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.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Blogging Holidays and Craftiness

I was recently asked why, despite my son's craftiness and the fact that I do nothing except make-make-make-make things (ok, I sleep sometimes too ;) ) - why don't I have an AMI-inspired crafty-type post around the holidays - to show how it's done in AMI.

I had to actually think about this response. It's not that we don't do crafts; it's not that AMI doesn't do crafts; it is this:

I have chosen to blog here, on Montessori Trails, about our AMI Montessori Elementary homeschooling, as well as our past experiences in infancy and toddler (only partly AMI) and primary (AMI to the core when at home).

There are so many fantastic Montessori homeschoolers and schools out there sharing their Montessori-inspirations, I just don't feel the need to do so.

I had a hard time in my early Montessori-at-home/pre-training days sifting the "core" from the "peripherals that are great for particular families or situations but may not be so great for my household". And this was me coming into it with a LOT of experience in schools, but without any formal training. The albums I could access didn't correspond with what I saw on the blogosphere either. I had some arrogance and pride, but I think (?) I can safely say that I was humble enough to realize that reading every Montessori book, working in schools and reading lots of blogs did NOT make me an expert. It made me confused. Today there are so many available resources that with the right savvy and the right personality (there are many of you out there!) you can certainly cut to the core and "get it" - but self-trained true understanding wasn't even remotely a possibility when I began.

I don't want to continue that confusion about what is "Montessori" and what is "Montessori-inspired" and what is "just plain too much fun to leave out of your family's childhoods even though it's not labeled Montessori". We do a LOT of that kind of stuff around here (want to know how to make 3,934 styles of paper airplanes - ask Legoboy - but I'm not posting it on Montessori Trails ;) ). Above all else, I love sharing what happens when we present the "core" or "keys" and follow the child's interests, allowing the child to truly be responsible for his own work as per core Montessori practice - I share the results of our writing experiences with my son's first paper for an outside-of-home requirement - or how we managed to study astronomy by starting with an ancient history study (that we started because of Legoboy's desire to "read through history" after working with the core Montessori history presentations).

I want to show off the "core" and YOU decide what to modify or add in for YOUR family. That is my goal anyway.

Some facts:
  • As homeschoolers we have more time with our children - we're going to do more crafts, projects, etc. We're going to live life together in a way that Montessori schools can't. We are going to do a LOT together as a family
  • But even one AMI school will be different from another AMI school - not in the core materials, but in the culture of the children attending. 
  • Homeschools or schools - we each have our own paths and interests
  • Present the CORE - then work with the interests and the particular children before you. 
  • Elementary Montessori does utilize many resources beyond the albums - but the specific resources required are dictated by the child's particular needs, not an album page.  

AMI just isn't SHARED online as much. And AMI is SO beautiful! Thus my aim with my internet presence is to share the core of Montessori. The essential. At Montessori Trails, I strive to share our home experience focused more on the specifically AMI Montessori so as to minimize the confusion I experienced of "what is core and what is for this family?" You've seen I post about other topics, but I find these other topics directly relate to the core Montessori experience of utilizing keys, respect, and cosmic education. 
  • Montessori Nuggets: Core AMI Montessori tidbits found here
  • Keys of the Universe: information site for AMI Elementary albums available for purchase
  • Keys of the World: AMI Primary albums available for purchase as well as "re-organized" albums focusing on specific topics for those who just want a very focused experience on a particular topic
  • Montessori Station: Sharing of core-Montessori-friendly resources
  • Genesis Montessori: For those teaching with a 6-day creation focus

Really want to see what all we do in our Montessori-influenced home? 
  • Hearts in Wonderland: My son has a blog here where I try to post some of his creations from time to time (I have a serious back-log)
  • Seeking the Plan of God: Our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd adventures can be found here along with home/faith adventures related to core CGS themes. 
  • Catholic Hearts Domestic Church: Random Catholic and frugal-living posts (as well as some of our non-HFCS recipes) - some duplicates from Seeking the Plan of God - my first blog so the early posts are of mixed topics. 

Just for random fun sharing: 

As I type this, Legoboy is lounging on the couch with his umpteenth reading of Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling - he is waiting to use the computer to research the presence of a particular set of Lego building instructions before he goes off to create his own set of instructions - he doesn't want to replicate but do something different. This is an appropriate use of technology in upper elementary, although his time is still limited to "enough time to accomplish the goal, working steadily" - no by-the-clock time limit, but Mommy can nix the screen at any time if the work is not diligent.

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