_id=9

Actual albums. This may be what you are looking for.

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The Big History Project is like The Great Lessons on steroids.

https://www.bighistoryproject.com/portal

 

If that is too much for grade 6, here is some other stuff:

 

The Five Great Lessons

http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/The-Five-Great-Lessons_ep_66-1.html

 

A Really Short History of Nearly Everything covers Lessons 1, 2, 3, and a little of 4

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0385738102/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_awdm_pFkDtb0BVP8HG

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Great Lessons: Lesson 1, The Coming of the Universe and Earth-

 

How the World Began: Creation in Myths and Legends

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1844762467/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_6voDtb17GQFSZ4MD

 

The Expending Universe

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0789484161/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_fL.Ctb0AEPWTAY7A

 

Cosmic Timeline shown at the scale of one calendar year from the site of University of Victoria's Prof. Arif Babul

http://visav.phys.uvic.ca/~babul/AstroCourses/P303/BB-slide.htm

 

The Cosmos: You Are There Poster

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00657WY5G/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_awdm_nRpDtb0YBX63W

 

Space Facts- The Top 5 Interactive Space and Astronomy Visualisations

http://space-facts.com/top-5-space-astronomy-visualisations/

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The Great Lessons: Lesson 2, The Coming of Life-

 

https://d396qusza40orc.cloudfront.net/dino101/timescale/timescale.html#/t00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000/tc3f0ba48-f852-4683-9254-134017521ea/eeeee0000-e000-e000-e000-000000000001/e0000000-e000-e000-e000-000000000001@x=114.91322817580054&y=1&w=246.68039397510933&h=112.93336786672974

University of Alberta's interactive Geological Time Scale covers from the formation of the moon to the first modern humans. Very Cool!

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1741143284/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_ly.Ctb0KXYJXZZD4

The Big Picture Book- The story of four billion years of evolution is told in simple words and stunning images in this vivid volume. 48 pages

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1554534305/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_m6oDtb0Z16HC3FNZ

Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be by Daniel Loxton

 

http://www.evogeneao.com/reservation/reservation.htm

Tree of Life diagram is based on the evolutionary relationships in Dr. Richard Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale.

 

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/teach/index.php

Evolution teaching resources for all grade levels from Berkeley

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000YZJS7M/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_BlpDtb0GTN5MGEME

Eras of Life Poster

 

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The Great Lessons: Lesson 3, The Coming of Man-

 

http://humanorigins.si.edu/resources/multimedia/videos

Videos from Smithsonian’s exhibit What does it mean to be human?

 

http://minus.com/lfGJKcXOso8h4

Evolution infographic; Common Ancestor

 

http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-family-tree

Human Family Tree | The Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000YZJLZG/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_GjpDtb1W24M8TKVQ

Human Evolution Poster

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005M4P4MI/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_MeaDtb05WGM6XFEQ

Prehistoric Peoples (Exploring History (Southwater)) by Philip Brooks, Discover the prehistoric world and find out what it was like to live through the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, and how the first settled communities grew up.

 

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/journey/

Journey of Mankind: The Peopling of the World- Humankind's Global Migration

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The Great Lessons: Lesson 4, The History of Writing

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Story-Writing-Carol-Donoughue/dp/1554073065/?qid=1331440812&s=books&ref=sr_1_12&ie=UTF8&sr=1-12

The Story of Writing

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_DFrEVhvLQ

The History of Writing- A Brief History of Writing, an amusing and, uhhm, patriotic amateur video.

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1570916101/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_OLoDtb0652Z44BG4

Ox, House, Stick: The History of Our Alphabet

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fATACyObd1w&feature=share

Brief History of Written Language

 

http://www.historian.net/hxwrite.htm

The History of Writing

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The Great Lessons: Lesson 5, The History of Counting/ Mathematics

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0985323043/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_jikAtb0026CQRS8H

Mathematics: An Illustrated History of Numbers

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0688141188/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_awdm_eJnDtb0D37905

The History of Counting

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0824967798/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_awdm_NGnDtb03N4WZQ

The Secret Life of Math

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy-8lPVKLIo&feature=share

History of Mathematics

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBOShy-rxnw&feature=share

The History of Math

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Things to lead into botany or whatever life science

 

Six Kingdom Cards from Montessori Print Shop (inexpensive, < $10)

http://www.shop.montessoriprintshop.com/6-Kingdoms-of-Life_c244.htm

 

Kingdoms of Life Card Sort Manipulative from teachers pay teachers Is it a plant or a protist? Does it belong to eubacteria or archaebacteria? Use the Kingdoms of Life Card Sort Manipulative in your life science or.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kingdoms-of-Life-Card-Sort-Manipulative-439602

 

The Cell Graphic Organizer and Manipulative from teachers pay teachers

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cells-Graphic-Organizer-and-Manipulative-for-Interactive-Notebooks-430978

 

 

ETA: Paper Plate Meiosis

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/ea/f4/84/eaf484298e58aad999fa7ff71ef3adf9.jpg

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Things for a geography/ geology shelf:

 

Young Scientist Series - Set 3: Minerals (Kit 7) - Crystal (Kit 8) - Fossils (Kit 9)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00066LF1Q/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_awdm_FieEtb1CTBP35

 

DIY Felt Continent Map

http://www.childandme.com/geography-felt-continent-map/

 

The Global Puzzle

http://www.timberdoodle.com/The_Global_Puzzle_p/635-615.htm

 

The Global Animal Puzzle

http://www.timberdoodle.com/The_Global_Animal_Puzzle_p/635-620.htm

 

Free Montessori World Geography Materials

http://www.parents.com/blogs/homeschool-den/2013/10/18/science/various-free-montessori-3-part-cards/

 

Montessori Landmark Cards

http://montessori123.com/products/world-landmarks-with-matching-objects-deluxe-5-part-classified-set

 

Trail Guide to World Geography

http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Trail+Guide+to+World+Geography/014495

 

An atlas and some of the New True Books Geography books

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Things for a chemistry shelf:

 

The Elements: An Illustrated History of the Periodic Table (100 Ponderables) by Tom Jackson (contains a giant timeline)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0985323035/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_hw6Atb0EGY0BJQTH

 

The Mystery of the Periodic Table by Benjamin D. Wiker (This may be redundant alongside An Illustrated History of the Periodic Table, but I own it, so it is going on the shelf.)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/188393771X/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_pt9ztb1A20D8DFYD

 

The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1579128955/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_LA6Atb0VDDM09F3J

 

Theodore Gray's Elements Vault: Treasures of the Periodic Table with Removable Archival Documents and Real Element Samples - Including Pure Gold! by Theodore Gray

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1579128807/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_Vy6Atb15TD5GY76K

 

The Photographic Card Deck of The Elements: With Big Beautiful Photographs of All 118 Elements in the Periodic Table by Theodore Gray

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1603761985/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_zx6Atb1024KAAPZB

 

The Dangerous Book for Boys Classic Chemistry Science Kit

http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Book-Classic-Chemistry-Science/dp/B001TG6SSC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400919935&sr=8-1&keywords=dangerous+chemistry

 

I also have Real Science 4 Kids High School Chemistry and Spectrum Chemistry to put out for reference.

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This is a blog post explaining when to and how to cover The Fundamental Needs of People.

http://whatdidwedoallday.blogspot.com/2013/09/montessori-elementary-fundamental-needs.html

 

For example, this could be covered on the geography/ geology shelf, alongside history, or even alongside life science human anatomy.

 

Fundamental Needs of People Chart:
From this blog, “Here is a blank chart of some fundamental needs. There are numbers of charts out on the internet, but this is how I plan to discuss these topics. I plan to use a huge piece of butcher paper and to have the kids cut out pictures from old National Geographic magazines to create a homemade chart.â€

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzFNPnI_PfbwZDAzYWE1ZGItY2RmMi00NjY2LWEzOGEtYzdlZmQ5N2Y1OWMx/edit?hl=en_US

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I know very, very little about Montessori, and a month or so ago I knew even less. So, don’t take my word for anything.

 

Maria Montessori created pretty detailed information for elementary students ages 6-12. So, for example there is a smattering of stuff online for Montessori advanced sentence analysis, but the most helpful thing I read was Chapter 12 of The Advanced Montessori Method by Maria Montessori.

 

In a Montessori classroom there will be organized, attractive, prepared materials that encourage independent learning.

There seems to be a wealth of Montessori materials online- some are relatively expensive and some are DIY or free for download. There are plenty of scope and sequence lists that give you an idea of how Montessori schools have divided the materials, skills, ideas among American fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. I listed some above. In reality, these three grades are in a room together. However, if you are totally uninterested in a Montessori scope and sequence, you can always just search for what you want. Something like- Montessori “upper elementary†geometry materials- should turn up a ton of stuff. This material switched out periodically (monthly, every six weeks).    

 

The Montessori teacher does a presentation with the new materials or idea.

Teacher’s albums contain to how-to/ presentation information, and this is what I have had a harder time finding. lol So, you can find plenty and even free for downloads sentence analysis material, but you may need to piecemeal the presentation for sentence analysis from several places to get an idea of how to introduce all the materials.

 

After the presentation, the teacher may hand out workplans.

Basically, a workplan can be a very general, monthly/ six week plan or sometimes a weekly checklist of things to do.  In a classroom, this may help a child remember to diversify his work, so that, if he really likes the current science shelf, he still remembers to do other things. In your home, I would suppose you could require a student to work with certain materials daily or twice a week, but the goal of a workplan isn’t to tell a student what to do on Wednesday at 11:15. The goal is merely to provide guidance as to what all is out there in order to further encourage the student to take responsibility for his own work. However, some Montessori classrooms do not use workplans. There is actually a debate over whether workplans discourage choice and therefore actually take away responsibility. There is also the feeling that workplans may encourage competition in the classroom, something that is very un-Montessori. Anyway, you can’t create a checklist without first having the materials and knowing how to present them.

 

Do a google image search for Montessori upper elementary workplans. Most of them are very vague. If they have a heading for science, what is listed below that may look like the table of contents from the botany section of a textbook. Some that are meant for longer periods like a month or six weeks may just look like a list of everything that is on that shelf. So, it may say something like: Complete Task Cards (the task cards may include things like research and write a report on one of the following, complete this mapping activity, etc.), work with nomenclature cards, read a book on <blank> subject, etc.

 

Rather than or alongside a workplan, a student can create a work journal. You can think of this like notebooking or like a Charlotte Mason Century Book or a Waldorf student’s main lesson book.

 

After the instructor has presented the materials and/ or ideas and maybe handed out workplans, the student then navigates the material more or less independently. The teacher is more like a guide who is available only if necessary. There is a lot of positive peer pressure/ guidance from peers that can’t be recreated in a homeschool class of one. So, at home the teacher sometimes needs to become another student who takes out some materials and strews them on a floor mat and plays with them for a minute so the student can see those materials in use. There are plenty of homeschool blogs that explain, discuss explicitly or show implicitly, how families have adapted Montessori for their homes.

 

HTH-

Mandy

 

 

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This actually isn't headed in the direction I was intending, but I think you've given me something to chew on. I was originally meaning to just refer to work plans as the way the "work to be completed" is presented to DD (e.g., so she can complete all of her writing work for the week before lunch on Monday by attacking it full force, then spend the next two afternoon work blocks working on all of her math assignments) for the next, say, two weeks (and then if she completes everything before the prescribed time frame, she earns "free-choice" time where she can do anything academic but totally of her own choosing (which is highly motivating to DD and currently never happens because we never really finish our "list" for the week. So the intent was: following the spirit of the Montessori work plan (they choose when to work and in what order, but the plan provides a "to do" list) but using my classically-based curriculum choices. Not trying to actually DO Upper El Montessori, IYKWIM??

 

But I am going to have to go back later and look through your links. THANK YOU for all that helpful info! I'd love to hear more about your journey, too!

 

Oh and as an aside, I just asked DD if she wanted me to do some more Montessori-type Geometry, and got the "YESSSSSSS!" response.

 

 

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If you're trying to follow Sayers/TWTM, combining it with Montessori might get tricky, as they're based on ideas of developmental stages that don't really line up with one another.   For one thing, you could say that Montessori front-loads the academics.   The work the children do in elementary, and especially in the 5th and 6th grades, is relatively academically intense.  In The Advanced Montessori Method, she says that her original elementary students had finished most of the standard high school curriculum by age 12.  

 

From ages 12-14, there are fewer formal requirements.  They're given more time outdoors, mentoring, and space to start to find their own path.   At 15, they have the choice of returning to intense academic work (with more specialization this time), or starting their vocational training.   

 

This doesn't really fit at all with Sayers.  

 

Instead of being "poll-parrots," the Montessori elementary children are learning to observe, make connections, and express themselves.  

 

Instead of being encouraged to argue, the early teens are sent out to the country and taught to do hard work -- and to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

 

And while the Sayers youths are expected to be mooning about, the Montessori ones are getting ahead with their future plans.

 

Something else to note is that Montessori's own idea of "classical education" was the traditional one, based on the study of the Latin and Greek languages and literature.  She didn't expect that all the children would choose this path, but they were given the option, starting with Latin and Greek in 5th and 6th grade.  In the following years, there's more space for customizing the curriculum, so the ones who are so inclined can go more deeply into these studies.  

 

By contrast, Sayers and TWTM are setting out to provide an educational plan for all children, through age 18.   They don't really address the fact that by the teens (or even earlier), some children are going to be working at a much higher or lower academic level than the average.  Others are already going to have a sense of their life's work, and will want to start spending more time on that.  With TWTM, you can add and subtract things within the framework, but with Montessori, starting at age 12, you can offer a whole different kind of curriculum. 

 

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OMG. Stooooooooooooop! I really wanted to do TWTM but the Montessorian in me (I attended through 2nd grade and DD attended through 3rd; only left Montessori in order to pursue a more Christian/less humanistic worldview) is saying I need to go read more about being fundamentally Montessori (with Classical content added in) rather than being fundamentally Classical with a Montessorian structure to order/method of presentation of work.

 

I suppose I'm wrestling with the perception that Dr. Montessori really only wrote about the primary (mostly) and early elementary. Not that I think that's accurate, it's just my working assumption. I've always been merely the student or parent (although fully committed!), until recently. 

 

I'm definitely NOT of the mentality of rigid ages and stages. We bumped up against that thinking in the Classical Christian school that we tried after Montessori, and left, and in CC, and left that too. Boo. DD definitely needs flexibility to move at her own pace (particularly in math), and she even says of herself that she likes working to completion, not alternating subjects back and forth all the time.

 

 

 

 

 

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Alrighty, :), sorry for the detour. What I am hearing is that you want her to use TWTM more independently and to that end you would like to give her a weekly checklist because she used a weekly checklist at her Montessori school and liked it. Is this correct?

 

If so, it sounds like you just need to type everything you want her to do for the week into a spreadsheet. I would organize if by subject, so that she can see everything she needs to finish in math and then everything she needs to finish in science and so on. Then, allow her to choose what she does. When she completes something, she checks it off the list.

 

HTH-

Mandy

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FWIW- our personal journey has of late been the opposite of yours. lol I am wanting to remove all the Christian dogma and approach education/ life from a more humanistic worldview. ;)

 

Recently, I have been feeling like Doodle's childhood has flown by, and, while he was tagging along with his much older brothers, he missed out on some of the things of childhood. Maria Montessori definitely wrote detailed material through grade six, and, while I was pondering Doodle's situation, I met someone who is Montessori homeschooling. During all of this, I was also purging all our old homeschool stuff, and, while perusing his old stuff, Doodle commented that we did cooler stuff a couple of years ago when we had an extra student. Then, Rose from here said she was using The Big History Project with her dd next year. When I checked that out, I read an article by a Montessori teacher comparing BHP to Montessori's Great Lessons. The Great Lessons are typically covered at the beginning of first through third grade, but I saw an article that said in integrated multi-age classrooms the upper elementary kids are welcome to join in. So, I had BHP and two Montessori articles about the Great Lessons, a new acquaintance using Montessori, me feeling like Doodle's childhood had missed something, and Doodle verbalizing that he that our old homeschool stuff was cooler than now. Everything sort of clicked, and our next year is in some ways going to be very different, more Montessori, than the past couple of years.

 

I am actually a Charlotte Mason person at heart, but I think Doodle will really enjoy what I am planning. I sure hope so, because Montessori stuff is very teacher intensive!

Mandy

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OMG. Stooooooooooooop! I really wanted to do TWTM but the Montessorian in me (I attended through 2nd grade and DD attended through 3rd; only left Montessori in order to pursue a more Christian/less humanistic worldview)

 

Sorry.    ;)

 

FWIW, even if our family ends up following Montessori principles more closely, I don't intend to copy the classroom approach of doing the "Great Lessons," in-depth fossil timelines, etc.   That aspect came about because she wanted the curriculum to be usable with all children around the world, regardless of their local cultures and faiths -- but at the same time, she didn't want it be devoid of values, or lacking in integration, the way that secular and "neutral" curricula often are. (I'm not sure how much of the material was even developed by Maria Montessori herself.  Her son was heavily involved, and then other people added more later.)     

 

That said, I do believe there's value in what she calls "cosmic education," as a general concept.   But I think, as Christians, we can skip the "fables" and just share the real Biblical teachings with our children, in the context of our other studies and our daily life.   Why try to come up with a replacement for something that isn't missing?  And why go to such a lot of work to use a classroom method in the home?   We have our own advantages as homeschoolers, and the opportunity for one-on-one religious and moral teaching is a big one.  

 

Anyway, I've been going mainly by her own writings in The Advanced Montessori Method, which was written before she came up with that.   The emphasis is also more on the principles than on the specific materials.  You might find something in there to help you figure out what to do about organizing your daughter's work.  

 

Part 1:  Spontaneous Activity in Education

Part 2:  The Elementary Materials

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Alrighty, :), sorry for the detour. What I am hearing is that you want her to use TWTM more independently and to that end you would like to give her a weekly checklist because she used a weekly checklist at her Montessori school and liked it. Is this correct?

 

If so, it sounds like you just need to type everything you want her to do for the week into a spreadsheet. I would organize if by subject, so that she can see everything she needs to finish in math and then everything she needs to finish in science and so on. Then, allow her to choose what she does. When she completes something, she checks it off the list.

 

HTH-

Mandy

 

Well, that's not entirely accurate. I'm still wrestling with all this. And I had it all on a table (plus I think there was some stuff I hoped we'd get to so we never did "finish" for each week) for her to check off...something wasn't quite sufficient with that....But don't apologize at all. This discussion is really timely and I really appreciate the feedback from people who know a little bit about Montessori. I was repeatedly frustrated when I asked on a CM group (FB page) for people who were familiar with Montessori to talk to me more about the differences/similarities between CM and Montessori. I am thrilled to be here where there IS some significant knowledge about Montessori methods and principles -as well as- of the principles and values of classical education. 

 

There's not, by any chance, a Montessori-fan social group (or whatever they call it) here??

 

FWIW- our personal journey has of late been the opposite of yours. lol I am wanting to remove all the Christian dogma and approach education/ life from a more humanistic worldview. ;)

 

Recently, I have been feeling like Doodle's childhood has flown by, and, while he was tagging along with his much older brothers, he missed out on some of the things of childhood. Maria Montessori definitely wrote detailed material through grade six, and, while I was pondering Doodle's situation, I met someone who is Montessori homeschooling. During all of this, I was also purging all our old homeschool stuff, and, while perusing his old stuff, Doodle commented that we did cooler stuff a couple of years ago when we had an extra student. Then, Rose from here said she was using The Big History Project with her dd next year. When I checked that out, I read an article by a Montessori teacher comparing BHP to Montessori's Great Lessons. The Great Lessons are typically covered at the beginning of first through third grade, but I saw an article that said in integrated multi-age classrooms the upper elementary kids are welcome to join in. So, I had BHP and two Montessori articles about the Great Lessons, a new acquaintance using Montessori, me feeling like Doodle's childhood had missed something, and Doodle verbalizing that he that our old homeschool stuff was cooler than now. Everything sort of clicked, and our next year is in some ways going to be very different, more Montessori, than the past couple of years.

 

I am actually a Charlotte Mason person at heart, but I think Doodle will really enjoy what I am planning. I sure hope so, because Montessori stuff is very teacher intensive!

Mandy

 

And there is much about CM that appeals to me, but I couldn't do it - the lack of "how-to" drove.me.nuts. So thankful that SWB seems to get the need for some of us to hear "here's how I suggest you introduce dictation/copywork/narration. Here's what it generally might be expected to look like for a 6th grader....etc....". It's like CM -with directions-!!!!!!  But I think what appealed to me most of all in CM was where it overlapped with Montessorian philosophy. Your journey sounds so fortuitous/orchestrated even! :) :) :) That's neat how it all came together. I think that happened for me in a similar way with Classical (I would never have considered classical principles if we had come to HS straight from Montessori; but the classical Christian school started me down that road, then I found CC, then I finally read TWTM after a year of people telling me I should....etc....).

 

 

Sorry.    ;)

 

FWIW, even if our family ends up following Montessori principles more closely, I don't intend to copy the classroom approach of doing the "Great Lessons," in-depth fossil timelines, etc.   That aspect came about because she wanted the curriculum to be usable with all children around the world, regardless of their local cultures and faiths -- but at the same time, she didn't want it be devoid of values, or lacking in integration, the way that secular and "neutral" curricula often are. (I'm not sure how much of the material was even developed by Maria Montessori herself.  Her son was heavily involved, and then other people added more later.)     

 

That said, I do believe there's value in what she calls "cosmic education," as a general concept.   But I think, as Christians, we can skip the "fables" and just share the real Biblical teachings with our children, in the context of our other studies and our daily life.   Why try to come up with a replacement for something that isn't missing?  And why go to such a lot of work to use a classroom method in the home?   We have our own advantages as homeschoolers, and the opportunity for one-on-one religious and moral teaching is a big one.  

 

Anyway, I've been going mainly by her own writings in The Advanced Montessori Method, which was written before she came up with that.   The emphasis is also more on the principles than on the specific materials.  You might find something in there to help you figure out what to do about organizing your daughter's work.  

 

Part 1:  Spontaneous Activity in Education

Part 2:  The Elementary Materials

 

I actually have that book, I found it at a used bookstore YAY! I will now need to go peruse that. But the bolded may be part of where my assumption about "Maria Montessori didn't say much about the older grades" came from (that it was sort of tacked on by her followers). 

 

The other thing is that DD is academically outside of the 6th grade range for the most part, so except for making up for any gaps, I'm not sure how much upper el materials apply (as far as designing a curriculum/program around Montessori)....

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http://firstheralds.com/charlotte-mason/charlotte-mason-education/

This is a lovely summary of Charlotte Mason.

 

CM is an educational philosophy. TWTM is a how-to manual for classical education. CM herself was a classical educator. There is no reason why you can't take the things that appeal to you from CM and use those with many of the suggestions in TWTM. :)

 

There is no reason to be a purist in your homeschool. Do whatever works with philosophy, method, and curriculum. Adapt it all and make it your own. My educational/ child-rearing philosophy is adapted almost solely from Charlotte Mason. CM is what resonates with how I think about my children, education, and my home. When I use products (in a ideal world), I like to bring everything together using CM, Montessori, and a bit of Waldorf. The products themselves are all over the map. How we use them is what makes them ours.

 

Here is a blog post I did that is one of my favorites for showing how I would like to pull things together. I wish I was always this on the ball.

 

Next year, the main thing I want to include from Montessori is that within the content areas of science and social studies everything for a topic should be organized and in one spot with task cards, a workplan, a schedule attached to a work journal, or obvious things to do that Doodle can work through independently. I would like the display shelf to be uncluttered, housing nothing that is unrelated to the topic being studied, and visually appealing. This way I can do an introductory presentation and then just set him loose. The front end preparation is much greater than CM, but not as great as the pressure I feel to always to be the omniscient storyteller when I am preparing to use something with a Waldorf-esque flair. I just need to wrap my brain around coming up with interesting visual output, because he liked the stuff that our extra student Mei did when she was in sixth grade.

 

(FWIW, The Big History Project is designed for jr/sr high and does not mention Montessori anywhere, that I see, on their website. However, it is definitely similar to the Five Great Lessons taught in Montessori schools.)

 

Within the skill area of language arts, I am considering incorporating some Montessori sentence analysis. Even if I don't use Montessori materials, I enjoyed reading Chapter 12 of The Advanced Montessori Method. I am planning to do literary elements through short stories, but, while I am of the understanding that this sort of thing is done in Montessori, I have not seen a teaching album for how a Montessori teacher presents this information. I am winging it with traditional materials that I am finding online. Here is everything currently tagged Literary Elements on my new Montessori blog.  

 

Within the skill area of math, I am considering purchasing a pass word to Crewton Ramone's House of Math. It isn't exactly Montessori, but it is Montessori inspired. It looks like Doodle could spend some time looking at visual/ hands-on representations of some higher level concepts. I don't know about this one. Doodle may go for it, or he may shoot it down. It will be at least a couple of weeks before I get around to discussing this one.

 

The Montessori idea that having the teacher too much in the picture can actually hinder a student is one that is limited to ages 3-6 or even in high school. It is what I hope to take this year and apply, at the very least, to some aspect of Doodle's content subjects.   

 

HTH-

Mandy

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Eliza, here is a rather lengthy post by Susan Wise Bauer comparing The Well-Trained Mind and some versions of Charlotte Mason.

 

By what definition of classical education, is Charlotte Mason not classical?

 

Here is a 1908 schedule from Charlotte Mason's Parents' Union School.

 

For reference, Class II children were 9yo-11yo. Yes, those 9yo-11yo students were doing seatwork from 9-12. In addition to dictation, reading, writing, and arithmetic, they were studying French, German, and Latin. They were reading Plutarch and studying French history in addition to English history. They were studying geography, natural history, and nature lore. They were reading the Old Testament, the New Testament, and poetry. They participated in drill (organized exercise) and sol-fa (sight singing). They had a ten minute break in the middle of those three hours.

 

After everything on the school schedule, these children spent part of the afternoon outdoors as naturalists observing and recording their world; they practiced instruments; they read; they wrote, presented, and defended papers with their peers; they did picture studies; and they did handicrafts.

 

 

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Eliza, here is a rather lengthy post by Susan Wise Bauer comparing The Well-Trained Mind and some versions of Charlotte Mason.

 

Yes, I know SWB said that.  But she doesn't explain why either.   :001_smile:

 

By what definition of classical education, is Charlotte Mason not classical?

Well, for one, her method is nothing like what was defined as "classical education" in her own time (as described, for example, in Classical Education in Britain 1500-1900).   She does mention this system of education in her writings, when she comments on the "public schools," but she talks about it in language that places her as an outsider to it.   And while she does teach Latin, it's clearly a side subject.   This smaller amount of Latin was required (or at least strongly recommended) in most European and American secondary schools at the time, even in the ones that were explicitly set up as "non-classical."  

 

Nor does it fit the modern (post-1970s) use of "classical," or "neo-classical," to describe systems based on Dorothy Sayers' idea of the "trivium stages."  

 

And it's very different from the curriculum of the universities of the high Middle Ages, from which Sayers drew her model. 

 

And it isn't in keeping with the educational theories of Plato, which are sometimes called "classical" by modern educators (though AFAIK they were never actually followed with children, which is probably a good thing... yikes).   

 

What other definitions of "classical education" are there?  

 

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I feel like she took the classical model that was in use at the time and reinterpreted it in such a way as to take into account the person who was being educated as a whole person and that person's mind wasn't "a mere sac to hold ideas." This would make her the original neo-classical educator.

 

Maybe this article, "Towards a Defense of Charlotte Mason Education," will help.

 

Andrew Kern’ s definition of classical education: "Classical education is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue by nourishing the soul on truth, goodness, and beauty by means of the seven liberal arts and the four sciences,†can be found perfectly, practically implemented in Charlotte Mason’s own PUO schools and the homes of many families following her ideas today.

 

<shrug> If this doesn't clarify, feel free to hop on every thread that says CM is classical and heartily disagree.

Mandy

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I feel like she took the classical model that was in use at the time and reinterpreted it in such a way as to take into account the person who was being educated as a whole person and that person's mind wasn't "a mere sac to hold ideas." This would make her the original neo-classical educator.

The idea of "the mind as a receptacle" was part of modern German educational theory, which influenced the (non-classical) state school curricula in Britain and the US.  These state curricula were the only type of schooling available to most children.  It was this situation that CM was responding to.   

 

The British classical school was part of a separate world.  This was a humanistic, teacher-intensive system that was committed to educating the whole person, and specifically, to preparing the elite (nearly always male) for leadership roles.   The methods and materials dated back to the Renaissance -- and before that, to the ancient world -- and were largely untouched by modern pedagogical trends.  

CM wanted to provide "a liberal education for all children."   In other words, she believed that even children who couldn't be classically educated should be liberally educated, through exposure to English literature and the arts.   She wasn't alone in thinking this.  It was a widespread goal in Victorian times, and it resulted in the development of high school English literature courses, which didn't exist before the 1800s.   
 

I'd say Montessori is meant to be another way of providing a liberal education for all children, though she might not have phrased it that way.  

 

As far as I know, Andrew Kern came up with his particular definition of "classical education" on his own.  Given how broad it is, it seems as if it could be stretched to describe almost anything, including CM, Montessori, boxed Christian curricula, and KONOS-type unit studies.   And, for different values of "wisdom" and "virtue," maybe even Common Core.     :leaving:

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I never really thought about it this way before, but both Montessori and Charlotte Mason found ways to get around the "teacher-intensive" aspect of traditional humanistic education.  

 

CM "let the books be the teachers."

 

Montessori prepared the environment and curriculum so as to facilitate the child's working independently, or with similar-aged peers.  

 

This made it possible for their methods to be used in large classrooms (which, for financial reasons, were pretty much inevitable).   But these strategies seem to be less useful in the homeschool environment.   In the case of Montessori, they're often actually a barrier to following the philosophy at home.  

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FWIW- our personal journey has of late been the opposite of yours. lol I am wanting to remove all the Christian dogma and approach education/ life from a more humanistic worldview. ;)

 

Recently, I have been feeling like Doodle's childhood has flown by, and, while he was tagging along with his much older brothers, he missed out on some of the things of childhood. Maria Montessori definitely wrote detailed material through grade six, and, while I was pondering Doodle's situation, I met someone who is Montessori homeschooling. During all of this, I was also purging all our old homeschool stuff, and, while perusing his old stuff, Doodle commented that we did cooler stuff a couple of years ago when we had an extra student. Then, Rose from here said she was using The Big History Project with her dd next year. When I checked that out, I read an article by a Montessori teacher comparing BHP to Montessori's Great Lessons. The Great Lessons are typically covered at the beginning of first through third grade, but I saw an article that said in integrated multi-age classrooms the upper elementary kids are welcome to join in. So, I had BHP and two Montessori articles about the Great Lessons, a new acquaintance using Montessori, me feeling like Doodle's childhood had missed something, and Doodle verbalizing that he that our old homeschool stuff was cooler than now. Everything sort of clicked, and our next year is in some ways going to be very different, more Montessori, than the past couple of years.

 

I am actually a Charlotte Mason person at heart, but I think Doodle will really enjoy what I am planning. I sure hope so, because Montessori stuff is very teacher intensive!

Mandy

Thank you so much for your posts!  I actually started Montessori training about 1.5 years ago or so and had to drop out for a number of reasons.  I have been debating on how exactly to implement more of Montessori's ideas into our work this year.  

 

Also, Erdkinder school webpages are a wealth of information.  Some of them have their homework assignments, book lists, and program details online.  That really has given me a good inside look on how modern Erdkinders are run and for comparison to my kids' work.  

 

For planners, children of this age group would ideally be involved in planning their own work out from a list of work that needs to be done, and options for further exploration.  I would write out a scope & sequence of what you have, create some general forms (or use lined paper) and have the child make a work contract.  They have a mini meeting with you where you discuss what needs done for that week, and they plot out how they should do it and any preparations they need (time for turing in a rough draft for help, etc.).  

 

ETA: Workplan sheets for Elementary here, for an example: http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/Elementary-Workplans-Teacher-Tools_ep_62-1.html

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Thank you so much for your posts! I actually started Montessori training about 1.5 years ago or so and had to drop out for a number of reasons. I have been debating on how exactly to implement more of Montessori's ideas into our work this year.

 

Also, Erdkinder school webpages are a wealth of information. Some of them have their homework assignments, book lists, and program details online. That really has given me a good inside look on how modern Erdkinders are run and for comparison to my kids' work.

 

For planners, children of this age group would ideally be involved in planning their own work out from a list of work that needs to be done, and options for further exploration. I would write out a scope & sequence of what you have, create some general forms (or use lined paper) and have the child make a work contract. They have a mini meeting with you where you discuss what needs done for that week, and they plot out how they should do it and any preparations they need (time for turing in a rough draft for help, etc.).

 

ETA: Workplan sheets for Elementary here, for an example: http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/Elementary-Workplans-Teacher-Tools_ep_62-1.html

Thx, for the reminder that for workplans ds should be creating that schedule with my assistance rather than creating a schedule and handing it to him! This past year we had a work contracts that I stuck on the frig. I have looked at the workplans you linked. Those are the ones that sort of remind me of a table of contents in a textbook. lol

 

To use traditional school lingo, I think that what I am visualizing is having his subjects (at least the content subjects of science and social studies) set up in centers (of course modified to fit our home) that we change periodically where everything is available and basic output/ expected tasks to be completed are either obvious, there are task cards, and/ or there are workplans in place that allow him to successfully navigate, research, and expand on that topic however he determines without my constant interference. He is not like my oldest who you could give a single word and then he would research it independently out the wazoo. He needs a little more structure- a little more front end presentation and some materials already assembled to get the ball rolling. However, he still wants me to get out of his way at some point. In his eyes, you can see the point where I am really just hindering his progress.

 

He grows and changes, and I want to change to help rather than hinder him in his goals.

Mandy

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I definitely hear you there.  My oldest is super motivated.  My 12 yo?  Not so much.  He's much the same as you described.  I think setting up centers would be very helpful.  I've been trying to figure out how to make portable "centers" because we lack space and storage.  I've used ziplock bags or just trays stored on the piano for science projects before. 

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Centers is the only word I could think of that would apply other than a Montessori shelf. :) Maybe there is a better word for keeping everything for a single topic within a subject out and together, but in the posts above I just said shelf. So, for example, once I collect all the supplies, books, etc for chemistry and create or purchase task cards of what needs to be done, I want to organize all those things in a single, easily accessible area. Then, I can introduce the material, and Doodle and I can sit down and create a workplan for him to finish in a determined amount of time. After this, it will be Doodle's responsibility to spend time engaging with the center/ shelf/ whatever and completing whatever goals are outlined in his workplan.

 

I don't know if this is helping you, but it is really helping me think through things.

Thx for the thread!

Mandy

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So....I'm invigorated by (and ready to head down another rabbit trail) this discussion of Montessori in the context of Classical Education. I looked and there's no social group for it. I've never done one, anyone want to start one or should I take a stab at it???

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Go for it. I will join, but I am notoriously bad at remembering to look at the social groups. I also will go for a couple of months at a time without looking at the boards. (If I were on my computer, here is where I would insert a blushing icon.)

Mandy

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Thank you. I just discovered one note for myself. I'm doing some broader decision making (like history subject matter, primary materials, etc.) and I'm working through the learning curve on one note through that process. I need to see if there's a video tutorial....

 

I think I disagree with Eliza. I think Montessori planes of development and WTM stages line up really well with each other. That's what I first liked about WTM actually.

 

I think I do too, but I hope she'll come back and address this some more. But here's part of my reasoning: I was listening to the SCL talk given in 2013 by Andrew Elizalde and as he described how classical educators need to do a better job of rooting children in the 'grammar of math' - he described the use of concrete materials to illustrate (and help the concept take root, help child take ownership of the idea) increasingly complex math ideas and introducing them much earlier (because you are making them concrete). I was sitting there  the whole time going, um....helllooooo? Montessori???.  Here's a link:  

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/510035-grammar-of-math-and-montessori/

 

I think I'll go post this in our social group too :) I see several of you have joined but there's no chatter there yet :)

 

Oh and another comment about "disagreeing" with Eliza. It may be that she is totally accurate WRT Sayers/TWTM lack of fit with fundamental montessori ideology (I'm not grounded enough in either to make any strong declaration). It also may be that the part of classical education that appeals to me is both broader and more narrow than Sayers/TWTM. The way I think I might look at it is that the Truth is out there, and as each educational method approaches it, we begin to see the places where they overlap/point to one another (hence the conglomeration of classical/CM/Montessori in my mind that I think, in the end, will work out....).

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I think I do too, but I hope she'll come back and address this some more. 

 

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to address, as nobody has said what part of my description (in post #24) they disagree with, and why.    

 

For what it's worth, though, I think that Sayers might have been looking at the developmental path that children tended to follow under the influence of contemporary schooling, while Montessori was looking more at what they were capable of doing with more freedom and flexible guidance.   It seems likely that Montessori would have considered some aspects of Sayers' supposedly "normal" stages to be a sign of pathology -- just as she did with certain types of fixations on imaginative play (to name a more controversial aspect of her method).  

 

It's also worth noting that the Sayers stages don't match up with the stages of traditional classical education, either.   She was describing the course of studies in the universities of the high Middle Ages, which put a very strong -- and some would say misguided -- emphasis on dialectic.   (This thesis has a good explanation of the differences.)  These schools aren't typically called "classical" by historians, and Sayers never used that word in her essay.  It seems to have been modern Christian schools and homeschoolers who started using it that way.  

 

And then CiRCE has a very broad definition of "classical" that talks about wisdom and the liberal arts, and doesn't really have any particular stages or methods.  

 

So the question of how to combine Montessori with classical education would depend on what we understand "classical" to mean, and why we value that model.  

 

 

Her approach to math is a whole other question.  If you aren't familiar with Pestalozzi, it might be helpful to start by checking out his work.  He seems to have been one of her greatest influences.  

 

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