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Supplement to the Guides:
Instructions for the Montessori Work

The Supplement is for use with the set of four classroom guides-
A Guide for the Montessori Classroom: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.

Click on a thumbnail page to see the sample pages.

                                                  

                                       Table of Contents                                 The Great Lessons

                                                  

Supplement to the Guides gives simple yet concise instructions for the Montessori materials, Grace & Courtesy, the Great Lessons, and for making many of the materials~ as well as an overview of Montessori philosophy, a list of recommended Montessori material resources, and guidelines for using with ages 6 to 12.

The lessons in the Supplement are a combination of the author’s Montessori Educational Programs International (MIA/MEPI) training as well as classroom experience at schools with various Montessori affiliations. But, a Montessori classroom is much more than the Montessori materials/equipment. The most important element is the Montessori philosophy. An overall theme using Maria Montessori’s cosmic education that introduces the child to the world and universe is also more important than merely using Montessori equipment (see Bird's Eye View of the Year link at the top of this website). The Supplement contains an overview of Montessori philosophy, but if you are new to Montessori it is of utmost importance that you also read the books by Maria Montessori listed on the Recommended Books page at the back of the supplement and also on the This Month's Book List page of this website.

The FOUR MAIN AREAS of the Montessori classroom are:
• Practical Life- Life skills, Care of the self and others, Care of the environment, Social interaction, Grace & Courtesy

• Sensorial- Exploration of color, shape, dimension, weight, touch, sound, taste, and smell
 
• Mathematics- The use of manipulative objects to understand quantity and numeration

• Language- Development of writing and reading skills

The “prepared environment” consists of carefully prepared shelves with materials with which the child will direct his or her own learning. The prepared environment includes the four main areas- Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, and Language as well as Science, Botany, Zoology, Geography, History and Cultural Studies, Art, and Music.

Practical Life work is designed to give the child the tools to care for oneself and others as well as the classroom and in the handling of daily tasks independently of the adult. A broken dish or water spill is matter-of-factly taken care of by fetching the broom and dustpan or bucket and sponge. Meaningful activity occurs spontaneously from moment to moment. Maria Montessori’s intent for the various work lessons is to encourage independent, creative actions enabling children to become "masters of their environment and conscious of their power over it."

A large amount of the work in a Montessori classroom is hand made. Instructions for preparation of many of the materials is included in the lesson. A lesson includes a description of the material, supplies needed, and the process for introducing the material to the child.

The Montessori materials are introduced according to the individual needs, interests, and readiness of each child. As each child progresses at his or her own pace the classroom director or homeschool parent uses keen observation to discern which work to introduce to that child. There is no set order for introducing the various areas of the classroom, but the work within each area does follow a general sequence, each work building on a previous one, which is how the Supplement is sequenced.

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