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lapazfarm
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Posted: Aug 30 2011 at 11:10pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

As CM-influenced homeschoolers, we throw this term around a lot. But do we really understand fully what it means? I know we've discussed this in the past, but it's such an interesting concept, that I'd LOVE to start a FRESH discussion on...

****************MASTERLY INACTIVITY**********************

What is your interpretation of what Charlotte Mason herself meant by masterly inactivity?
What might the benefits be to including this idea into our homeschools? Any drawbacks?
If you implement this strategy, what does masterly inactivity look like in your home? What type of subjects/activities do you find lend themselves best to this method?
Which are subjects less adaptable?
Any other insights you can share?

I'll be chiming in with my ideas later, but thought I'd like to throw it out to you ladies for your ideas first!


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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 6:23am | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

I tend to use the "strewing" method to help MI along at my house. I might leave out an interesting book of mazes, art supplies. etc and see who takes an interest and what they do with it. I try not to interfere.

Yesterday I left out a pad of hangman game pages, which my ds immediately pounced on...

I find that the biggest block to MI at my house is... the mother who lives here . Often the kids come to me and want to do something that will require help from me, and if it's just not a good time for me to help, say, learn to tie fishing lures or build a working engine out of legos and a rubberband , then I tend to put them off.

I am trying to be more mindful of these moments .

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 7:22am | IP Logged Quote Betsy


Great topic Theresa!

For me the main point of Masterly Inactivity is for the child to make connections with ideas and world on their own. Since I have started HSing this idea in practice has changed. For me personally, I easily make connections with what I read and find joy in my discoveries. I have observed that this isn't as easy for all people and that there has to be a certain maturity for this to happen often and regularly (i.e. my kids needed to be a bit older for this to flourish).

This difference in my children (or people in general) to make connections has been something I have been pondering for quite some time. How do you not interfere with the learning/ideas but help them connect the dots? The first thing needed is the child is to care. I don't really know how to teach this. It has to come from within. The best that I can come up with is that you need to respect the child and give him material that you know they will be interested in. This is definitely easier for some children than others.

The second point for me, which has been a major break though, has been CM ideas of notebooks and narration.   These are the tools that CM has given us to scaffold ideas into an easy/graphical/visual way to make connections-----thus taking the lecturing out of the teachers hands and placing the connections from within the child.

My fist thoughts of Masterly Activity was that it made the teachers life easy. But I have come to realize that until the habits of narration/note-booking/caring are well ingrained in our students, it is a lot of work! We are the director of a great play. We are behind the scenes orchestrating, reminding, prompting, but not forcing the habits that will help make these connections.

So, how do these tools help? I will break it down, how I understand it and how I have applied it in my home:

1.NARRATION: A child doesnít not own any material that he hasnít narrated. The act of telling back cements the ideas into the child's mind. Then the ideas are in their mind they are able to recall them to make connections presently or in the future.

NOTEBOOKS: I have intuited all of the notebooks that CM has recommend this year, and itís been amazing. I will say first that most of these arenít used until 5th or 6th grade so donít even consider them until you child is at that level. We use a motto book, common place book, nature book, poetry book, century charts and book of centuries.

Each of these notebooks provides a place for the child to write down what has sparked their interest for the day or week. As they are reviewed over time connections can be made. Each of these note books probably needs itís own post. So let me know if you have any questions specifically about them.

This has already been a long post! I have just personally made so many break throughs in this area this year that I am excited to share.


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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 8:17am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

You've hit on a favorite topic of mine. I have always so completely enjoyed Charlotte Mason's idea of Masterly Inactivity in my home. It addresses and breathes life into the importance I feel, as a mother, of letting alone.

You ask the question in a perfect way, Theresa. There is an idea that proposes that Masterly Inactivity is completed entirely on the part of the parent/teacher, and is likened to a sort of disciplined withdrawing from the child so they can do their own thing. I have to wonder if I have misunderstood this idea when it is presented in this way because this is not the understanding I have of Masterly Inactivity from reading CM's volumes and in other works. Certainly, there is a part for the parent to play in letting alone, but there is also a role for the parent to fill according to Miss Mason. And the beauty of this idea is worked out by the child. It is their *time spent pursuing....understanding....digging....wondering...growing in relationship* that is so extraordinary.

Masterly Inactivity is about having a time set aside for the child to be. It is, as CM describes it, "wise passiveness".

In a nutshell, Miss Mason says that Masterly Inactivity is:
Quote:
"...the ability and authority to take action, a concern for the outcome, with the insight and restraint that keeps a person from interfering.
(CM, vol 3, p. 28 - read more here)

Quote:
"wise and purposeful letting alone."
(CM, vol 3, p. 27 - 28)
...and my favorite....

Quote:
Nature will look after him (the child) and give him promptings of desire to know many things, and somebody must tell as he wants to know; and to do many things, and somebody should be handy just to put him in the way; and to be many things, naughty and good, and somebody should give direction.
(CM, Vol 1, Home Education, p. 192)

This one quote helps me understand the purpose of Masterly Inactivity as well as my role in it. It doesn't so much define the child's role, as enunciate what simply IS for a child....their natural desire to know, do and be. My role is to:

1) Tell him a little about things he wants to know This doesn't mean inappropriate information, or even TMI, but context understanding for those ideas a child pursues and is interested in. I think of it as springboard information.

2) Put him in the way. I just love this part because it just sums it all up so nicely and COMPLETELY takes the weight off my shoulders!!!! I PUT HIM IN THE WAY!!!! I can provide an environment conducive to learning, to pursuing, to investigating. I might even nurture that environment in riches if a child is exploring something particular. Example: I have a child that is completely enjoying reading and researching WWII right now, I put him in the way of this WWII package through Homeschool In the Woods. I added to our environment of resources, and he is using that CD to make resource pages for projects and some of his own research. All I did was to put him in the way! I DID NOT put this on the lesson plans. I DID NOT structure this time, or his time spent. I simply put him in the way.

3) Give direction when needed. My children come to me when they get stuck, or don't understand, or want to know more, and they come to me when they sense they might be getting in over their heads. I am always attentive to what they're doing. This is not something that I stay completely out of the way of! Masterly Inactivity is not MY job, but is rather my answer (letting alone) to their self-motivated delight-directed work (wise and purposeful).

lapazfarm wrote:
What is your interpretation of what Charlotte Mason herself meant by masterly inactivity?

I suppose I just gave my sense of Masterly Inactivity above. It is a little like Melinda's idea of strewing, and that's how I think of it sometimes as well. I may strew items - books, materials - to jump start a child if needed, but for the most part, to me, it is the child's passions and interests supported by me as alongside rather than in the driver's seat.

lapazfarm wrote:
What might the benefits be to including this idea into our homeschools? Any drawbacks?

Oh my! I can see/have seen so.many.advantages, and quite honestly so few drawbacks! We live in an activity driven society. And many of us allow our children to participate in good and wholesome structured activities because these each, in and of themselves, foster discipline in good ways. But, there is a distinct and sad error made when days are so structured that a child's imagination does not have freedom to wonder, to stretch, to answer questions and ponderings of his own making...on his own. Nurturing the child's imagination cannot be understated, and Masterly Inactivity allows the child to enter into their education, to own it in a unique sense, to direct their education in areas they find intriguing.

lapazfarm wrote:
If you implement this strategy, what does masterly inactivity look like in your home?

I set aside specific time for this *wise and purposeful letting alone* at the end of my lesson plans for one child because this child needs to *see* this time, and enjoys seeing this time written down in this way. It lends it a sense of authority (which the time spent has anyway because I value it), but in his mind, the words on paper underline that authority and value I place on this time. I just learned about this recently when he and I met in one of our weekly meetings, and was happy to offer this accommodation to him on his lesson plans and have been surprised at the difference it has made in his day....just in adding it to his lesson plans. It looks simple enough - each day, at the end of his day, there is listed: Masterly Inactivity time. Under the words each day are 3 lines that look like this:

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and he simply journals a brief word or two about the project he is pursuing. My oldest child does not need time like this to be written down, and never has. She simply enjoys doing and pursuing on her own. In a like way, I have always tried to provide material and books for her to pursue.

Most of the time, this wise and purposeful letting alone lives quite harmoniously with the normal routine of our day, and is a part of the natural rhythm of how things work around here. There is a disciplined part of the day where certain work is expected (reading, writing, narrating), but within this disciplined time, and even outside of this time, I am careful to keep plenty of margin so that there is time to be creative, to pursue and investigate.

It's hard to nail down specifics for me, I just try to stay open. Some ideas need only a few minutes or an hour or so to explore and a child may be satisfied (for good or for the moment). Other pursuits become deeper held interests and themselves inspire more and more rabbit trails to wander along. These pursuits are usually explored outside of the daily disciplined work because a child looks for a bit more freedom with their time.

I'd say that if there's one consistent strategy I've learned: it is to ensure enough margin throughout the day as a whole so that there IS time for a child to pursue when left alone. The enemy of Masterly Inactivity is too much structured time - either in outside the home activities or in lesson plans so packed and directed and filled that a child's mind is exhausted at the end of the day and has no energy to pursue their own delights (either because the child sees so much on the lesson plans that they don't feel the freedom to strike off and investigate, or because there truly is no time).

lapazfarm wrote:
What type of subjects/activities do you find lend themselves best to this method?

Hands down science and history. These two subjects form the backbone of content for our days (including the literature we read) , so it makes sense that they would inspire most of the children's pursuits. Art is another natural here, or I guess I would say that it is. My children create. Naturally. And various art mediums and forms are enjoyed and they do this most of the time quite on their own, so it certainly fits our definition. I try to provide instruction in skills if they're interested (calligraphy, mosaics, etc). I try to "put them in the way" of something they're interested in through book instruction, online instruction, videos, personal instruction. And then, I give further direction when needed.

lapazfarm wrote:
Which are subjects less adaptable?

I suppose in a sense, there is no subject exempt from this, because each child will have their own God-given passions they wish to pursue. My oldest child will never pursue anything mathematical because it simply doesn't interest her, but my second child really enjoys the beauty and order of mathematics and has just always enjoyed seeing the relationship between numbers and things - through patterns especially. He will often turn to Zome building tools to explore mathematically. That, in my book, is Masterly Inactivity. So, even what I'd consider a most cerebral and academic subject, like mathematics, is quite inspiring to a mind that enjoys seeing those relationships. I haven't really thought this question through like this before, Theresa, but I'm going out on a limb to say that every subject is open to a child's pursuits if their delight lies within!

lapazfarm wrote:
Any other insights you can share?

I'm thinking I better stop at this point, but I'm grateful you started this thread because it has been on my mind lately as well. In truth, I see so many parallels between Masterly Inactivity and unschooling (or at least the unschooling I have been exposed to through your eyes, Angela's eyes, Leonie's eyes...and others). I can see that each family's educational direction or philosophy may differ, and perhaps I may give this a name, and others might simply say, "go outside and play," and let the simplicity of that statement suffice. I would say that objectively speaking, no matter the name you give it or don't give it, letting a child alone to explore, to wonder, to pursue, to investigate, has enormous value. I choose to answer this valued *wise and purposeful letting alone* by ensuring that our days have enough margin (empty space) so that a child can *be* within it, and grow in relationship to ideas and materials that interest them.

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 8:19am | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

Yesterday, right after we finished reading about the early Vikings' discovery of America, my 7 year old asked to draw a picture of a Viking.

So, I gave him the time that I'd planned for copy work to start it and told him he could finish it later. I figured that the moment he as inspired was better used than my handing him a note booking page at "the right time"

And yet, I wasn't ready to throw my morning out the window for it either.

And, he did come back and finish it after we'd completed our lessons.

I let him "own" it, so to speak. But it felt "right."

I find myself much in line with Melinda's assessment. I need to be prudent in encouraging such activity, which, I think connects directly with CM's principle that Education Is an Atmosphere.

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 8:25am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

I was cross-posting with you, Betsy, and you make a wonderful point!

Betsy wrote:
For me the main point of Masterly Inactivity is for the child to make connections with ideas and world on their own.


Yes! Those connections are so important and come about when a child is given the opportunity to form relationships with ideas and things. Relationships form over time and they're nurtured in a sense.

Glad you added that important word - connections!

Betsy wrote:
The second point for me, which has been a major break though, has been CM ideas of notebooks and narration.   These are the tools that CM has given us to scaffold ideas into an easy/graphical/visual way to make connections-----thus taking the lecturing out of the teachers hands and placing the connections from within the child.

I'm so enjoying your points, Betsy! Yes, the tools we work with as part of a CM education allow for this scaffolding of information that then assists the child in seeing, in inspiring their desire to go deeper.

Betsy wrote:
NOTEBOOKS: I have intuited all of the notebooks that CM has recommend this year, and itís been amazing. I will say first that most of these arenít used until 5th or 6th grade so donít even consider them until you child is at that level. We use a motto book, common place book, nature book, poetry book, century charts and book of centuries.

This was the subject of a CM talk that I really enjoyed, and I so enjoyed hearing and learning about the many *notebooks* CM mentions, sometimes just in passing. We too have incorporated a few new notebooks this year and my big kids are really enjoying them, especially our new *Book of Firsts*! These are wonderful tools for the child to place ideas so that over time, connections may be fostered!

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 8:47am | IP Logged Quote Grace&Chaos

CrunchyMom wrote:
I find myself much in line with Melinda's assessment. I need to be prudent in encouraging such activity, which, I think connects directly with CM's principle that Education Is an Atmosphere.


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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 8:54am | IP Logged Quote Grace&Chaos

Sorry, meant to quote and then say:

I love everything I've read so far. But how does this look for the younger children? I'm at a point because of so many younger children that I feel I need to provide the atmosphere and plenty of outdoor time for them. It would be difficult for them to start any project with out my assistance somehow.

I try to not interfere at all when they get into grooves and on their own start going through the crafts cabinet. I just purchased some Theme boxes from Lakeshore full of neat things and I've noticed that they love getting those and just look through everything on their own.

How could I improve in MI with the younger ones?

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 8:56am | IP Logged Quote Grace&Chaos

Mackfam wrote:
especially our new *Book of Firsts*! These are wonderful tools for the child to place ideas so that over time, connections may be fostered!


Without getting to off topic. I just read this somewhere else. Can you tell us what it is? I've heard of all the other notebooks, but this one I'm only guessing about

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 9:39am | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

Grace&Chaos wrote:
Sorry, meant to quote and then say:

I love everything I've read so far. But how does this look for the younger children? I'm at a point because of so many younger children that I feel I need to provide the atmosphere and plenty of outdoor time for them. It would be difficult for them to start any project with out my assistance somehow.

I try to not interfere at all when they get into grooves and on their own start going through the crafts cabinet. I just purchased some Theme boxes from Lakeshore full of neat things and I've noticed that they love getting those and just look through everything on their own.

How could I improve in MI with the younger ones?


Well, I think that it looks a lot like playing and making a mess when they are little.

I am not big on crafts, so, I do try to take my children to some of the better art programs the local museum offers for some of that outlet.

I don't maintain an expansive art cabinet--the doodads drive me bonkers. But, my boys have done some creative things with just paper plates from the pantry and my stapler. All I did was "allow" use of these things, and they made masks and animals of their own initiative, having never done it in a structured way before.

I also keep basics like pencils, markers, and oil pastels on hand.

However, I try not to get too hung up on "crafts" as the only outlet. My boys have built forts from branches in the brush pile, made a race track with sand and a piece of scrap wood and a broom on the driveway, and they are constantly recreating things we've read about or seen with Duplo and Lego.

They also make up new silly words for songs together, and in their imaginative play, I hear them regurgitate some of the beautiful language I've offered in books and recordings as they begin to "make it their own."

They also pour over nature guides and other books that allow them to familiarize themselves with the world around them. They constantly bring me feathers from a "blue jay" or "goldfinch" or find the picture of what they saw in our yard in a book. My oldest can identify many military aircraft now from having poured over books.

So, I think it "looks" like piles of books, toy rooms with all the floor space covered by the latest toyscape, a spilled stack of drawings of all the national flags copied from the world map floor mat in their room, an empty roll of scotch tape, and it sounds a whole lot louder

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 9:53am | IP Logged Quote Grace&Chaos

CrunchyMom wrote:
Well, I think that it looks a lot like playing and making a mess when they are little.

So, I think it "looks" like piles of books, toy rooms with all the floor space covered by the latest toyscape, a spilled stack of drawings of all the national flags copied from the world map floor mat in their room, an empty roll of scotch tape, and it sounds a whole lot louder


I guess we're doing just fine then. Sounds like my house down to the tape and noise

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 9:55am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

Grace&Chaos wrote:
Sorry, meant to quote and then say:

I love everything I've read so far. But how does this look for the younger children? I'm at a point because of so many younger children that I feel I need to provide the atmosphere and plenty of outdoor time for them. It would be difficult for them to start any project with out my assistance somehow.

How could I improve in MI with the younger ones?

You probably are really doing this already, Jenny!

For my little people, MI begins like this:

** Lots of outdoor time to wander and wonder
** Lots of fantastic living books which light up the imagination
** A reasonable number of open-ended toys and materials to explore.

Examples of how MI looks in my home with littler people (3 - 6yo):

** Picture book on knights and castles and KEVA blocks for building castle
** Picture book: Discovering Insects by Glenn Blough and a child asking to go see if they can go outside to search for a chrysalis, but finding a cocoon instead and pointing out the difference to me. (this happened yesterday with my 6yo).
** Paper airplane kit.
** Reading about how a circle shape and a straightedge can make many different pretty designs....grabbing a big stack of scratch paper, round biscuit cutters, a ruler, and a jar of color pencils and working!

Hope those examples are a help, Jenny.

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 10:08am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

Started a new spinoff thread on CM's notebooks here.

Betsy wrote:
Each of these note books probably needs itís own post. So let me know if you have any questions specifically about them.

I'd love it if you jumped in over there, Betsy!

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 11:05am | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

Yk, I think that one of the biggest aspects of what I consider masterly inactivity for littles is for parents to model it and include littles so that they grow independent. I suppose that this is wheer "mother culture" comes into play as well. I do think that this, and at these ages, is where Montessori compliments CM the most. Though it could certainly include Montessori like stations or activities made available, I'm thinking of the more broad idea of fostering independence through life skills. I can't help thinking that encouraging things such as assigning snack time prep to the boys by having them wash and grate the carrots and serve the peanut butter themselves gives them the confidence to do other things on their own or to bring ideas to me for things they want to do by themselves.

I think that what draws me to CM so much is that the method seeks to educate by nurturing what is naturally there, a human desire to learn, and give it form and discipline as it grows. My boys naturally seem to "play" at the types of activities which lend themselves to the described "notebooks" down the road. At least I think it will. For instance, a few weeks ago they began keeping a talley of the birds they'd seen and how often. Now, I can't make heads or tails of their system, but it is theirs, and they seem to naturally realize that keeping a record is somehow significant. They aren't yet disciplined enough to maintain it, and they are still "exploring" the world to find their "niche" where they will fall in love with a subject enough to give it that discipline.

Anyway, I'm rambling a bit. I haven't yet seen this come to fruition since mine are all still small. But it does seem to offer glimpses.

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 11:13am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Such deep and wonderful thoughts!!!

I don't have anything profound to share. I have often thought of the Masterly Activity is the time when everything comes together. We had our schooling and reading, and now it's time for it to soak in and the child to make the connections, and to further his own interest.

I do the "strewing" especially with books. Our library bin is always full of seasonal or topical interest -- hurricanes, earthquakes, butterflies, and seashore books are the science ones right now, and Civil War is the main area of history.

I try to make sure I have the materials that my sons want to go further in they have the time and resources. History and science are the main areas, definitely. When my son reads about an experiment, he wants to do it. He's showing a sustained interest in rocks and minerals, so then I try to graduate to better tools and more durable displays. (I've got to discuss with dh if birthday is a good time for some of these ideas.)

But your point, Jen, about the parent being the facilitator, is quite true. Nodding my head in agreement. How many times am I the one holding things back? Of course, we can't let the child run the roost, and family events and schedules do have to happen, but I think of some times when I just need to give that time, and often allowing shifting of focus. Not necessarily child-led, but interest-driven.

An example to me is when we had the Civil War activities in July. A nearby park had become "Camp Manassas" and we were touring the tents, horses, canons, etc. It was wonderful, but in the midst of all this was a small garden/field planted with corn and tobacco. We walked along the edges and my sons stopped short because there were lots of minerals exposed. So we stopped our Civil War watching a bit and filled our pockets with minerals -- very hot to the touch because of the high heat that day (100+ degrees).

I do think Masterly Inactivity is upside down approach compared to a unit study or a "hands-on" project approach to learning. The projects aren't planned, nor are they are the main goal. They stem from the child wanting to go deeper and make further connections.

I also think this is one aspect that CM and Montessori agree.

I keep talking up these books and ideas, but I find such overlapping and agreeing thoughts through Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen and Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. Both authors make the point that as a society a child's life is overplanned, giving no time for the child to think. To allow them to have the time to observe, chunks of time to be with nature, to make connections -- all this is part and parcel with Masterly Inactivity to me.

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JodieLyn
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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 11:16am | IP Logged Quote JodieLyn

a question...

Does there HAVE to be some sort of written record or something that you can show other people with this type of learning for it to be considered valid?

What about the child that is investigating a subject from their own desire to know.. sitting there surrounded by books or resources cross-referencing but NOT taking notes of any kind?



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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 11:27am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

CrunchyMom wrote:
I do think that this, and at these ages, is where Montessori compliments CM the most.

Oh, I completely agree...and I almost mentioned this but I feel like I talk too much when I land on a subject that is a passion of mine!

CM and Montessori mesh and intertwine so well around this topic and for this age, and I think that's less a reflection of anything specifically CM or Montessori, and more a reflection of the universality of the methods, the true-ness of the ideas, the open secret which CM speaks of.

Montessori in these younger years really promotes the same ideas CM does in MI -

1) Parent/teacher introduces a concept and models it through working with a *thing* or group of *things*.
2) Parent/teacher puts the child in the way of the activity(ies) by making them accessible, inviting and then gets out of the way by letting the child choose for themselves.
3) Further direction is given if necessary and often an activity springboards another activity which delves a little deeper.

Now, Montessori mostly works with concrete ideas through the use of *things*, which is exactly what little people need. I'm a firm believer in moving from concrete to abstract! CM really works with *books and things*....so we have ideas playing out in worthy books....and the use of things to help us make connections and form relationships with ideas. I think (??) you can see how complementary these two methods are, especially as Lindsay points out, at these younger ages.

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 11:31am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Oh, I was posting when Lindsay made the same points about Montessori. Now in the next planes of development, Montessori isn't always about the materials -- books and things do become a part. The child does their own research, and uses books.

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 11:36am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

JodieLyn wrote:
a question...

Does there HAVE to be some sort of written record or something that you can show other people with this type of learning for it to be considered valid?


No way! Sometimes there is not a written record of this type of learning. Learning is not made somehow more valid if there is a written record of evidence. Having said that, often a child will want to record in some way. And that recording often looks very individual. Lindsay spoke to this very well when she mentions her young boys' system of tally marks for recording birds. My kids like recording in a variety of genre - the written word, on private blogs (a big favorite), through art, a project....and the list goes on.

JodieLyn wrote:
What about the child that is investigating a subject from their own desire to know.. sitting there surrounded by books or resources cross-referencing but NOT taking notes of any kind?


Sounds fantastic and absolutely counts as Masterly Inactivity in my book!!! This is certainly wise and purposeful letting alone! This may be investigating that enjoys itself and goes no further....or this could be investigating that plants a seed that may not grow to fruition tomorrow...or next week....or next year. One day though, it is possible that this investigation will form a connection based on other learning, and possibly inspire that child to go even deeper...and maybe even record their learning in a way that seems more tangible. It isn't necessary, but often this recording--living out--going deeper --> is simply the result of the child's desire to know and understand more, and is the natural way they work things out and form relationships with ideas. Necessary? No way! But often it accompanies the wise and purposeful letting alone.

Hope that makes sense, Jodie.

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 11:37am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

JennGM wrote:
Oh, I was posting when Lindsay made the same points about Montessori. Now in the next planes of development, Montessori isn't always about the materials -- books and things do become a part. The child does their own research, and uses books.

Yes, that is very true. Montessori's vehicles in the older age groups can still be very useful to me, but it's CM's methods and philosophy that really begins to sing (to me!).

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