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.

Montessori
Faith Formation

...A collection of Montessori religious education resources...


YES, Dr. Maria Montessori was a religious person. She was firmly Catholic, with a deep love for people of all races, nationalities and faiths. She embodied the Christian teaching to love the image of God in all people. 

Can you "do" Montessori without the faith formation? Yes and no. You might not provide "religious instruction" but living the Montessori approach of careful observation, deep respect, and providing for true needs and interests, can only provide for the child's deepest spiritual needs.


Books to Read: 

Quotes are not enough to get the full context. These books have Montessori's own words:
The 1946 London Lectures (chapter on religious eduation as well as additional ones on moral education, etc.)
  • Lecture 13 - The Study of Man
  • Lecture 26 - Truth and Fairy Tales
  • Lecture 28 - Religious Education
  • Lecture 29 - Moral Educaiton
  • (from the index of the book) pages 95, 97-98, 133, 183, 197-199, 201-206, 220

The Discovery of the Child (the updated version of "The Montessori Method")
  • Chapter 23: Religious Education

The Child in the Church 
  • The whole book ;) 

A Blog to Follow:
Seeking the Plan of God
Seeking the Plan of God page on Atrium at Home

Programs and albums developed in the Montessori approach:

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
  • Online training unavailable - but training (called "formation course") is highly preferred and exceptionally wonderful!
  • individuals sell albums (Elizabeth Papandrea has Levels 1 and 2 for the Traditional Latin Mass; Moira Farrel has an equivalent to level 1)
  • adaptable to many liturgical-based Christian denominations
  • some information can be found at Seeking the Plan of God
  • Elizabeth Papandrea offers an Extraordinary Form version of Level 1 at Montessori Candy
Moira Farrell's Catechesis Albums
  • first book is CGS-inspired; all are excellent for at-home ideas, inspiration and devotions, but are not Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
  • 3-6, 6-9, 9-12
Godly Play
  • Montessori-inspired
  • can be used by Christian denominations with or without a liturgical calendar emphasis
  • materials are available at a couple different places
Young Children and Worship
  • Follow-up of Godly Play (see information above)
  • books contain the current patterns for Godly Play
  • materials are available at a couple different places
  • Godly Play extended into the Quaker faith


What did Montessori actually believe on the following: 

Evolution:
  • "When Darwin published his theory of evolution, he gave us an example of what imagination could do, for it was not exactly true." (The 1946 London Lectures Lecture 26: Truth and Fairy Tales)
  • "There is an order in nature. This order comes because each one does its own work in its own place; if it did not, there could be no order. Suppose a crowd was going to a circus and each began to fight for the best place for himself. This is the old conception of nature. The conception according to adaptation to the environment by heredity is like a modern circus where everyone buys a ticket.The ticket might be for the best place or a poorer place on the left side or the right side but each has his own ticket and looks for the place that corresponds to the ticket. Attendants are there to help. The help they have is to assist each person to find his seat. This is order. ... This is the purpose of nature. Nature is not concerned just with the conservation of individual life or with the betterment of itself. It is a harmony, a plan of construction. Everything fits into the plan." (The 1946 London Lectures Lecture 12: Man and Supernature)



Fairy Tales:
  • "Now, everyone who knows my name says that I am against fairy tales. Apparently I say they are dangerous to a children's mind. But you must know that I never assert anything that I have merely reasoned out, because if I did that it would just be a theory of no importance. It would be just a matter of opinion and therefore not a serious statement. Serious statements must come from observation - this is the truth. I have never before given an opinion on this subject. So, if I were against fairy tales, it would not be because of a capricious idea of mine but because of certain facts, facts observed many times. These facts have come from the children themselves and not from my own reasoning. (she goes on to describe following the children's truest, deepest interests and choices - choices for valuable work that led to a leaving behind of certain negative qualities) The great love of fairy tales disappears too. (continues with describing the children walking away from fairy tale stories) This shows that children listen, or at least the older ones do, but inside they have more important urges of nature. So we do not see complete interest. If they are free to do something else, children will choose something that is more important to their development. (The 1946 London Lectures Lecture 26: Truth and Fairy Tales)
  • Please read that in its full context! Fantastic stuff! 
  • And to emphasize: She is speaking of children ages 0-6 - elementary and older children have a true love for fairy tales, as the moral and social tales that they actually are. True love because of loving them for what they are actually are. 

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