Archives for June 2011

Montessori at Home: 8 Principles to Know

Written by contributor Heather Bruggeman of Beauty That Moves

Montessori education is a philosophy and model created by Maria Montessori, the first woman physician in Italy, in the late 1800s. At its core, Montessori education is designed to promote peace and considers the whole child as well as the environment in its approach .

It has been a primary influence in our family’s lifestyle and educational philosophy.

We’ve heard from some readers that you are interested in Montessori philosophy as it might fit into your homeschool. And some of you were looking for a little inspiration or direction to light the way.

If you are like me, you appreciate things broken down into easy to follow steps.

In 2005,  Angeline S. Lillard wrote a book called Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, in which she discusses whether or not a century old methodology can stand up to modern day scientific research in developmental psychology. Her research led to the understanding that Dr. Montessori’s ideas were, and still are, a very effective holistic approach to educating a child.

It’s an academic way of saying that Maria Montessori knew what she was doing.

In Lillard’s book she covers Eight Principles of Montessori Education.  Today we will look at those and think about how they may fit into your homeschool.

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A Case for Lazy Summer Days

The following is a guest post written by Jimmie of Jimmie’s Collage and The Notebooking Fairy.

Some moms can’t rest. They are always busy and feel uncomfortable, maybe even guilty, sitting still. If you are that kind of mom, you may see summer break as a chance to cram in the school work or extracurricular projects that you didn’t complete during the school year.

Reconsider your desire.

I want to make a case for “lazy summer days” with no academic tie ins. Take a lesson from the unschoolers or delight directed learners this summer and let your child choose his activities even if they appear “unprofitable.”

Hours of outdoor play, a week at camp, and time spent with grandparents or cousins go a long way to mature a child. Sometimes after a long break, a child is developmentally ready for something that was a struggle before.

Our brains are mysteries. Sometimes things just click, most often when we are not focused on the “thing.”
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Cataloging the Homeschool Library

Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Everybody knows homeschoolers have a lot of books. We collect them like dust. Our kids are drawn to them. And, usually, they become a part of our home decor in almost every room.

If your local library has an electronic catalog of their books, and you have almost as many books as the library, then shouldn’t you be able to keep up with your books electronically, too? With new library software like Delicious Library and ReaderWare, being the school librarian has never been easier or more fun.

Here are some of the things you can do with a library software.
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When Should My Child Begin Music Lessons?

Written by contributor Sarah Baldwin of Bella Luna Toys and Moon Child

As a Waldorf early childhood teacher, and the mother of two young musicians, I have been asked many times over the years what the ideal age is for a child to begin music lessons.

I’ve been asking myself the same question for as many years. In my quest for an answer, I have asked many music teachers and experts.

Waldorf Education and Suzuki Music Instruction

As a young mother I became familiar with the Suzuki method of music instruction, in which children as young as three or four begin to learn an instrument. When my children started music lessons—older son Harper played piano, young son Will played cello—I chose Suzuki teachers for both of them, and as a result have become a strong supporter of Suzuki methods.

Because I am also a Waldorf teacher, I was struck by the many similarities between Suzuki and Waldorf education.
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5 Ways to Encourage Summer Learning

The following is a guest post written by Erin Walton of Mama in Progress.

Summer months are spent differently in every homeschooling family, from a full stop to schooling all the way through- and all kinds of variations in between.

No matter where you fall on that spectrum, the summer months can be a great time to try on a different education style or go for a project you might not try during the regular school year.

These are a few ideas designed to bring learning into your summer, no matter what type of summer schooling family you might be.
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