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Craving Freedom and Needing Structure

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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...

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The Art of Introducing a Lesson

Often, the most challenging part of giving a lesson is getting the children excited and ready to learn. Here are seven strategies to ensure your presentation gets off to a good start.

1. Check your attitude: You need to believe in the value of what you're going to present. The children will smell your fear or hesitation a mile away. If a particular topic scares you, spend more time with it. Read, listen to podcasts, watch videos, use your hands to explore the concept, and find new ways of...

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Rediscovering Motherhood

An American friend and colleague who lives in Asia recently shared with me that her in-laws had moved out of her house. They had been very involved in raising her children, so I asked if she missed having the help. She texted back, "No. I'm forced to be the mom and it's what my kids want and what family is supposed to be."

As I sat staring at her words on my screen, the last seven years of my life - my entire parenthood journey - flashed before my eyes. I remembered how both times I had a baby...

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A Village: Its Value and Values

A Montessori learning community is a dynamic village, whose success - defined not in financial terms but by the growth and joy of the children - depends on the collaboration and shared values of all its members. What role do you play?

The Montessori Guide

Each environment (classroom) is steered by a well-trained and experienced Montessori guide. She needs to have a profound love for children and a vision of their immense potential; keep herself immersed in Montessori theory and continuously...

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Tips From the Toddler Whisperer

In the past few months, Zach's picked up a few bad habits due to a lack of awareness and consistency on my part. His amazing Montessori guide - a veritable toddler whisperer - gave me some suggestions to minimize our struggles and support Zachary's development. I thought I'd share them with you, in case you find yourself in the same boat...

1. Make it fun

As some of you already know, bedtime is the toughest part of the day for us. Zach is tired and I'm beyond exhausted. I want to get him ready...

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All in Good Time

Dr. Montessori realized early on that young children were concrete thinkers. This means that their brains have a hard time interpreting concepts that cannot be isolated and experienced through the five senses. Color is one such concept. Hues are almost always connected to an object: "red" apple, "blue" sky, "yellow" duck. The very young child struggles to separate the name of the color from the object it belongs to, and this can bring about imprecise impressions that take time and effort to...

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Montessori: No Holds Barred Education

Some of my 7- and 8-year old students recently received a lesson on the B.C./A.D. timeline. A couple of students decided they wanted to reproduce the timeline (a very long series of paper strips, divided into centuries) and illustrate important historical events on it.

One young 7-year old, a lover of history, was especially engaged with his project, pouring over books to hunt down dates for the sinking of the Titanic, the discovery of America, the building of the Great Pyramids, and the end...

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Stop Doing Montessori, Start Living Montessori

When you're new to Montessori, it's easy - and quite common - to get sidetracked by the concept of the Montessori materials. They are certainly fascinating objects, and parents often spend lots of time and money either buying authentic Montessori materials for the home or creating "Montessori-inspired" activities in hopes that their child will be transformed into a focused, self-controlled, and creative little person.

The time has come to put away your wallet, laminating machine, and hot glue...

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Not Knowing

Feeling stressed out about answering your children's questions? My newest post on MariaMontessori.com might be the answer you're looking for!

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