How To Prepare For Homeschooling


The Montessori Method

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The Montessori method, developed in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori, was based on her discovery that children teach themselves.  She designed a "prepared environment" which allowed children to freely choose from several developmentally appropriate activities. 

 The Montessori method

A hands-on approach to learning.  Children are encouraged to develop observation skills by doing different types of activities, which include the use of the five senses, small and large motor skill coordination, kinetic movement, spatial refinement, and concrete knowledge that will later lead to abstraction.

The Environment

Arranged according to subject area, and children are free to move around the room instead of staying at their desks.  There is no limit to how long a child can work on an activity. 

Assessment

There are no grades and no papers are corrected.  Assesment is accomplished through teacher observation, record keeping and portfolio.  The basis for ongoing curriculum development and introduction of new material for skill development and learning are based on the teacher's observation that the child has mastered the current activity.

Application

This method is primarily used in preschool and elementary school settings, but can also be used for higher grade levels.  For children under the age of six, there are one or two 3 hour, uninterrupted work periods each day.

Ideas the Montessori approach is based on:

  • Children are competent and capable of self-directed learning.
  • Children learn in a distinctly different way from adults.
  • Children are masters of their environment.
  • Children's learning environments should be, prepared for their developmental level, be comfortable, and allow for maximum independence.
  • Children learn through discovery, therefore, self-correcting teaching materials should be used as much as possible.
  • Children learn to take care of themselves, their environment and each other - education of character is considered equally with academic education.

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