Sunday Book Club: This is how we do it

Peace Education is the centre of the Montessori pedagogy. It is essentially the heart of it. 

This week’s book is absolutely fantastic for teaching that although we are all slightly different, for the most part we are all very much the same. 
This book is excellent because it has what I struggle to find: realistic illustrations of children all over the world without the stereotypes of dress or religion found in other books. It also doesn’t contain children from North America which so many books focus on. 





The pages are beautiful, interesting and best of all, offer opportunities for vocabulary building and further discussion. The story follows each child from breakfast, through the day and the reader and child can easily make connections between what the person in the book is doing with what they do each day. 

Peace Education seems to be all the more important in today’s world. Finding ways to connect with others even if you aren’t exactly the same is a common goal we all can share. 

Our Montessori Semi-Holiday: Cosmic Education

What does Cosmic Education mean in a Montessori Home?

It means exploring the big wide world.

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Although Infant, and Cycle One (3-6) hold special places in my heart, my absolute favourite is Cosmic Education. It’s quite literally infinite in its possibilities.

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For Anthony, it’s about testing his limits (safely) and feeding that passion and hunger for seeking out the new.

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It’s also about having a little fun. We walk and talk.

“This is where the world came.” He says, more to himself than to me. In 15 minutes, we hear a handful of languages. We meander, stopping when he wants to look more closely at something.

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“Follow the Child” I can’t forget that just because the child is taller than me.

Montessori: Our Cosmic Education Journey

The goal of Cosmic Education is to guide the child toward an initial examination of the question “Who am I”

-Children of the Universe: Cosmic Education in the Montessori Elementary Classroom -Michael and D’Neil Duffy

I know how to provide Quentin (14 months) with a developmentally appropriate prepared environment. It’s easy for me to make/purchase materials that facilitate the sensitive period he’s passing through.

Anthony is a different story. A boy who at 12 stands taller than me. A boy who sometimes hides behind a tough persona when surround by others his age, but still seeks hugs before climbing into bed every night. What do I do for a boy that is a man who is a child?

Cosmic Education beginning around the age of 6 and progressing through to the age of 12 was in short, Maria Montessori’s way of tying all the subjects of study in a classroom to the bigger picture so to speak.

We are at the end of that journey. Anthony knows the 5 Great Lessons.
But how do we implement them into his life?

The answer is simple. We walk. Or to be more precise we hike.
This is made all the much nicer by the fact that we live in a rainforest on an island in the Pacific. Yes, although it may shock some of you, Canada isn’t all ice, and houses made of snow.

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Yesterday Anthony and I hiked to one of our favourite beaches. It’s a 2km hike through the forest.

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Some of the trail is board walked but most of it is rugged terrain and leaves us sweating. The trees are old. Very old. Some of the fallen ones support their own biome with the growth of new life. Excellent fodder for conversations about the universe.

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You come through the forest and descend a long staircase that empties onto the beach. There’s a waterfall that falls from the forest above onto the beach below. It’s beautiful and quiet with the exception of the waves crashing onto the beach. We laid out a blanket and our packed lunch in the shade of the cliffs.

We talked. I listen a lot and try to observe the boy that is changing. His body hasn’t grown at this rate since he was an infant. In fact Montessori likened this age to infancy. The child is deconstructing itself in order to build a new self. An adult self.

After lunch we walk the beach and stop at the waterfall.

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Even the biggest boy can become the little boy when presented with water and dirt.

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He needs a Guide more now than even perhaps in his first years.