Montessori Field Notes: The One-Work Challenge
Q: My child chooses the same work over and over, and doesn't want to do more challenging activities. Please help!
We want to give the world to the child and it’s only natural to feel concerned when they hyper-focus on one work in the beautiful sea of choices we offer. We know time is precious and it can feel maddening to watch them let it slip away by “repeating,” especially as they get older.
Here are three Montessori-aligned steps you can take:
Who's the Second Plane child?
A transformation takes place around the age of six.
"What happened to my sweet, lovable, and dependable little five-year-old," parents often ask me.
The transition from the first plane of development (the stage between birth and age six) to the second plane (the stage between ages six and 12) can be a challenging one if we don't take the time to understand who our children are and what they need from us and the world.
Over the summer, I put together a short video to help adults begin to unde…
The Second Plane Child
Note: This essay was one of many that I wrote as part of my AMI elementary training in Bergamo, Italy. You can find a complete bibliography at the end of the post.
The child enters the second plane of development somewhere around his sixth birthday, and traverses that phase for approximately six years (through age 12). It is important to note that this development, like that which came before it and that which will follow, is transitory. Therefore, the changes the child experien…
Great Books for Our Great Stories
Many of you have asked me to share my favorite books that align with the Great Stories. So, here they are! I have used every single one of these books either in my elementary classrooms or in our homeschool life. Some are child-friendly reference books, but many have activities to inspire follow-up work.
*This page contains affiliate links. I receive a small compensation when you purchase through these links, and it allows me to continue bringing high-quality Montessori content at no cost to yo…
How to Encourage Skills Practice
The school year is coming to a close. Some of us have children who are not quite on par with society's academic standards, and this can be a cause for concern. On the one hand, we want them to relax during the summer. On the other hand, we know the value of consistent practice to master skills that don't come naturally.
I live this struggle with my son, so I decided to set an expectation of summer writing practice to ensure he continues making progress. I had a conversation with him, and it…
Montessori Essentials: Grammar Boxes
When I began homeschooling my kids in a 1,000 sq. ft. condo, I spent a few days pondering which materials were truly essential and which we could live without. I narrowed down our math essentials, but was stumped by the language materials. How was I going to fit a huge set of wooden Grammar Boxes into our very limited shelf space?
It was during this moment of panic that I discovered Jennifer Kilgore and Branch to Bloom. Jennifer had the ingenious idea of converting the cumbersome Grammar Box…
Craving Freedom and Needing Structure
Amidst all the color-coded hour-by-hour homeschool schedules flooding social media, I want to offer a different take on how to help your child organize their day if you have a child who paradoxically craves freedom and needs structure.
I created for my eight-year-old twice-exceptional second-grader a pie graph showing the amount of time (out of a 24-hour day) he can spend exploring/reading/playing/learning what he's passionate about, vs. the amount of time I would like him to focus on practicin…
Tomorrow we'll have the first Supermoon of the year - the Worm Moon! Do you know where the name comes from? Here's a short story I wrote (meant to be told orally). I hope you can share it with your children, or at least enjoy its message.
Look up! What do you notice? Did you observe that the full moon is larger than usual? We call it a Supermoon, and your eyes aren’t deceiving you… The moon IS larger than usual because it's closer than usual, and that's because the moon’s orbit aro…
Raising Creative Problem-Solvers
Do you constantly referee children's disagreements? Do you tend to side with one child, frustrating the other? Or do you offer solutions, only to be ignored? If you're nodding in response to any of these questions, then read on!
My 4.5-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son share a room. It's the only place in the house where they're allowed to play LEGOs, so the plastic pieces don't take over our living room/homeschool area. Both kids love LEGOs, but my older son likes to li…
Story of Chemistry: Part I
I wrote this story a while back for the Upper Elementary group I inherited that hadn't been exposed to chemistry. I never got around to writing Part II but if you take on that challenge, let me know!
Pretty much all that we see or touch in our seemingly solid existence is made from an unimaginable number of tiny atoms, each a different type of element or building block. When you combine these atoms in different ways, they make up everything that we can see in the Universe.
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