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elementary education

The "Annoying" Seven-Year-Old

Seven-year-old Zachary learned how to build a popscicle-stick catapult at a free library workshop last week.  Over dinner that night, I "casually" asked my engineer husband if he knew the difference between a catapult and a trebuchet.  A brief but interesting discussion ensued, and my son hung on to every word.

Sitting around the kitchen table after breakfast Monday morning, I asked Zachary: "What would you like to explore today?"

He pouted and crossed his arms.  "Nothing."

I tried again.  "Y…

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BOTW: The Story of Money

Is your child afraid of math?  I know many who are.  I also know that one of the most effective ways to help them overcome their fear of math is to give them an allowance.  In addition to teaching your child patience, opportunity cost, and the value of things, money is a hands-on way to work through many math skills!

My son got hooked on math through his allowance.  At the age of four, he wanted to save up for a LEGO kit. On a piece of graph paper, I marked one square for each dollar he would hav…

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BOTW: Kingdom of the Sun

The only thing I like more than discovering good children's books is sharing them with others.  I'm starting these "Book of the Week" (BOTW) posts to spread the joy of quality children's literature and will try to post a new book every weekend. (This post contains an affiliate link.)

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"Where do the names of the planets come from?", asked 7-year-old Zachary.  I knew they were first named after Greek gods and then were changed to the equivalent Roman gods, but didn't know much else.  Then I f…

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The Valentine's Day Story

Zachary, age 7, asked me how Valentine's Day started.  I told him we could research that at the library, but later that night I got curious and went online.  I found conflicting information, so I decided to put together a Cosmic Education story to tell him the tale of the origins of Valentine's day.  I shared it with him and it inspired us to make care packages for the people experiencing homelessness in our area.  I hope it can inspire acts of kindness, or at least get some conversations starte…

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Help and Salvation

When Dr. Montessori spoke of "following the child", I often wonder if she was talking about following their development or following their example...

In the elementary community of thirty 6-12 year-olds where I spend my days, four boys ages 9 to 11 decided to set a new world record for the longest crochet chain.  They launched daily crocheting sessions while taking turns reading aloud from "The Odyssey".  After a week, they decided to measure their progress.  The strategy they came up with was to…

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Bursting the Montessori Bubble

"At what point do you burst the Montessori bubble?" a friend recently asked.  She has two young children in Montessori, but is considering taking the traditional education route once they finish Primary. My first thought was, Why would you want to burst it?

Why leave Montessori if you don't have to?

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But my friend is not alone in her concern: many parents feel that Montessori shelters children from tests, grades, and competition.  Based on their own childhoods, parents often believe that only…

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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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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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Sharing

A couple of friends who have babies or toddlers have recently brought up the topic of sharing; more precisely, should we expect young children to share?  One friend feels like a bad mom when her baby snatches his toys away from another baby.  Another mom pointed out that at the playground she always hears moms telling their toddlers: "You need to share; nice children share."

Dr. Montessori observed possessiveness in young children and realized that it stemmed from a lack of opportunities to engag…

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