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It’s Election Day – A Learning Experience For Your Kids

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peace-education

It’s a special time in a child’s life, when they get to see how our government works in the United States of America.  Hearing about the Presidential nominations, election and the outcomes is how these young impressionable students will learn to decipher the system for themselves.  Informing them about the issues that a candidate’s platform is built upon is a good start.  With the US Presidential Election process only occurring every four years, each election of your child’s life should be a springboard for discussions.  Starting early allows several opportunities to delve deeper into issues at hand as a student ages.  Begin by explaining the right and privilege of voting.  Share with them the American honor of getting to choose our political leaders.   Four years later, they may be old enough to add a bit about the candidates, to take them with you to show them the process of voting in the ballot box, and to tell them who you are voting for and why.  By the time a third election is witnessed, you can delve further into the process by offering history lessons, asking them to do some research and form their own opinions about the issues.  In the end, they will know how to make fully informed election choices on their own, as independent voters.  Be sure to highlight important topics of tolerance, forbearance, and consideration to fellow countrymen at every opportunity.

You will have instilled a true gift: The practice of using this democratic method as a way of being heard and of steering the future of our country.  Many young Americans of college age will now be voting for the first time.  This election has been a more controversial than most.  Rather than choosing a candidate based on gender or popularity, knowing and understanding the issues will be the more tactical method for casting a vote.  Having a firm foundation and educational knowledge of the election process is a sure way to boost the confidence of our decision makers of today and of the future.  By far, the best educational election instruction you can give your children is leading by example…   go vote!

Graphic courtesy of Quotesgram.com

Who Needs TV?

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Grace&David

 

NEWS FLASH:  Montessori kids come home and make timelines of the earth…  WHO NEEDS TV?!!

This was from a parent note sent to our Lower Elementary teacher, Mr. David.  The student’s were learning in class about the timeline of the earth.  They became so excited they continued the learning experience, not only through the remaining class period, but at home as well.  This set of children, a brother and a sister, elementary level 1 and level 3, along with a friend, worked together to design timeline posters.  They delegated periods to each person within the group.  The other student is working on their chosen periods separately at home.  They will bring the completed project together for a presentation in class.  These two student’s completed a full timeline, a book, and worked on play costume designs.  Their mother submitted a quote to us that she had overheard during the process, “Ah, the Trilobites.  I remember when THEY ruled the earth!”

Really?  Who does need tv when you have flamed imaginations, sparked by great Montessori education?

I think a quick explanation is needed for the non-Montessori experienced blog readers.  These  students of varied age were able to work on the same project in class because that’s how it works in Montessori.  The older students, who have now had expounded lessons on subjects are able to share and help the younger students.  This shared learning isn’t just happening because they are brother and sister, but because it is fostered in every Montessori classroom.  An Elementary classroom, for instance, has 1st grade through 3rd together.

How could the students continue the progress of excited learning and not miss other lessons?  This is also how the Montessori classroom works.  Within certain time limits, students may continue a sparked learning moment.  They individually choose work, from a teacher prepared daily lesson plan.  If they have busily completed all other daily work, they are free  to develop on the things that warranted further curiosity.  There is a freedom to the resources in a classroom, in that a student may work quietly by themselves, or within small groups, to research on a computer, check out a book from the school library, fact find within the classroom materials, brainstorm, draw, even work outside in a nearby setting.  This is why authentically educated Montessori children are so excited to attend school every day.  Children are inherently thirsty for knowledge and Montessori teaches them to seek out how to quench it themselves.

The picture with this story says a thousand words…  The tv is directly behind the children’s work area, but remains off.  Again, this project is being produced by a 1st grader and two 3rd graders.  David & Grace (in the photo), and Samantha working independently at home.  Now for the big question – How many of you know what a Trilobite is?

Happy Birthday Maria!

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HappyBirthdayMaria

A Love for Learning, What a gift!

Maria Montessori doesn’t just have a birthday, she gives us all a gift.  With each passing year the method becomes a way of life for more families, and further impacts our world.  The North American Montessori Teachers Association has reported, as of 2015, an estimate of about 4,500 Montessori schools in the U.S. and about 20,000 worldwide practicing the Montessori method. We have been equiped with an educational method that will offer our children the development opportunity to enter the world as engaged, competent, respectful, and responsible people.

Montessori education offers our children opportunities to develop their potential with an understanding and appreciation that learning is for life.  Montessori allows for each child to learn as quickly or as slowly as they need to.  They may return to a particular study in order to master it or grow from it further.  Children work independently with the assistance and guidance of the teacher.  As students choose a work project from the materials, others may be sitting nearby, also working independently.  At any given time in a day, children are working on various subjects such as math, reading, science, language, history, art, etc.  Mastering a work builds the child’s self-esteem, giving confidence that he or she can achieve the next larger, deeper work.  A multi-age class allows younger students to learn from the experience of the older ones.  Children learn from other children as well as by lessons, offered individualy and to groups, by the teacher.  Typical age spans of three years helps a child to feel secure in the fact that the room, many of the students, and often times the teachers, will be the same.  Concentration can therefore be placed on the amazing work developed by Montessori.

Our children are encouraged by her method to develop a love of learning for its own sake…  A gift to parents, a gift to educators, a gift to themselves, a gift to the world!

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”