Who Was Maria Montessori?

Who Was Maria Montessori?


 

Born 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy, Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy's first female physican, developed a unique educational approach that for nearly 100 years has been successfully applied to millions of children worldwide, starting with children with learning difficulties and extending today to children of all intellectual and socio-economic levels.

The Montessori method considers children to be intelligent and highly capable of learning when placed in an environment and with materials that provide them with respect and privacy. It includes three key elements:

  • Motor education
     
  • Sensory education
     
  • Language

 

The Montessori - ShillerMath combination helps children to learn math and language arts and to become productive members of society throughout their lives.

For more information on the Montessori approach, you may visit these informative sites:

An excellent book on the Montessori method is Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years by Elizabeth G. Hainstock. This is one of many books written for parents about Montessori that are available online or at your local library or book store.


Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Larry Shiller

Larry Shiller is President of ShillerLearning, whose mission is to help kids learn - and enjoy - math. Shiller has degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard Business School and is the author of Software Excellence (Prentice-Hall).

A father of three, Shiller is active in non-profits and his hobbies include working with local startups, music (Shiller is an accomplished violinist who - when not helping children learn math and language arts - performs in the NYC tri-state area), tennis (Shiller's team made it to the USTA national finals in his skill bracket), Quoridor (Shiller is a former USA Champion), backgammon (Shiller is the Voice of Backgammon, doing commentary on backgammon tournaments worldwide), table tennis, and flying (Shiller holds a private pilot's license).

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Parenting Styles That Use Positive Discipline Aren’t New - Montessori Has Taught This for 110+ Years

Parenting Styles That Use Positive Discipline Aren’t New - Montessori Has Taught This for 110+ Years


A common remark parents make when learning about the Montessori method is the use of positive phrases. Parents often skip over this entirely when they think about correcting poor behavior. Through the implementation of Montessori in a homeschool, or attendance at a Montessori school, parents learn to use these key phrases. With this, our parenting styles can shift overnight with a few key phrases. Maria Montessori believed that children should be respected and talked to with maturity and respect. She had little tolerance for “baby talk,” or for simplifying things too much when speaking with a child. She recognized by using positive phrases, we help to affirm and build up our children’s education, self-esteem and ability to interact in the world.  

Where Our Parenting Styles Begin

 

As parents, it is easy to fall into a rut with our “catch phrases.” Most parents have phrases they use often that our children have grown accustomed to. These phrases are often phrases Montessori views as “negative phrases.” Negative communication is not something we set out to use, it tends to be a rut we fall into without even realizing it’s snuck in. When we strive to use positive phrasing, we’re looking to use words that are true, brief, clear and inviting.

 

When we start using words like “May,” “can,” and “let’s,” we reduce power struggles, invite the child to join us and eliminate open-ended choices which can overwhelm a child. Believe it or not, Montessori also discourages the use of phrases such as “Good boy/girl,” “Good job” & “You’re so great.”

How to Discipline a Child Using Positive Phrases

 

Using “No” is also avoided in most situations in a Montessori environment, reserved mainly for safety issues. For example, if a child wants to help you fix supper but you don’t have a way for them to help (or you don’t want little hands in the way.) Instead of saying “no” try “You may set the table while I cook.” No has inherent negative connotations and remarkable changes in communication can occur when replacing “no” with positive phrases instead.  

 

Examples of Positive Phrases to Incorporate Into Your Homeschooling

 

  • “I can see how hard you’re paying attention.” - Try replacing “You’re so smart,” “Don’t ignore me,” and “Why aren’t you listening?” with this phrase instead

  • “I saw how hard you were working.”- This is a great phrase to use instead of “good work/boy/girl/job.” By using this phrase, we show the child we’re proud of their behavior and habits. It helps to instill a deeper work ethic in them and helps them to avoid seeking praise and reinforcements on their actual work.

  • ”Let’s try this…” This is a great phrase to use to redirect a behavior instead of saying “No you can’t do that” For example- let’s say your child is about to pour water out on the table. They’re most likely not looking to create trouble, they just want to play with water. Instead of saying “No, you can’t pour water on the table.” Try “Let’s see what happens if we put the water into this bowl.”

  • Try replacing what we don’t want with what we do want- Instead of “Don’t run inside” try “You may go outside if you’d like to run.” Instead of “We can’t buy that toy today,” try “You may save your money for that toy.’

  • “It’s time to”- Use phrases like “It’s time to eat,” “It’s time to go.” Try to avoid following them up with “ok.” Many parents get in the habit of saying “It’s time to eat, ok?” By using that little “ok” at the end, we confuse our children into thinking they have an option and can say “no.” By keeping it short, sweet & to the point with “It’s time to…” we can avoid fights

  • ”In this home we…” This is a good way to help remind children of family expectations and rules without them feeling like a command. It helps remind the child this is everyone in the family does.



Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

10 Lessons Homelessness Taught Me About Homeschooling Through Crisis and Transition

10 Lessons Homelessness Taught Me About Homeschooling Through Crisis and Transition


Everyday felt like I was one tantrum away from crying my eyes out for the first few months.

 

We started our school year homeless. A medical condition forced us to leave our comfortable home. We scrambled to find a solution. Our family moved into an Airstream travel trailer and have relocated almost a dozen times in the last year. This was NOT how I expected to start roadschooling with my son.

 

My seven-year-old has needed a lot of parental guidance as we’ve gone through the school year. This experience has connected me with a lot of homeschoolers going through transition or crisis.  

 

One of the blessings of homeschooling, is that when the going gets tough we can stick together as a family and not miss out on school days. However, maintaining a “normal” school experience might be a little more difficult. Having the ability to bond together as a family during the last year has been so meaningful. I hope these tips will help you during transition or crisis.

10 Ways to Keep Homeschooling During Crisis or Transition:

 

  • Keep it Light - If your child is really struggling with a concept, or resistant to learning new things, try to keep it light and fun.

 

  • Kids respond to our stress - Children are little stress meters. They reflect how we’re feeling. Find support for you while trying to support them. Reach out to a Facebook group, homeschool co-op or support group.
  • Use play - Play based learning is great when we’re overwhelmed. It’s nice to relax and just play a bit. A deck or cards or set of dominos lends itself to dozens of math-based games, wooden shapes can be used to create art scenes, and a moveable alphabet can be used to write stories.

 

  • Have resources for on-the-go - During crisis and transition, we often end up spending a lot of time in the car. Check out our list of resources that are print & go ready and great for the car for spontaneous roadschooling.
  • Use play - Play based learning is great when we’re overwhelmed. It’s nice to relax and just play a bit. A deck or cards or set of dominos lends itself to dozens of math-based games, wooden shapes can be used to create art scenes, and a moveable alphabet can be used to write stories.

 

  • Open & Go - Using Shiller’s curriculum has been so nice. No prep work needed on my part, we can just open and go without needing to spend extra time getting ready. This is a godsend on days where we get to a new place and just don’t have time to unpack 1M+ things for school.
  • Try audiobooks - Librivox.org has thousands of free classic books to download, or hop over to the library and grab some audiobooks. It’s extremely relaxing to listen to a book and draw for a bit while learning!

 

  • Embrace nature study - Spending time outdoors is a good way to get some movement, give us time to think and learn something new. You can do nature study when you arrive in a different place or on the road. It requires nothing but our minds (and maybe a notebook and pencil to sketch).

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  • Journal- Journaling helps us process our feelings and is a good way to work on writing skills. Don’t be too meticulous with your student’s grammar and spelling in their journal entries. Let them express themselves.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 

  • Be grateful for what you’ve got! - If you’re moving, dealing with a natural disaster, or have lost your belongings, homeschooling can seem impossible. However, you can make learning happen with little to no materials. Make math problems with rocks, spell out words with a stick in the dirt, use food to learn adjectives- the options are endless if we take a moment to look at what is available to us. Even traditional Montessori materials can be improvised for little to no money.

 

  • Accept help!- I know, this is hard. Often in crisis and transition, people want to help but they’re not sure how. Find some specific ways for people to help and don’t be afraid to ask.

Schooling during a crisis, transition, or even with limited funds can feel scary and overwhelming. Take it one day at a time, give your family plenty of time to communicate, process the experiences and share. You’ll get through and come out on the other end proud of what you’ve accomplished!

 

What has your experience been like homeschooling during hard times? Do you have any encouragement or feedback to share?  Share in the comments with us and other homeschoolers.


Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

Self Care for Homeschool Moms

The Importance of Self-Care As a Homeschool Mom


As Moms, we spend a lot of time taking care of our kids and making sure their physical and mental health needs are provided for. I don’t know about you, but I find myself asking my son questions all day long about how he is feeling and how his day is going. If I’m honest with myself though, I should be turning around and asking myself these questions too. The community of homeschool moms has helped me discovered the importance of stress relief and self-care.

Avoid Burnout


Wowie! Burnout sure happens as a homeschool mom, doesn’t it? Especially towards the end of the school year. How can we avoid or minimize the impact of burnout? What can we do this summer to refresh and refuel to begin a new school year? Our mental health is extremely important to be able to take care of our kids every day and help them thrive.

First of all, you are enough!! Really, you are. Don’t worry about having the *right* homeschool books, taking the *right* field trips, joining the *right* co-op. Know what your kids want? You! Truly, all they want is an engaged parent who loves them and will help them learn. All the other stuff can sometimes take the place of the value of 1:1 interaction and time with our kids.  

Homeschool mom, you are enough and your kids are grateful (even if they don’t always show it!)

Self-Care Tips for Homeschool Moms.


I hear and see it time and time again, we are our own worst enemies aren’t we? So often the burnout comes from our own internal pressure rather than from the kids or homeschooling itself.   This is why self-care is so extremely important, especially in this high-pressure social media era. This concept of self-care seems to be something new. In previous generations this wasn’t something that was discussed. We can theorize all day as to why this is, but truly there is a need for self-care in today’s culture. Without it we burn out fast and meltdown alongside our kids.

Here are some simple, easy tips to implement more self-care into your homeschool day-

 

  • Don’t go at it alone. Embrace the community of homeschoolers around the world, and try to connect in person instead of just online. Moms teach other moms, and understand one another, in a way no one else can. We are hardwired for community and support. No one is meant to go at it alone.

 

  • Involve relatives, neighbors, or friends. Just as above, mamas need help and that’s OK. Even if it’s just an hour a week that Dad can help kids review math facts and read some stories so you can have a break! Do you have a relative with a job your student is interested in? See if your student can shadow or have a once-a-month Saturday afternoon learning from them. Perhaps an elderly neighbor is a retired teacher and would love some time with children. Or get together with other homeschool moms and work out a rotation for teaching different subjects.

 

  • Brain Dump. This is a funny phrase but an amazing concept. Take 10-15 minutes when you know you won’t be interrupted to work on this. Grab a journal or a piece of paper and start writing what comes to your mind .   It doesn’t need to follow grammar rules or be formal writing. You might end up writing out To Dos, reflections on the day, stressors, conversations you’ve had recently, dinner ideas, etc. Whatever is on your mind, let the rabbit trail go and write.  

 

  • Have a plan. When we’re stressed and busy it seems like the worst possible time to take extra time to plan. However, this is the very best time to plan! Take an extra 5-10 minutes in the morning to make a game plan for your day. Spend a few minutes after breakfast on Monday morning to get a family plan scheduled for the week, it will help immensely.

 

  • Delegate and let go! Use your brain dump and your plan to get an actual To Do list together. Spend some time with it and figure out what you can delegate to someone else, what immediately needs to be done and what can be let go. You’ll be surprised by what you can hand off to the kids or just let go all together.

 

  • Pamper those feet.   Don’t have time to take a bath? Something magical happens when we care for our feet. Give yourself a nice foot soak to unwind. Kids even enjoy them too. In our house, we foot soak while we read Literature sometimes. It’s so refreshing for both of us. Give yourself a little pedicure and enjoy!

 

  • Exercise. Study after study has shown how much stress relief is provided by exercise. Find at least 30 minutes a day to move your body. Have a dance party with the kids, go on a nature hike, or do some yoga. Whatever you choose, get moving and see how much it helps your stress levels.

Meditation or prayer. Again, multiple studies have been done to show how beneficial prayer and/or meditation are to our mental health. Take some time to learn the basics and practice them on your own, and to teach them to your children. Guided meditations are often included in part of a Montessori classroom and Maria Montessori was a proponent of this as well.  

 

Pick a couple of these and begin with 5-10 minutes a day.   If you begin incorporating these over the summer while school is not in session, it will build a better foundation for self-care in the school year.
 


Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

Homeschooling with chronic disease

My Experience Homeschooling with Chronic Disease


My Experience Homeschooling with Chronic Disease

When I was pregnant, I remember grabbing up as many books as I could on parenting styles, homeschooling and raising kids. I even came up with a huge list of fun activities for kids that I hoped to do someday. My husband and I spent hours discussing everything from medical choices to textiles, baby carriers to cloth diapers, Montessori to Waldorf. What we never could have prepared for was how drastically our parenting would be altered by me, yet to be diagnosed, autoimmune diseases.


A Journey to Diagnosis


Six years before my son was born, long before I was engaged or thinking much about children, I was sick. I saw twelve different doctors in a two-year period and never got any real answers as to why I was feeling the way I was and experiencing some difficult symptoms. My last year of college included two urgent care and one ER visit. As my grades slipped, so did my health. I was extremely active on campus and plugged my way through all the while feeling terrible. Two weeks after graduation was my wedding, I was so sick that I took medication right before I started walking down the aisle.

Four years after I started seeking answers I was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. One year later I was diagnosed with a wheat allergy and soy intolerance. My health was better, but not great, when my son was born.

It took another four years, a lot of doctors and footwork to finally be diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases when my son was four. By the time I got an accurate diagnoses, I was dealing with such intense fatigue I could hardly get out of bed some mornings and so much pain that I could no longer pick up my son. We had been doing a Montessori-based homeschool preschool for two years and really enjoyed it. The thing with chronic illness, is sometimes you feel great for a long time and then out of nowhere WHAM it hits you like a ton of bricks.

One year after my diagnosis, I came down with a bad case of mono. I spent about 6 weeks in bed. My thyroid tanked again, and all my illnesses got much worse. I was so sick, we made the difficult decision to stop homeschooling for a bit, so I could focus on getting better. My son spent two years at an amazing afternoon program at a local Montessori charter school while I focused on resting and healing.

Why Homeschooling Is Best For My Family

 

While my health isn’t, and likely never will be, 100% I have more good days than bad now. People often suggest keeping my son in school instead of homeschooling.  

 

Honestly, homeschooling works SO much better with chronic disease (at least for our family)  

 

No joint pain or headaches while I sit in carpool lanes. No fear of having a Raynaud’s attack (a circulation disorder which causes me to lose feeling in my fingers and toes during chilly weather) and not being able to get to school on time. No more getting sick constantly from the bugs my son brought home from school. Sending him to school for a time was absolutely what we needed to do. It was the right choice at the time, just like starting to homeschool again was the right choice at the time.

There’s a great analogy written about life with a chronic illness called the spoon theory, written by Christine Miserandino. In the spoon theory, Christine states that when we wake up we only have a limited number of spoons to use to get through our day. People without chronic diseases can have as many spoons as they want. We get too tired, too sick, have too much pain, and our spoons run out. Homeschooling through this experience has taught me about time management, being transparent with my family, and asking for (and accepting) help. It’s helped us to develop my son’s empathy, given him a chance to develop and become independent, and grown us incredibly close together. While none of my illnesses are life threatening, there’s something about being sick all the time that makes you reevaluate your priorities. I spend more time learning myself, sitting with my son during his school time, and finding fun opportunities to explore and learn together.

Life with a chronic autoimmune disease is never easy. It is possible to homeschool and thrive at it. I’ve also found new friends through the journey of other mom’s dealing with chronic disease while at home schooling. If you have a chronic illness, please feel free to reach out and let’s chat about making a homeschool plan that works for your unique needs and situation.

Another tip? Make sure to check out our free activity packs. They require little to no prep work, are great stress relief, and are awesome to use on the hard days when you need some new activities for the kids to work on while you’re not feeling great. They’d even be great to print up and give to a Grandparent, babysitter, or friend who can help.

Like this? Make sure to check out these other encouraging posts

10 Lessons Homelessness Taught me About Homeschooling Through Crisis and Transition


How Using the Montessori Method Changed Our Homeschooling


Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

Homeschool Quotes to Encourage You

Homeschool Quotes to Encourage You


Homeschooling can be an absolute joy. Watching our children learn to write, learn shapes, learn numbers, and so much more is a gift for all at home schooling parents. There are the hard days too. The days when nothing seems to go to plan, the days when we’re not getting along well with our children, the days when focus is difficult . We hope these quotes will provide you some encouragement on the good days, and the hard days. These are some of our favorite homeschooling quotes, with plenty of quotes from Ms. Montessori herself.

 

Homeschool Quotes To Encourage You

 

“It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.”

“Let us leave the life free to develop within the limits of the good, and let us observe this inner life developing. This is the whole of our mission.”


-Maria Montessori

 

“The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.”

-Harold B. Lee

“Kids who are in school just visit life sometimes, and then they have to stop to do homework or go to sleep early or get to school on time. They are constantly reminded they are “preparing for real life,” while being isolated from it.”

- Sandra Dodd

“Education is not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of a fire.”

- W.B. Yeats

“Homeschooling allows you the freedom to step off the highway of learning and take a more scenic route along a dirt road.”

- Tamara L. Chilver

“Learning can only happen when a child is interested. If he’s not interested, it’s like throwing marshmallows at his head and calling it eating.”

-Katrina Gutleben

“An observant child should be put in the way of things worth observing.”

-Charlotte Mason

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and
understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
-Albert Einstein

 

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
-Ben Franklin

“The satisfaction which they find in their work has given them a grace and ease like that which comes from music.”

-Maria Montessori

“Homeschooling allows you to make the curriculum fit the the child, rather than making the child fit the curriculum”


- Homeschool with Love

 

“The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.”


-David O. McKay

 

“Once upon a time, all children were homeschooled. They were not sent away from home each day to a place just for children but lived, learned, worked, and played in the real world, alongside adults and other children of all ages.”
 

-Rachel Gathercole

 

“When you homeschool your children, you have to make sacrifices: of your time, of your energy, of your money. Speaking of money, you know, when I look back, living on one income all those years meant we didn’t drive expensive cars or go on extended high-end vacations. But that wasn’t important. What was important was that we had time together…nothing can replace that. You can have that time too. Concentrate on the positives, and enjoy your time with your kids. You won’t be sorry.”


-Barbara Frank

 

“Our aim is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.”`

Maria Montessori

 

 


Want to see more quotes? Check out our Quotes Pinterest board.

 


Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >