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August 21, 2009


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I've been enjoying this series very much. Makes me long to have a farm again! But since that is not in the cards right now, I do agree that the whole idea behind farm school--kids taking responsibility for the daily upkeep, health, and economy of the school/family unit can be adapted to non-farm situations. You've given some great practical examples of that here--bookshelves, canning, etc. I would also add auto maintenance and repair, woodworking,hunting/fishing/wildcrafting, participating in a home business or working as a volunteer at a local charity as ways to extend the philosophy beyond the farm.

I admit I am guilty of not putting enough thought into applying Montessori philosophy to my older kids education. I guess I used not having a farm any more as an excuse and it really is a poor one after all, isn't it?
Maria Montessori was such a genius, but the info on older children is just not out there like it is for the little ones so it is easy to forget. Thanks for getting me thinking in this vein again.


Fascinating read! I look forward to hearing more about your application of Montessori principles and classical studies to your adolescent's education!

On the topic of art in Montessori, I wanted to mention that while I agree that the standard Montessori curriculum does not emphasize art, it really is up to each teacher to determine what type of art exposure the children will get. In my AMI Primary classroom, we have an easel with tempera paints, a watercolor material, a collage material (which they make from scratch, not from pre-cut pieces) and a tray that has a new art medium every two weeks (clay, nature collage, rubbings, etc.). While the children receive presentations before they use the material so they can be aware of the specifics (such as how to clean a paintbrush), they are really free to explore and be creative. We also learn about one painter/artist each month, but I never have the children imitate a painter's work (as they do in traditional schools). I guess it just depends on the teacher's priorities...

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