**Montessori Primary Teacher Manual Bundle Giveaway **
I am so very pleased to have been given the opportunity to both use and review these incredible resources from Montessori Print Shop AND to share them with one lucky family at the end of this week. The name is a bit misleading because the scope and sequence actually covers the skills normally presented in most traditional school programs through middle elementary grades. I would suggest taking placement tests for Saxon Math for instance to determine correct grade level placement after completion of these manuals. You may be surprised at how much ground has been covered! On with the review....
Several years ago I wrote about our Montessori journey and what I felt was most critical to the success of the method. Despite the explosion of materials in recent years, I shared that we were not seeing a dramatic increase in peace and order in individuals and homes, termed "normalization" in Montessori circles, a primary goal of Montessori education. Montessori-at-home is now often characterized by hands-on projects which multiply to fill prime tabletop and shelf real estate at an alarming rate. This was not always so.
My thoughts are the same today. Few people really dissect down to the heart of any given method - Montessori or otherwise. Hence, there are blocks and trays cluttering schoolrooms and adding more stress to teacher/moms who have no idea what the big picture is nor where all that stuff fits in, literally or figuratively. There are resources offered that carry a particular label which don't actually reflect the method they are linked with. That doesn't bring us closer to a Montessori environment. In fact one would be far closer to realizing the promise of Montessori with a very small number of materials and a good grasp of the overall goals.
So when I read this:
"They (children) are in the constant process of trying to understand what the environment is all about and how they fit into it. Without order the children will not be able to develop a sense of their relationship with the environment."
I nodded vigorously. Yes! Further, I would argue that Mom needs to be able to make sense of the method and its relationship with the environment. I can heartily recommend these primary manuals to help make that happen.
The manuals first present that big picture overview of the both the skills to be mastered as well as a review of those learned in other areas and how they correspond to and complement new learning. Then they move from that broad view to sequential presentations, broken into steps with clear instructions and material lists. Once you have a firm idea of the goal you can determine if a given material will enhance the learning or clutter it up. Montessori Print Shop materials, which correspond to each lesson, are conveniently linked. Therefore, after familiarizing yourself, you can immediately prepare your lesson in its entirety with very little expense.
The manuals defy some preconceptions about both the Montessori method and the children themselves. They present some inspiring ways to look at things. For instance, in the math manual she says:
Children have "an inborn attraction for math due to their innate sensitivities to time, order, and sequence."
How contrary to many of our own prejudices about math! As with the language manual, she explains how the Practical Life and Sensorial activities will have already begun to lay the foundation for future understanding. Instead of viewing the bean pouring and weighted bottles as isolated activities, you begin to see how beautifully the materials work together across the curriculum to build the child's understanding.
She discusses the indispensible role of the teacher and inspires us to “use elegant vocabulary” and “good body language” and sincere eye contact. She stresses that the success of the materials rests upon the ongoing conversations you have with your children. Instead of reducing the method to the acquisition of purely empirical knowledge, the author encourages us to enrich our environment with music, literature, fine art, and warm interaction.
Montessori education was not intended to be cold and mechanical, as it is often caricaturized, but rather to holistically develop mind, body, and spirit. All those activities are a means to that end, not an end in themselves. They are also not promised to be effective in the absence of a sweet disposition and participation in religious and cultural ritual. It is all about integrating the separate parts of life and learning into a cohesive whole. With that in mind, I wrote all those years ago to first get understanding. (Prov 4:7) Develop peace and order in your environment and yourself. Then share the wonder of God’s orderly creation with the little people you love. I truly feel this a wonderful resource to aid in that effort and encourage you to spend some uninterrupted time mulling over those introductory sections before diving into the lessons. They are concise but weighty words.
If would like to be included in this drawing for the bundle of Practical Life, Language, and Math Manuals, please leave a comment and enter a good email address. Winner will be announced on Saturday.
post script: Disregard the email sent out earlier. The widget is fidgety and there is no time to fidget this week <g> We have a wonderful random winner selector in house. (She can be seen doing the jacket flip above lol)
If you have left a comment you are good. We've gotcha. : )