Maps Cross Over

Map crossword puzzles are a great way to introduce vocabualry and spelling for map activities. Here are some links for free map crossword printouts. Montessori classrooms use crossword puzzles to integrate learning skills.

Favorite Montessori Homeschooling Books

These are my some of my favorite books for Montessori homeschooling-They are parent
and child friendly.
Montessori Play and Learn has great easy to use Montessori lessons in a home environment.

Teaching Montessori in the Home: Pre-School Years: The Pre-School Years has a good complete Montessori curriculum and home made materials for a wonderful preschool experience.

Montessori Read and Write: A Parent’s Guide to Literacy for Children This is a great book to help your child with reading skills using Montessori’s approach.

Teaching Montessori in the Home: The School Years This a great reference and “how to” book for parents and teachers.

Gross National Happiness

My neighbor and friend just returned from visiting Bhutan. She loved the beauty of the country side and the happy and contented people. She learned that citizens measure their success not by material goods or even the country’s gross national product, but Bhutan’s gross national happiness. How many material goods you accumulate doesn’t measure your achievements in life, only your happiness. Pretty sweet way to live!

Montessori believed this inner happiness was the core of young children. I am ready to increase my GNH.

Montessori Push Pin Maps

What is a Montessori push pin? It’s a sturdy pin with a plastic knob. The pin is longer than a normal push pin . Children punch out shapes on a thick felt (3/8 inch) pad, just follow the outline with individual pin pricks. When finished, the shape can be pushed out. We used push pins to punch out shapes and other fun projects, such as push pin maps.

If you don’t have the Montessori push pins you can use a very small jeweler’s screwdriver. You can buy a set at your local dollar store.

Here is a link for free map outline printouts.

Montessori Maps

Montessori maps are first introduced in preschool. They can be puzzles of the world, continents or countries.
The puzzles are made of wooden, colored pieces without any labels. My students loved to use a guide map and labels to later label them in the lower elementary grades. Also, you can use a plain paper map, stick pins and labels to make pin maps.
Here are some great photos of these maps.

Stand By Your Child

School started today. A large part of our public school system uses labels for our children. It has to be done to have the special help that many children need, but at what cost? I tutored in special ed for several years. and used to talk to the head of the special ed program about labels, such as emotionally disturbed-EBD, ADHD, ADDA, dyslexia, and more new labels than I ever knew existed. I didn’t see any major difference between these children verses non-labeled children. In fact, the approach in the classroom was probably the real problem. Can’t help it, it’s my Montessori training.

The special ed teacher did agree that the labels were harmfu, but necessary for state and federal funding. In fact, she admitted to me that most children in special education programs get worse instead of better. I remember working with sad and defeated students who had lost that inner light and joy of learning. They seemed doomed to fail. I don’t think this is what mainsteaming had in mind.

If your child has special needs, here are some things to consider.
Ask to see data to confirm that the special programs do indeed help.
Seek help from your family physician.
Be an advocate for your child.
Ask to observe the teacher in his or her classroom.
Volunteer as a parent tutor or helper.
Don’t let someone make you feel guilty about what you think is right for your child.
Parents really know what is best for their children.
Have confidence in your child and yourself!
Most of all, stand by your child do what is best for him or her.