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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

AMI Albums - Framework vs. Every Detail

I am asked a LOT why AMI albums don't seem to have as much information as, let's say, the NAMC albums. And why would I choose the "stripped-down" version for our homeschool when my son obviously craves to learn SO MUCH.

All those impressionistic charts - and timelines
Well.... admittedly, it was not at first a conscious decision. However, I can say this: my sons craves to learn so much because *I* do not give him every detail. Because our albums are *not* the only source of information. He cannot learn all that he wants or need from me - and he doesn't even need me (or my albums) to tell him what to study next and at what age. If I knew back when, what I know now, I would saved so much headache reviewing other albums!

Mathematics and Language are closer to what people expect with lots of details. Language does not include "writing assignments" as much as guidance on setting up an environment (both physical and psychological) that integrates writing into all components of the child's day and provides guidelines for what to look for at which ages. I love the follow-up on one album page to write a paragraph in active voice, then re-write it in passive voice. But that is a follow-up - not the main presentation - and should be an inspiration to the child, not a mundane exercise.

History and Geography though - these are frameworks - and they continue to cycle back around on each other so that new studies are done every year, prompted by the child's interconnected interests and the adults continued presentations of "tidbits" here and there to spurn that interest on. I give the presentations, using an enticing voice; then I provide the necessary materials for repetition, exploration and research, and away soars my son's imagination! He ends up learning everything this is set up as "required" in other Montessori albums, with the complete freedom to go DEEP.

He is years ahead on some topics; right on par on some; and "behind" the guidelines in others.

And that is exactly where he needs to be right NOW! :)

Provide the right environment, provide the right support, and don't waste a child's time with something that he is likely to study on his own next month, but with the benefit of it being connected with his own most recent studies.

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