*All that is the highest ability, thought. and action in me, greets all that is the highest ability, thought and action in you*

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Montessori Quote for Today

The greatness of human personality begins at the hour of birth …
During this early period education must be understood as a help to the unfolding of the child’s inborn psychic powers. The child’s true constructive energy, a dynamic power, has remained unnoticed for thousands of years … the men of our day make progress after progress in civilized life without noticing the treasure that lie hidden in the psychic world of infancy …

Today we are beginning to see the value of the ungathered fruits, more precious than gold, for they are man’s own spirit.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Montessori Tip of the Day

Does your child have selective hearing?

Do they hear you better the louder you yell?
Then yell louder!
Did they hear you then?
Well surely their ears must be filled with cotton....
So go an remove the cotton, then yell very loudly so the neighbors hear you!
Hum.. still didn't work?

Ah *shacking my head*
but have you tried this? ....


"WHAT?" You say.
Here let me remove the cotton from your ear....

Yes, WHISPER.....that is right.
Look your child in the eye and move your mouth as quietly as you can. You will be amazed at how well they hear you.

For stubborn kids try adding an open armed hug like come to me gesture with your arms and shacking those fingers, with a smile.
No back flips are necessary in this exercise...

Why does it work? Perhaps....

Maria Montessori once did an experiment. She notice the children working on language and making great progress, but she wondered were they understanding the concept. That spelling out the words using the movable alphabet really meant something.

So she stood at the blackboard and wrote "If you love me, come to me"

One child who was so engrossed in his work just happened to look up. Puzzled he saw the letters on the board. Soon his face lite so quickly and so brightly, he jumped up and walked to her giving her a big hug. He then returned to his work. Soon the children came to her one by one. She never said a word, only smiled and hugged.

So as you whisper think of the story and see if your children "hear" you better. You'll be surprised.....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Montessori Quote For Today

The child becomes a person through work. Bring the child to the consciousness of his own dignity and he will feel free.
-M Montessori

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sensitive Periods

Language 0 - 6yrs
Order 2 - 4yrs
Interest in small objects 2 1/2 - 6yrs
Social behavior 2 1/2 - 7yrs
Training of Senses 3 - 6 yrs
Cultural subject 3 - 6 yrs

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Misunderstood Minds

As Educators it is important to understand our children. With ADHD reaching epidemic proportions, most of which are misdiagnosed Learning Differences.

Before running off to the Doctor, please educate yourself with the different types of LD's that many children experience daily.

Facts about LD's that I have learned along my path:

1. LD's happen more often in gifted learners.
2. Up to 80% of incarcerated inmates cannot read above a fourth grade level. Of those, up to 50% are undiagnosed learning Disabled children.
3. The brain naturally reads from right to left.
4. Children naturally spell first, then write, then read.
5. The perpetrators of the shootings at Thurston High school, Oregon, Virginia Tech and Columbine had been diagnosed with learning disabilities but had not been treated.
6. Drop out rates are 35% in learning disabled children.
7. Learning disabilities do not go away without treatment and result in low self esteem.
8. It is very hard to get learning disabilities diagnosed and treated unless you have large finances to back you.
9. Insurance does not cover it because it is the schools problem and the schools only allow a very small number to "qualify" for treatment and there is much more to this crisis that plagues our society......

EXPERIENCE FIRSTHAND what children go through.......

Visual Activity Reading with Distractions try it
Auditory Activity Listening to Directions try it
Reading Video Remembering What is Read view it

Visit Misunderstood minds for more first hand interaction of the frustrations Learning Disabled children experience by walking a mile in their shoes....

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Inspirational 12yo for Environmental Change

Twelve-yr-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki's famous speech to the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Brazil is now available on YouTube! Hooray! I'm very glad to see this because people these days might be a bit more inclined to listen to what she's saying.

You can read more about Severn's current activities at

"I don't know if Severn was a Montessori student. I assume not. She is the sort of person with which Montessori schools should be flooding the planet, were we to live up to our vision and our rhetoric. Are we? If so, how can we help them be more visible? If not, why not? I think these are important questions for us to be asking." ~ Peace, John Snyder
What a world we would have if every child could reach their full potential!
Children's organizations can be listed here:

Friday, September 7, 2007


"My vision of the future is no longer of people taking exams and proceeding on that certification from the secondary school to the university, but of individuals passing from one stage of independence to a higher, by means of their own activity, through their own effort of will, which constitutes the inner evolution of the individual."
- Maria Montessori, quoted at the beginning of "From Childhood to Adolescence"

Friday, August 24, 2007

Peace Education

I took a very wonderful class from Lori at USA Montessori on Peace Education.
(http://www.usamontessori.org/) I highly recommend it.

Lore believed that the preparation of the teacher was as important as fulfilling the other academic requirements of the Montessori Education. In one of her modules was a quote of Maria's:

"Spirituality implies a sacred connection with all of life and a oneness with the universe. This means that every act of carelessness, selfishness, indifference, hatred and violence toward nature or toward other human beings is actually an act against ourselves, our families and our culture. Therefore, spirituality summons us to the highest of human virtues, such as love, caring, generosity, responsibility for our actions, forgiveness, compassion and openness for one another. It leads us to sharing rather than accumulating, to cooperation rather than competition and to peace rather than violence."
--Nurturing the Spirit in Non-Sectarian Classrooms by Aline D. Wolf

I think of this quote because I have met several fellow Montessorians (and people in general) that seem somehow detached from the big picture Maria had for future unity and peace on earth. These types of experiences have always puzzled me and I have always felt a need to somehow seek an answer to what lies within the human spirit that we may be so detached from the feelings and needs of others.

Today in the organizing of thoughts, advise, materials and links to share, I ran across a profound quote that I feel satisfies this question and I hope that I may have a better understanding to this detachment I pondered in others:

"When an obvious truth cannot be seen, we must retire, and leave the individual to mature. A struggle 'to bring about perception for evidence' would be bitter and exhausting."
-Spont. Act. in Ed. p.237

There has been many discussions on just how long will it take for Montessori to mainstream itself into the world that we may finally see the fruits of Maria's labor...I do so wonder, if it was already there......would we have the ability to recognize it?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Art of Story Telling

My girlfriend took a few classes and story telling is truely an art form. As a Montessori Educator you tell a lot of stories to the children to peak interest in the materials and to introduce history via the great lessons.

Once you settle on a story, you will want to spend plenty of time with it. It will take a considerable period of time and a number of tellings before a new story becomes your own. Read the story several times, first for pleasure, then with concentration. Analyze its appeal, the word pictures you want your listeners to see, and the mood you wish to create. Research its background and cultural meanings. Live with your story until the characters and setting become as real to you as people and places you know. Visualize it! Imagine sounds, tastes, scents, colors. Only when you see the story vividly yourself can you make your audience see it!




Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Normalizing the Child

It took me a while to really understand the meaning of this term.

It is the wonderful transition a child makes when they are centered, peaceful, and have learned the ability to be focused and do independent work. Here are several ideas that have been discussed on the groups I am on that has helped the transition for some children:

Walking the line (within a group or alone)
Watching a 2 minute timer while sitting in your lap
Washing Walls
Re pot Plants
Plant seeds and be responsible for them
Clean Materials on the shelves in an orderly fashion
Silence game
Having the child be your shadow
Talking in a very quiet voice
Showing intentionality of movements of person or apparatus

Some children have sensory integration. "Some need to gain better control of their gross motor coordination before being able to control the movements of walking on the line. Perhaps they need more physical activity before they can settle down."

Some activities that I have found helpful include more complex practical life activities:

Carrying water in a bucket from one place to another
Lots of large scale scrubbing, such as playground equipment
Lots of movement of the whole body
Extensions of the broad stair that require the child to carry the prisms across the room, like to "hide" the prisms around the classroom and then send such a child to find each one in order and carry it back (in a nice, controlled manner) to the rug.
Finding classroom items to match the color tablets is another good exercise that incorporates movement.

Other Suggestions:

"When a child lies down in the path of others, say something like, "Johns work today is to find a way to cooperate with his friends. Please work with him on this material so he can learn how to get your attention in a different way."

"Of course, any of these activities should be ended if it is too much activity for the child and it causes him to be disruptive. Start small (just moving a short distance, for instance) until the child is ready to move about the room without being disruptive."
"Practical Life Works"

Monday, August 13, 2007


Feeling the need to be able help fellow homeschool Montessorians I have decide to join the ever increasing numbers of bloggers.

Perhaps having a site that allows me to organize all the wonderful resources I have accumulated over the years, will help to ease the ever growing frustration I have of the disorganized mess of living in a household full of men and not having 48 hours in a day to accomplish everything I would love to do.

I hope that I may pay it forward, as I have had the fortune of having incredible mentors, both Montessori, Homeschoolers, Teachers and Friends. May I help half of the people that these wonderful spirits have helped.