Saturday, August 25, 2012

Notes on the Local Education Requirements



Montessori training centers refer to any local educational requirements as the “public school curriculum”. I personally refer to the term “local educational requirements” to incorporate not only the public school curriculum, but any other requirements made on homeschools or private schools, as well as the requirements of the particular homeschool or private school. For homeschools, this area might include family studies, areas that the family finds important or critical, faith formation and the like.

Within the school setting as well as within the family for homeschool requirements that are not family-based, encourage the child to help create the material needed; or utilize resources on hand to learn the required skill. This does not need to be elaborate; however it could lead into a strong area of personal interest for a particular child. 

You are likely to find that by the end of 3rd and 6th grades, a child has already learned most or all of the public school curriculum either directly through the Montessori materials, or through their own personal studies. This occurrence is precisely why Montessori albums are not adjusted for the public school curriculum –  nor should Montessori teachers get too caught up with local educational requirements -- keys-based Montessori albums provide what is developmentally appropriate for all or most children; the public school curriculum (and albums that provide far above and beyond the keys) is typically imposed from the outside and may or may not be appropriate for ALL children. 

Non-keys-based albums can be useful, if you discern what is a key and what is ok for not every child in a particular environment to do. If every child had to do everything, there would be no more time for personal studies! 

And children that do personal studies - can pull in a wide variety of resources - especially non-Montessori ones! More in another Montessori Nugget! 



2 comments:

  1. I'm just starting with a 6-12 class where a lot of children have large gaps. I want to have standards to refer to in the classroom (not for everyday use but for occasional evaluation) but I'm finding standards to be too lengthy to just print out and put in a binder (like hundreds of pages). I need something a little more concise/accessible. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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  2. Now that my son is year 3, I have gone through our particular state's standards, which actually aren't just too bad when considering the possibility of gaps. Paper-wise - not great, but not too bad.

    BUT I did have to reformat them to make them more kid-friendly.

    I had the option of downloading in pdf or word - I chose word so I could re-format into a user-friendly (and less paper!) format. If I were currently in a classroom that needed this, I would actually go through and delete some items that you KNOW will be covered by the Montessori materials for sure - just some things - enough to shorten it. This way, the children still see "aha! I got that one with the materials/presentations already!" (we want them to recognize that they HAVE learned something; and recognize that learning when it is described in a different way.

    You only NEED 3rd and 6th grade unless you live in areas that *require* (at risk of losing a school license or homeschool permission) yearly standards. There is usually enough repetition from one grade to the next (with slight increased requirements in some areas) that posting 3rd and 6th is sufficient even for the 2nd and 5th graders. While I could see having the 4th graders also double-checking the 3rd grade charts, I would mostly leave 4th grade out of it; and definitely leave 1st grade out - you can work on remediation with them and move forward from there.

    Another thought - you really only "need" (again, unless you are in an exceptional area as noted above) mathematics, geometry, history (social studies) and languages. Sciences are generally covered, though you might want to check the 6th grade standards on sciences. Music and other areas don't really need the state standards, unless YOU want to look at them and see if there is something interesting to incorporate.

    And when you see large areas of work that you know has been covered, just delete it. No sense bogging down the children.

    Now, if they have huge gaps in the MONTESSORI presentations, you will probably want to put something together, separate from the state standards (and not deal with the state standards right now except with those 3rd and 6th years that are otherwise caught up), that the children can see where they need to be working in particular areas. This is where meeting with them one on one for a weekly (sometimes daily) meeting, development of a work plan and follow-through of the work journal, comes in.

    Hopefully that helps - let me know if I can help any further :)

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