One of the great benefits of the Montessori Method is that it teaches kids how to take control of their own education, since they choose which materials to work with and work at their own pace. It can be somewhat more challenging maintaining that kind of environment when you reach the beginning of middle school or junior high school ages, simply because Maria Montessori only really divulged her studies up through the age of fifteen, and for ages fourteen and fifteen, the recommendation is to have students live and work on a farm. This was a particularly applicable during the early twentieth century in Italy, since her method was designed to teach the “un-teachable”, which included the poor. In today’s world, it might make more sense to have children work in an office environment for 2 years, when you think about the professional ramifications, but the experiment does help children to become more business savvy, and to understand many scientific, mathematical and communicative principles operate in the real world. If you don’t have access to a farm for your children to work on regularly, and you want to continue to use Montessori principles in their education, they can grow a garden in your backyard, get a pet (even if it’s only a fish) and continue to develop their communication by reading about science, geography or history that interests them. Open a joint checking account with each child, and teach them how to keep a ledger and balance the checkbook. They can learn business principles from getting a job, and budgeting their income. Basic accounting principles like gross and net income, profit and loss and cash and accrual accounting methods. Encourage their knowledge of different cultures by getting a Canadian tier of stations on your satellite tv, or if it’s available on your cable. You can also order books online from other countries for various reading levels. Another great resource for cultural activities, and scientific experiments you can do at home is Home Learning Coach. They also have a book club of classics to help adults or children in high school expand their reading horizons and they offer tutoring for parents who feel out of their league in teaching a particular subject area. Other things you can do together include visiting a historical site and talking about the events it commemorates, cook with your children to teach them about fractions and doubling or halving a recipe, take them to the opera, a poetry reading, a pops (not pop) concert, or a play and talk about the history of the composers or the writers. Tweens might even like just digging in the dirt to find what bugs are in there and what they do. Guide them to different activities, but let them take the lead in the interest and you can keep using the Montessori Method for tweens up through adolescence.
DISCLAIMER:The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.