Sunday, August 23, 2009

Montessori and Religious Education of the Child

Many of you have written in to ask about religious education for children using a Montessori approach, so I have compiled a reference list that will provide a good start.

"Godly Play: An Imaginative Approach to Religious Education" by Jerome W. Berryman
"Young Children and Worship" by Sonja M. Stewart and Jerome W. Berryman
"Teaching Godly Play: The Sunday Morning Handbook" by Jerome W. Berryman
"I Wonder...More Bible Stories for Children and Worship" by Janet Schreuder
"The Religious Potential of the Child" by Sofia Cavalletti
"The Spiritual Life of Children" by Robert Coles
And a video, "Discovering the Real Spiritual Life of Children" with Sofia Cavalletti and Silvana Montanaro.

A good description by Faith at Home, "Berryman developed his Godly Play approach after training under Sofia Cavaletti, who developed the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. CGS is yet more Christ-centered and sacrament-focused, and less story-oriented, than Godly Play. CGS takes place in an atrium, requires more significant training of the catechists, and is more similar to classical Montessori education than Godly Play often is, in practice. Perhaps this is the other end of the spectrum from Young Children & Worship."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Montessori Teaching Album: Handicrafts

Handicrafts are a big part of the Montessori curriculum for art because they are ideal for helping young children develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

We found a good resource at Primrose Design's Blog for those of you who asked us about running stitches, cross stitches, and fabrics!

Our Montessori Teaching Albums include a full range of Montessori curriculum ranging from reading and writing skills to art and math.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Montessori Primary Class: Sample Class Schedule for School or Homeschool

This sample class schedule is courtesy of Sue and Fred Eustis of The Apple Ridge Montessori School , a lovely small school based in Baltimore County, Maryland.

8:15 to 9:50 Morning extra-time

8:50 to 9:10 Arrival
Children choose activities independently or with suggestions. They also attend individual and small group lessons given by adults. Work time goes until approximately 11:00 a.m.

11:10 to 11:30 Large Group Time
Soon after 11:00 a.m. we clean up and get ready for large group time. There are songs, poems, games, stories and grace and courtesy lessons during this time. We also talk about science projects, current and upcoming events, holidays.

11:30 to Noon Outside Time
We have bathroom trips for those who need them. The children line up with a partner to walk to the playground.

Outside time ends at Noon as the children gather to walk back inside. Half day children are picked up on the playground between 11:55 and 12:05.

Noon – 12:15 p.m. Large Group Time – calendar, finger plays

We get ready for lunch with another bathroom visit. The children wait with their lunch box to be shown to a table by the child who is currently the “host” or hostess.

12:30 – 1:00 Lunch
We all begin eating together about 12:30 p.m. Lunch is over at 1:00 p.m., including individual clean up. Older children have lunch jobs such as table setting, hosting, and helping with clean-up.

1:15 – 1:35 Rest or workbooksThree-year olds are usually settled on cots by 1:15 p.m. Fours rest on rugs; fives work on workbook tasks for about 20 minutes.

1:45 – 2:00 Group for older childrenWe have a short yoga class before an afternoon group lesson and another individual work time. Nappers join the class when they wake up.

2:50 – 3:10 Dismissal
We clean up at 2:50p.m. A staff member reads to the children or conducts other group activities from 2:50 to 3:05 while children are being picked up. After-school care begins at the end of this transition time.

3:10 – 4:45 After school care

Read more about Montessori at home or at school with our Montessori Teaching Curriculum.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Montessori Terminology: Primary and Junior Classes

As a follow on to our posting on the Montessori for Infants and Toddlers blog, we wanted to write more about terminology in the Montessori system.

The "Primary Class" is for children in the preschool to Kindergarten years (ages three to six). And the "Junior Class" means First through Third Grade and beyond. Our Montessori curriculum for the Junior Class begins with First Grade.

Sorry about the confusion!

Here is our Montessori teaching curriculum for Infants & Toddler, Primary, and Junior Class.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Montessori Homeschooling: Zoology Cards

Zoology cards are part of the biology section of the Montessori Primary and Junior classes.

For everyone who is using Montessori for homeschooling or making DIY Montessori material, here is a great link for creating the zoology cards.

The site covers "natural history and behavior, images, and range maps for mammals in the order Carnivora, which includes the families of Ailuridae (red panda), Canidae (dogs), Eupleridae (Malagasy carnivores), Felidae (cats), Herpestidae (mongooses), Hyaenidae (hyenas), Mustelidae (weasels), Mephitidae (skunks and stink badgers), Nandiniidae (African palm civet), Procyonidae (raccoons), Ursidae (bears), and Viverridae (civets)." With the Mustelidae still pending completion.

Fantastic detailed information and links to excellent photos, the site is also great for research for children around the age of six and up.