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.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Montessori Albums - Part 2

My last post got so wordy!

I wanted to answer some questions about the AMI Montessori albums I use, and offer for sale, but from the perspective of being a mom, a homeschooling parent, a Montessori homeschool co-op teacher, and not just a Montessori teacher or seller of albums.

I USE these albums. In their entirety. Yes there is one area I am saving for upper elementary (discussion of evolution), but that is a personal family choice; within the albums I sell, everything is left where it belongs from AMI training.
  • I have provided minor adaptations to improve continuity. 
  • I am adding a small astronomy album. 
  • I am fleshing out the art section so that it is more clear what the expectations are. 
  • I am looking at typical state standards and trying to tag where the most pertinent "hidden" presentations might be (i.e. graphing starts in geography, not in math)

I have had one person tell me that the albums have been dumbed-down for homeschoolers - this is simply not true. The entire main content is straight from my training, what I submitted for album review, what was returned to me with comments, the changes I made in response to those comments and instructor requirements and what I received in final album checks - within the context of AMI training. All I have done is correct typos, write out material descriptions more clearly, change a few sentences in the elementary language album (there was a solid week where almost all sample sentences used in my training had references to alcohol (long story) - I do NOT find these appropriate to have within albums that you will use to present to children, even if you do not use THAT sample sentence. My son READS my albums from time to time - my albums are intended to guide me in presenting materials to children. (my last post mentioned by abhorrent feelings towards my particular elementary training). Stepping off that soapbox.)

The point is, I have made minor modifications to the album pages themselves. I did add a substantial number of references for quotes and statistics noted in the introductions and theory albums. These items make the material at hand meatier than what I received in training, not less. I have not chosen just my favorite album pages or presentations - I have included EVERYTHING, in its purest form, so that *you* and *your family* can choose to make the modifications (or none) that *you* see fit.

UPDATED 2/1/13 - for the accusation of 'dumbing down,' it is interesting how many errors I still find with ALL those album checks. Including a safety error in the geography album (which has now been corrected). Indeed, the albums are much more academically sound, professional appearance and still open to further clarity.

I also use these albums to tutor other children. When I have been in schools, these are the albums I use. I *rarely* need to go elsewhere for alternate album pages, although the temptation is always there ;) Why don't I need to? Because the children's interests are enticed to explore on their own - and the children have TIME - and they end up studying all the areas I would have pulled in something from another album anyway.  or they go so far beyond the album, that I have little to do myself ;) (haha like a homeschool mom, CGS formation leader, atrium and co-op teacher, who also runs two businesses from her home as "little" to do!).
For example, my son is studying a high school geometry book right now (another post).

So yes, these albums are usable in a homeschool setting, though designed for classroom use. Does that mean they are perfect? Not a chance! But I do have a fantastic group of ladies online and a couple of local families that report any discrepancies to me, so that they will be one of the best options available for homeschool families. I also provide online support via e-mail or online discussion board. And I am slowly but surely adding in a few components that others have found truly necessary to pull from other albums. These sections I am writing myself in the same format as the rest of the album, so that they are as comprehensive as possible while still maintaining the "foundation and framework" structure that makes them so perfect for my own family.

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