Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Nurturing the Years of Wonder
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Subject Topic: Welcome Lori from Montessori for Everyone Post ReplyPost New Topic
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montessori_lori
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 1:57pm | IP Logged Quote montessori_lori

You guys will definitely be my album guinea pigs!

Great question, lapazfarm. The Montessori method is set up to take into account the changes in the child's mind. Thank you, Maria! If we follow the natural arc of materials and presentations, much of the work is done for us.

For instance, the progression from the red rods to the red and blue rods. Or the use of the math materials for performing functions before moving to abstraction.

Technically, the "absorbent mind" only refers to the first six years. As recent technological advances have shown us, the mind is often curiously closed to certain things (speech, sight) if the opportunity to develop it wasn't there in the younger years.

Think of it this way: in 0-6, the mind is taking in enormous quantities of information, mostly as sensorial experiences. Petting a cat, looking at a leaf, smelling spaghetti. The child doesn't need our input, they need us to provide a framework for the millions of sights, sounds, and other impressions they are taking in.

The 0-6 materials provide that framework, giving a child context for hot/cold, heavy/light, etc., as well as giving them the vocabulary to label all the things they see around them (3-part nomenclature cards).

The 6-12 child is in a new stage of development. No longer are the senses being flooded with new info. They've petted many cats and seen thousands of leaves. Now they are ready to partake in the knowledge that humans have cultivated and catalogued through the centuries: names of countries and continents, and facts about each one; specific information about stars and planets, about weather, about language. Now, it is not so much about naming, it is about explaining.

That is why the 6-12 version of nomenclature cards now replace the "name" card with the "definition" card. It's not enough anymore to name; things must be explained.

Basically, if you follow the sequence of the materials, always observing and looking for the readiness of the child, the stages will fall in place on their own.
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Meredith
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 1:57pm | IP Logged Quote Meredith

Lori, just to let you know that any time you have to *sign-off* you just post a goodbye for us and we'll finish up. I know we could pick your brain for days but we also know you have a life outside our little fourm here Your responses have been so helpful and we so appreciate your time here today! I know everyone will want you to come back too...

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montessori_lori
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 2:03pm | IP Logged Quote montessori_lori

Macfarm, you posted while I was writing my post. Great question!

Actually, Montessori-type learning can continue through adulthood. Maria believed that we constantly cycle through the planes of development, going through periods where we take on enormous quantities of information, and then others were we simply create and work with our hands. I have often seen that pattern in my own life.

Montessori believed that in high school, children should live on a farm and run the farm. They should be apprentices, interns, etc. always going to museums, libraries, etc. Their curriculum should be great works of literature, not textbooks. There she and Charlotte would totally agree!

Unfortunately, the high school/farm model is very difficult to do. So it doesn't happen often. To answer your question about concrete/abstract, all throughout elementary there is a leaving off the of concrete and movement towards abstraction.

By 9-12 much of the work is done abstractly and not with hands-on materials. Or, if hands-on materials are used, they are a springboard to further work and research. MM would not want a 12 year old using beads to do math anymore...but she would hope that they had the foundation of using beads before doing math abstractly.
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 2:05pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

montessori_lori wrote:
Macfarm, you posted while I was writing my post. Great question!

Actually, Montessori-type learning can continue through adulthood. Maria believed that we constantly cycle through the planes of development, going through periods where we take on enormous quantities of information, and then others were we simply create and work with our hands. I have often seen that pattern in my own life.

Montessori believed that in high school, children should live on a farm and run the farm. They should be apprentices, interns, etc. always going to museums, libraries, etc. Their curriculum should be great works of literature, not textbooks. There she and Charlotte would totally agree!

Unfortunately, the high school/farm model is very difficult to do. So it doesn't happen often. To answer your question about concrete/abstract, all throughout elementary there is a leaving off the of concrete and movement towards abstraction.

By 9-12 much of the work is done abstractly and not with hands-on materials. Or, if hands-on materials are used, they are a springboard to further work and research. MM would not want a 12 year old using beads to do math anymore...but she would hope that they had the foundation of using beads before doing math abstractly.


That is so helpful to know!!! Thank you so much for your time and sharing your experience with us. I'm going to print this thread and mull it over tonight! Thank you again for chatting with us!

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montessori_lori
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 2:07pm | IP Logged Quote montessori_lori

Thank you all! I will be combing through this thread and putting everything into a blog post or two. Naturally I'll link back here, if that's okay.

You guys rock! Anytime the well of inspiration for blog posts is running dry, I'm going to come back here! Thank you for having me!!
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 2:11pm | IP Logged Quote Donna Marie

This is wonderful, Lori! Thank you so much for taking this time out to share with us! Your efforts are very much appreciated!

God love you!
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lapazfarm
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 2:23pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Thanks, Lori!

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AndreaG
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 2:25pm | IP Logged Quote AndreaG

Yes, Thank you!

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Meredith
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 2:50pm | IP Logged Quote Meredith

Thank you again Lori, this was VERY special for us all Your wealth of information will be a well-spring for MANY blog posts I am sure!!

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Posted: June 12 2007 at 2:56pm | IP Logged Quote acystay

Lori,
You mentioned taking online courses if possible. Where would you find those and which do you recommend?

To go along with many Montessori ideas, I'm also doing some Waldorf style teaching. I don't do the whole fairies bit or anthroposophy, but I'm incorprating handwork and art they Waldorfy way. I'm only doing this b/c I'm not finding much on the art side (creating, knitting, music, and doing form drawing). Is there something out there that does do arts in this way?   

Thanks!
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montessori_lori
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 3:16pm | IP Logged Quote montessori_lori

acystay, thanks for your questions. I highly recommend the courses offered by the North American Montessori Center. Keep in mind that because their course does not require an on-site internship at a school (although they encourage it), you will not be accredited by MACTE. But that is probably not a concern to homeschoolers, and I don't think it would be an impediment to getting a job in a Montessori school later.

There are other online training programs you could find by googling "montessori training program". Just make sure that they have some sort of state accreditation, or association/affiliation with AMS or AMI.

Montessori does have an art curriculum, although I believe it's not as defined as it could be. Here are some helpful posts about art: Arts & Crafts Posts
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lapazfarm
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 3:37pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Lori, I just wanted to let you know am very much enjoying your series on teaching music. I am trying to set up a music center for my daughter and I am not AT ALL musical, so your posts have helped tremendously.

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Angel
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 3:47pm | IP Logged Quote Angel

Wow, what a great thread! Thanks, Lori, for coming to the forum! I've been out all afternoon, so I'm a bit late, but...

I was wondering if you have any experience with children with special needs -- particularly those with attentional difficulties and/or learning disabilities.

The reason I ask is that my oldest (10 yo now) has been diagnosed with ADHD, but he also has fine motor delays and problems in areas like math and spelling. He also a very (very) low tolerance for frustration. Many times it seems that if we don't practice certain areas like handwriting or math facts daily, he forgets, and then is even more frustrated when he tries to get back to them. But voluntarily he tends to avoid anything he finds "boring" or "hard". What are some of the ways you might reconcile these kind of special needs with Montessori?

--Angela

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montessori_lori
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 4:04pm | IP Logged Quote montessori_lori

Here are the blog posts I wrote about this chat:

Homeschooling Montessori Q & A Part 2

Homeschooling Montessori Q & A Part 3

Angela, that is a great question and one I don't have a perfect answer for. On one hand, Maria began her work with children who were considered disabled by the Italian government. She saw much success when using her materials with them.

On the other hand, most Montessori teachers will tell you that a special needs child does not do very well in a traditional Montessori environment. The biggest reason for this has nothing to do with the materials - it's because much of the work is supposed to be done independently.

If Montessori materials are used in a one-on-one setting, as part of therapy, I think that much progress is made.

I've just received Michelle Lane's book about Autism & Montessori, and after I read it, I'm going to interview her and do a review of her book. From a cursory glance, it looks as if she is using Montessori materials and methods but not in a traditional Montessori classroom; rather as part of one-on-one therapy.

At your son's age, if he were in a Montessori classroom, he would be doing mostly abstract work anyway, not hands-on materials. So I don't think that's the way to go with him.

I'm sure you already do this, but it sounds like he would do best if he could be in almost complete control of what he studies and learns about. That will insure that the interest level is high, which means he will follow through.

If you do find that practicing math facts and handwriting every day is something that he must do to stay facile, you'll want to keep sessions short and sweet, and make a chart or rubric so that he is doing daily self-evaluation of himself in this area. You personally do not want to be the "standard" by which his progress is measured.
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 4:15pm | IP Logged Quote Meredith

montessori_lori wrote:
Can you guys, if you blog about this thread, post links here? I would love to read all the posts.


Absolutely, consider it done!! Thank you everyone for a great discussion!!

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Posted: June 12 2007 at 4:26pm | IP Logged Quote Angel

Thanks, Lori -- what a huge load off my mind! I'll be looking forward to your review of Michelle Lane's book.

--Angela
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 4:46pm | IP Logged Quote ALmom

Angel,

Thanks for asking your question, because that was going to be my next question since we have a 13 yo LD child coming to homeschool in our home next year.

Lori, I am encouraged by your mention of the book about Autism and Montessori and other things. Please let us know when you have done the review as I'll come check it out then. I'm sure I'll be visiting your sites on a regular basis now. Thank you so much for your tremendous help. I know you may not get back for a while as you do have life outside our little board, but when you do revisit, would you mind sharing how you help olders who have never done Montessori, handle the repetition. Some of the things we have been studying to try and help some of our children (one who does not use both sides of the body together) is that it is never too late to make the pathways in the brain but there must be meaningful work, at an intense enough level and enough repetition. I keep coming back to Montessori for my older children for this reason (maybe not exclusively but in these areas where, due to vision problems, they missed some very critical stages - my 10 yo will still not use a fork much, etc.) My guess is that if you've missed a critical stage with this, you can achieve significant progress but more repetition will be required, not less. Yet, as you said, these older children resist repetition and yet they need the assurance of that respect for the child even more so I'm a bit baffled about how to get the repetition. We are really trying to take our time and study and ease into this so we don't create a huge jolt for our olders, one of whom does not like change of any sort, while beginning in earnest with our 4yo.

In any case, I did want to thank you so much for your posts here. They've all helped me and I have plenty to think about and ponder. And, yes, by all means feel free to blog away. I'll come back to this post to be able to link to your blog from time to time and find your store when I am a bit more knowledgeable about where to start. I cannot wait to check out your list of materials, etc. Thank you so much.

Janet
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Posted: June 12 2007 at 6:44pm | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

I wanted to add a belated thank you for your time, Lori. I learned so much today!

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Posted: June 13 2007 at 9:45am | IP Logged Quote montessori_lori

SeaStar, I was visiting Meg's Montessori by Hand blog today, and saw a post she did about making ties for the spindle box. I thought of you!

Also, Meg has tons of great music resources - I'm going to link to her in one of my music series posts.
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Posted: June 13 2007 at 11:45am | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

montessori_lori wrote:
SeaStar, I was visiting Meg's Montessori by Hand blog today, and saw a post she did about making ties for the spindle box. I thought of you!

Also, Meg has tons of great music resources - I'm going to link to her in one of my music series posts.


Thanks for the heads up! I should post a picture of my spindle box as a "don't let this happen to you" montessori disaster. I wouldn't want to learn with mine, either    One of these days I"ll get a blog going and post it in all its glory so everyone can have a good laugh.

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