Monday, January 14, 2013

Life is School and School is Life

Traditionally speaking in an Elementary Montessori Classroom my children would of already had The Five Great Lessons. In my perfect world all of my children would be attending a Montessori classroom suitable for their plane of development. My plan is different from the plans that God has for my children. Looking back on my life from past to present I am certain that he has been preparing me for my role as a homeschool mother. With that said I don't think my family fits a one size fits all model. I have researched many educational philosophies and it is clear that my way of parenting my children is inseparable to the Montessori philosophy of education.

I follow my children still more than I follow any album. Albums are great and are needed! But the secret ingredient is " following the child".

Back to The Great Lessons.

In August I visioned that we would complete every Great Lesson in its entirety back to back. In August we did "God With No Hands" and in September we swallowed up the presentations involved in the "Timeline of Life"

                             Ken working on the Cenozoic Era of the Timeline of Life today.        

I waited to continue more Great Lessons because this work they excitedly argued over who was going to work with it first:)  The Timeline of Life is such a great and heavy work that Michelle who is 14 has plenty to learn from it. The Great Lessons stories are unique and my kids are drawn to them.

I shared the Third and the Fourth of  'The Five Great Lessons" as written by Dr. Montessori over Christmas break without the Montessori materials and they loved them! I can't express to you enough the great benefits of having good literature at your reach.

The Third Great Lesson`~  Coming of Humans led my children to the Bible.

 They have become philosophers and at several different times I had to remind them that is a story written by Dr. Montessori to excite you about the fundamental needs of man, etc. At least once a day they as a whole work on tracing themselves to Abraham, then to Adam and Eve because these were the first people as they believe it.  Now they listen to the story bible on CD 24/7.  No materials were necessary just some books and a mom who loves to tell stories. By the way I am desperately looking for a good Bible for their ages.                                                      
I had no plans on adding religion to our homeschool day, again God has other plans for us.

The Fourth Great Lesson~ The Story of Writing

It went well! But these kids are excited about literature and writing anyway. Maybe I need to be more patient to see the results of the impact of this lesson., just maybe all of these Great Lessons stories will come together. Then again I noticed they love creation stories more since hearing this Great Lesson, just maybe they are on their way to creating one themselves. Right now I am playing the Waiting Game:)                      

 Lots of  late night readings of this book great follow up book to the Fourth Great Lesson~ The Story of Writing.

The Fifth Great Lesson~The Story of Numbers

For this one I decided to wait and see what resources that I could find that would make the environment prepared for their discoveries.

 I found this wonderful resource from here. It has everything I was looking for!! They will be introduced to the beauty of geometry, tricksters and legends from around the world, and the history of counting with lots of fun counting games and math concepts. This is Kit 1 Grade 4. The price was inexpensive for everything that comes with it.

Also this book from Amazon for $1.80

 So no we don't have any fancy timelines for the rest of the Great Lessons, and I hope that the kids will make them on their own. What I have paid more attention to is having the environment prepared for follow up work that will deepen their understandings and allow them to make connections.

No Montessori materials, just the philosophy!!

I am linking this post to the History/ Geography Meme hosted by All Things Beautiful.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
The Homeschool Village


  1. What is interesting is that you have described exactly what you're supposed to do :)

    The last two Great Lessons don't open up new subjects areas (the children have already been working with math and language), so there is definitely less of a "volcano going off" in regards to interest. But it does tie everything together!

    Many-many-many people ask me why I don't have any timelines for the Great Lessons except the Timeline of Life - the simple answer is, there is not supposed to be. There are some charts that can be used, but they are not do-or-die (although God with No Hands really does need visuals along with the demonstrations, because it is so long!).

    So it sounds to me like you are doing the Great Lessons just like the AMI albums describe ;)

    I love those resource ideas! I'm adding them to my library list to see what they have!

    Here is a Montessori Nugget on the Great Lessons:

    And another idea for math resources is the book lists at
    That site is SO inspiring for connections between math and literature and music and history and biology and everything else I can't think of right now ;)

  2. For a Bible - while it is nice to have one that reads more as a story to give a good picture of Salvation History (that is what most people seem to be looking for when they want a children's Bible that is not entirely child-ish), my 8 year old is reading the "real" Bible himself. A strong Montessori principle is "the best for the smallest" and another is "real experiences." The real full Bible, perhaps in large print for ease of reading, with an age-appropriate study guide, fully trusts the child's relationship with God.

    But then, I'm very biased towards Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which gives children the actual words of Scripture from age 3-onward (using age-appropriate portions of the Bible, of course). ;)

  3. Thank you Jessica! I really appreciate you sharing your wisdom with me.

    The Bible you described would be perfect for us. I think I have been looking for this type of Bible, but would of only known it if I seen it. One of those Oh yeah that's what I am talking about:)

    I am off to read the Montessori Nugget you linked to and the living math website.

  4. Great post! Thank you for sharing all of the resources! I've bookmarked this and probably will pin it :)

    I posted about the Bible (Discoverer's Bible) we just switched to recently.

    It's the "full thing" in large print and the translation (NIrV) is touted as "third grade reading level." I looked at 50 bibles in a Christian bookstore and that's what I came home with. It would be good for DJ. He would LOVE the Bible I DIDN'T get, the Adventure Bible, but it's not large print. If you want Ken to have her own, she has more options. At her age I would take her to the Christian bookstore and pick something together.

    1. Haha! When I don't remember where I saw something, I should just say it's on What Did We Do All Day, because I'd probably be right! ;)

  5. Thank You My Boy's Teacher!!

    It is a privilege to receive the benefits from your research. 50 Bibles, Wow!!

    I agree with Jessica. I should definitely ask you first.
    Of course this isn't the first time your research has helped me out:)

  6. Its so fun to look back and see how God was always preparing us for this role - even if some of us thought we came to it kicking and screaming, ahem. =)


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