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How to Use the Guides

Click on the mini pages to enlarge to full size PDF pages

Using the Guides with ages 3-6           Using the Guides with ages 6-12


Maria Montessori’s emphasis was on world peace by giving the child an overview of the whole world and universe. The overall theme of the set of four guides is based on Maria Montessori’s “cosmic education.”

Working from the whole to the parts, the guides begin with a study of the child and expands to the greater picture of our universe and solar system. We return to our earth to investigate the four elements, an overview of the seven continents, time lines, our continent, our country, our state, our city. The year continues with exploration of each continent’s culture, art, geography, biomes, plants, animals, and people. The child gains a sense of self and of community, a connection with the natural world, an empathy with all of earth’s inhabitants, and an increased sense of belonging in the cosmos.

See Bird's Eye View of the Year link at the top of the page for an overview of the year.

Designed to be flexible in use, the guides integrate practical life, grace and courtesy, peace curriculum, the Great Lessons, sensorial, math, language, science, botany, zoology, geography, music, yoga and body awareness, and art into a purposeful theme. The set of four guides serve as a springboard for launching into various subjects of interest to nourish the needs of each child, while providing a flexible framework and starting point for new teachers and homeschool parents. The curriculum helps foster in the child care and compassion for all living things, a sense of wonder and self discovery, cooperation, community, and a responsibility for self and the environment. Observation, journaling, and adapting and modifying these guides according to the needs of the children are important components of their use.

" Follow the Child "  Maria Montessori

Over 600 pages packed full of ideas for continued use year after year!
More suggestions are given on each daily page than can be used in a single day in order to provide a variety of ideas to pick and choose from year to year.

Used with various ages~
The same cosmic theme is used with ages 3 to 6, 6 to 9, and 9 to 12.
The Montessori cosmic theme is cyclical rather than linear. Each year is a step upward in a spiral of learning as the child explores each study at his or her own level and pace. Building on the solid foundation established in the primary classroom the elementary child is eager to explore the whys and hows of everything in more detail and expand into related areas of interest. See the sample pages at the top of this page for more details.

The seasonal titles- Fall, winter, Spring, and Summer- are just a way to divide the year into quarters. The Summer guide is an essential part of the complete curriculum. Some schools, with or without a summer session, use a two-year period for one complete cycle of the curriculum. Or the summer guide may be integrated and used with the other three guides in a 9 month program, or one cycle may be completed in twelve continuous months.

The set of guides was developed over a period of fifteen years by a Montessori classroom director, led by the needs and interests of the children in her classrooms.

Used throughout the world~
Although the curriculum was developed in the United States, it may be adapted for use in any country. Plug in your continent and country where appropriate and rearrange the material as needed. Seasonal themes may need to be rearranged or modified for local climate and seasons.

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