Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Today - Our Co-Op

Today we run a part-time Montessori co-op, renting space at a local church's school building.

The year started with 3-9 year olds and as long as we continue, I'll keep inviting the 3 year olds while increasing the upper limit. I am happy to have the older elementary children now, their just are not any in my area that are currently interested.

It has been an interesting experience having this mixture of children:

  • one with consistent Montessori experience
  • several who have attended the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium varying amounts
  • some with some Montessori at-home
  • most with no Montessori at home
  • children who can read relatively young
  • children who can not yet read at older ages
  • children for whom learning comes quickly
  • children for whom learning is a chore (or at least they think it is)
Well, I hooked the elementary children with the volcano! 

And I use "challenges" to get their hands on the primary materials that are not really intended for them. But I have a small number with the worst writing grasp, so we play games (challenges) to get them using the knobbed cylinders and other materials that encourage proper writing grasp. And, since they are elementary age, after they've worked with the challenge a bit, I ask them, "Did you know this is helping you to write beautifully?" They are amazed! And go at it with more interest. 

But what has been the greatest insight? Something I "knew" but I now I *know*?

That cosmic education begins in the primary level. In primary, each of the pieces is already being laid in place, in regards to providing the basic keys in the areas of botany, zoology, time, and more. I am ever so thankful I have one form of training (AMI) for primary and elementary - because that flow is SO present from one level to the next. 
  • I can allow the children to just BE where they need to be in any given area, allowing them to receive presentations in a given area that is perfect for them - several children are not entirely primary and not entirely elementary - I can just present to the child. 
  • I can be presenting the Timeline of Life with the elementary children and introducing the Biological Classification with the young ones. Each age has their corresponding lessons. 
  • When I follow the albums, I have the greatest sense of ease from the children; when I try to veer away, they become restless and things don't "work". They provide the keys - and I provide the time for the children to explore beyond the keys. 
Being in a co-op, I have the blessings of homeschooling, a classroom experience and mentoring the parents, providing follow-up ideas for home. 

It has been a wonderful year thus far! 

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