Montessori Winter Fun

January and February can be such long months in snowy parts of the world.
We just made this fun little quiz just to make your day cheery.

Winter Songs has some great educational ditties to help make the dark days brighter. Here are some more.

Valentine’s Day
is one of my favorite holidays. Here are some ideas for learning, community projects and handwork.

Montessori handwork can be as much fun as making snowflakes. It’s easy to make them. Here is a Snowflake Game you can make and play.

Take out your magnifying glasses and go to snowflakes.com for lessons, charts to print and easy to do ideas about snowflakes.

New Resources to Check out-

Montessori 21st Century’s Weblog has wonderful lessons and resources!

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Folk Schools-Keeping Culture Alive

My younger siblings went to Norwegian Folk Schools. They not only studied the culture of Norway, but learned by doing activities. They studied a tole type of painting, Rosemaling, carving, making musical instruments, dancing, literature, drama, jewelery making, history and skiing. These schools were the opposite experience of their American public school education. Folk schools are about self-chosen learning in a cooperative environment. Students work on projects that interested them. There aren’t any grades, they just learn about their chosen subject area. Folk school education is a great addition to homeschooling and the Montessori environment. Here is a link to the John C Campbell Folk School in America. Many folk schools are open to both young and old. It’s never too late to go to a folk school!

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Montessori Work Flow

I found this interesting…
Polk (Montessori Today) states- “Montessori discovered that once
children become self-directed they do their best work when allowed a
three-hour uninterrupted work cycle. Therefore, the elementary class
period lasts for three hours in the morning and three more in the
afternoon without ceasing for recess, gym, foreign language, art,
music, or other events.”
She gives as an example from Maria Montessori, p. 36-From Childhood to Adolescence
“The best they [educators-other than Montessori] could do was to
compromise by reducing hours in instruction to the minimum, coming
out from the curriculum grammar, geometry, and algebra, making
outside play obligatory and postponing the age for entry into
school. But however, much free periods have been increased and
children are urged to play rather than study, strangely the children
have remained mentally fatigued notwithstanding all these reforms.
Montessori schools have proved that children need a cycle of work for
which they have been mentally prepared: such intelligent work with
interest is not fatiguing and they should not be arbitrarily cut off
from it by a call to play. Interest is not immediately born, and if
when it has been created, the work is withdrawn, it is like depriving
a whetted appetite of the food that will satisfy it.”

This is much like an engaged preschool aged child repeating an
activity over and over. Montessori seems to conclude that it is best
not to interrupt the flow of learning for any child.
I still hate to stop working on something until I have reached a
certain stopping point. If I have to pick up the activity again, it
takes me twice as long to finish.

Here are some more links about the 3 hour work cycle.

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Montessori Style Handwork

I admit it. I love recycling blogs. Frugal Sewing has great ideas for combining recycling and Montessori type handwork. There are free patterns and instructions for lots of unique items from slippers to bibs.

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Free Montessori Manual

Google has a great site for free books. The Montessori Manual by Dorothy Canfield
Fisher has a nice overview about walking the line.
Why does the Montessori classroom use the line exercises? According to Fisher,

A child who can do that will be able, unconsciously,
to walk straight across a room to a chair, without
tripping or falling over the furniture.

Check out Exercise Eighteen about the baby ball, it sounds like an old fashioned tetherball.

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Fresh Montessori Blog

I remember tripping over words like “horme”-“mneme”-” nebulae” while reading Montessori’s works. Montessori and Me has great definitions of these terms. Check out this fresh, new Montessori blog.

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