AV – Cultural Concepts

AV’s Psychology class is nearing completion.  He has been charged with looking at cultural interactions.  This has gone well with our discussions of migration and assimilation of various cultures.  AV wishes he could have just submitted this set of ads.



Leave a comment

Filed under AV, Geography and World Studies, Students

JV – Math, Sewing, and Archaeology – Whew.

Custom Leather Backpack. AV tanned the hide. JV sewed and made the buttons.

JV has been really busy this path month.  He is working through pre-algebra.  Boy can it be tricky.

He was preoccupied for a week or so with making a client a “smallish” backpack out of buckskin.  When he couldn’t find the buttons he liked, we bought a coconut and he made them from scratch.

His next project involved the pot he helped find at the Kolb Site.  He spent the afternoon piecing together all the ones that fit together and then spent some time the next week gluing them together ever so carefully.  I tried not to be offended that lots of the gluing happened during lessons.

JV has been making these really cute pillow bears out of recycled shirts. He has been only interested in the fronts of these men’s oxfords, so we were accumulating a good number of sleeves and backs.  What to do?  Here is his solution:  aprons.  The aprons are obviously shirts – some even use the collar as part of the waist band.  We also have had a number of vintage 30’s and 40’s hankies.  These work great as the pockets.  The arms are modified and used as the apron ties.  Ever so cute.  If you love them, he has a shop on Etsy.  Go by and email him as I don’t think he has them up yet.  I’ve been informed they are $15.

Leave a comment

Filed under Montessori

DW – Migration

One of the final group lessons in upper’s history lessons is a discussion of migration patterns and types.  To begin these discussions with DW, we began looking at the flow of the hominids from Africa.  DW used JV’s map from two years ago hence the submarine trenches and ranges.  She used the hole punch to color code the various hominoid groups.

Leave a comment

Filed under "Coming of Man", DW, Geography and World Studies, Students

MMcC – fundamental needs comparison

Mya had a history project that was essentially a discussion of the Fundamental Needs of Man.”   She had to look at two cultures and see how they met their fundamental needs.  The two cultures were the Greeks and the Romans.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Filed under European History, Geography and World Studies, MMcC, Students

BW – timeline presentation

BW has been studding the progress of the hominoids.  Here is is final timeline with his fundamental needs presentation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Montessori

DW – Australopithecus

Australopithecus was a early hominid.  Australopithecus Africanus lived 2.66 million years ago to 1.66 million years ago.   Males were four and a half feet tall, while females were three and a half feet tall.   They lived in Africa, mostly found in Ethiopia and Tanzania.   Africa was covered in abundant rainforest and forest.  They were half-way between human and great ape, because they did not fill all of the fundamental needs of man. But they were more than just apes because they walked on two feet.

Australopithecus ate beetles, other insects, plants, fruit, small animals and fish, and roots.  They were not hunters, they were scavengers.  A small animal would have been a treat. They mostly ate plants and fish.  They did not cook their meat, and ate it raw.

Australopithecus sheltered in the woods.  They mostly tried to use shelter that was already there, rather then make one.  If they had to make a shelter they would cover themselves with leaves or shrubs.  They did not have any clothing.  Because they were living in Africa, they were warm.

Walking was the only means of transportation.  They used simple tools and weapons.  Their tools and weapons were like chimp’s tools and weapons.  Chimps use primitive tools out of grasses and sticks.

They did not have art because they were not advanced enough. Many scientists believe they did have religon. While others say they did not.  There are also two theories that they talked or had means of communication. While the others say no.

They did not have clothes, art, like we do. They did not bury dead like we do.  They might not have had a religion or communication like we do.  But we know they are more advanced than great apes because they walked on two legs.

Leave a comment

Filed under "Coming of Man", DW, Geography and World Studies, Letter Work, Projects, Students, Writing

Extended First Timeline of Man

Dr. Montessori (or Mario or Grazzini depending on who your trainer was) created beautiful timelines of the coming of humans.  Dr. Montessori’s first begins at 500,000 years ago and the second at 40,000.  As BW, DW, and MMcC study the hominids and since BW created his own time line beginning 3 million years ago Mrs. JW and I decided to utilize BW’s timeline and extend the first of Dr. Montessori’s timelines on out.

A side note on making work.  Lots of people get grand ideas that they have a better plan than Dr. Montessori for a myriad of reasons.  And really they might.  Dr. Montessori evaluated, changed and even scrapped work based on observations and comments of others.  However,  one must really understand what Dr. Montessori was trying to communicate with the work she made in that sequence, ask whether or not it truly benefits the child, and ponder exactly what you hope to communicate to the child.  Making work is tough.  Making great work is extremely difficult.  Ms. JW and I have been discussing this for about two weeks.  We’ve debated pros and cons.  We’ve read both AMI and AMS manuals.  We’ve looked at Dr. Montessori’s writings.  We’ve wrestled with the facts of geology and anthropology and the difficulties when looking at two separate fields of study and combining them.  There were parts that we almost scrapped entirely as we were making them because we weren’t sure that we were communicating effectively.  I am grateful that I was not trying to do this on my own.  It takes a sounding board to push beyond one’s ideas to create something that communicates a theme to children.

DW has been looking at the skeletal evidence for early hominids as well as how Australopithecus met his fundamental needs. (Her big question became: “At what point do we define ‘human’?”

BW has been looking at skull structure for hominids and how  they met their basic fundamental needs.

We were wondering if the timeline could incorporate these topics (since they are included in the original 500,000 year chart).  Our other wonder was, “can we make the eras, ages, and periods removable to aid in BW’s very kinesthetic learning style.

Off we began.  This is what we ended up with:

The children are laying out the ages of the earth that are relevant to our study.

After our initial lesson, the children were asked to decide what they were going to do to help them understand the lesson more fully. Both BW and DW decided to make charts – but vastly different charts.  This one has the skulls and the Montessori developments cards on it.

The chart with everything laid out. Barely visible are the glaciation periods – really that is the term. They are made from contact paper doubled over itself.

BW deep in concentration creating his version of the timeline.

Another view of BW’s timeline. Note the pop-up guys for each of the hominid groups.  The bright red flourish is fire.


Filed under Montessori