Tag Archives: Montessori

God With No Hands Projects – Revisited

Chart 1 showing the size relationship between the Earth and the Sun.

One of the ways children show me how they are processing the impressionistic lesson of the formation of the Universe is by how they are interpreting the posters in our room which are used during the presentation.

First, the most immature child processes this wonderful impressionistic story very literally.  I find this is often a young first year child.  This vision is not wrong for where the child is developmentally.  I know the child will see it from a different facet as he is older.

The second and third year child (and often the first year upper child) is wanting to show what he believes really happened at that moment on the Earth. His drawings are more “photo realistic.”

Volcanos spewing smoke. The sun hides herself behind a veil of ashy clouds.

For the older Upper Elementary child,  the interpretation is often back to the impression of the work.  He understands the work and many of the concepts literally and is now ready to put his individual stamp on Dr. Montessori’s work.

AV and JV had become interested in creating their own God With No Hands cards.

Well not cards in the case of AV.  AV wants to quilt the felt to make a soft poster.

JV has been focused on a minimalist approach. JV is using cut paper. Elegant.

I find the child’s vision is very helpful for discussions of other Montessori lessons.  It provides a window into the child’s thoughts, understandings, and tendencies.

I have observed some Montessori classes shading photo copies of the charts as line art sheets and making a book.  I would find this difficult for me as a directress, because the meeting of the child with the story is personal and provides such a window into her soul.  I wouldn’t want to miss those clues.

Our actual lesson and my charts are here.  The core text is here.



Filed under Art, AV, Geography and World Studies, God With No Hands, JV, Montessori

JV’s God With No Hands Charts

JV has been working on his interpretation of the God With No Hands charts. He has gone for a very simple, modern look.  It is all very unlike JV’s normal highly detailed work.

Anywho. . .

Chart one has the tiniest little dot of blue to represent the Earth in relationship with the sun.  (As a side note, today we figured how many 12 inch diameter Earths would fit in our house – 3,800ish.)

Chart two (which is really chart three) shows the hot and boiling Earth as it is flung into space.  The coldness of space is reaching to cool it down.

Chart three (which is chart four) shows the heat at the core of the Earth trying to escape through vents in the Earth’s surface.

Chart four (yes, you guessed it – chart five) shows the water covering the Earth’s low points.

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Filed under Art, Geography and World Studies, God With No Hands, JV

Projects are rising to the top

We are moving forward in the process of the creating a community.  Lessons, food, projects, prayer, discipline.

Ms. Julie and her helpers made potato pancakes for lunch.  It brought about this priceless comment.    “First you tapped the egg ever so gently, then you squeezed the egg and jammed your fingers until it exploded in your hand. We need to make sure we clean up really well.”

Projects are on the rise.  AR has completed her  four birds and wanted to bind the pages into a book.  We made a cover (a totally beautiful tree with the title as leaves on the tree and nests and birds) then bound the book using sewing thread.  AR finds sewing excellent work and enjoys the finished feel of the books.

AR sewing her geometry book.

AR and BW have  been working in the morning with Geometry lessons.  Their first book was on the topic of 0, 1, 2, and 3 dimensions.  The classical Montessori lesson discusses the cube in relationship to a square (plane) in relationship to a line (no that line is too thick, let me sharpen my pencil even more since a line has no width) in relationship to a point which is soooo tiny that we can’t measure it.

Their second lesson was on straight and curvy lines.  They made a book with the definitions of the lines and then found and wrote six of each curvy and straight lined objects found within the classroom.

AR sewed hers again. BW just wants to finish and move to something different.

BR and JV working hard

BR and JV are waaaaaayyyy about gemstones.  They have been holed up in the back room working a way.

JV has been downloading and printing the chemical patterns that create the crystals.  He is building the crystal of zircon.

BR has completed his research on sapphires and rubies.

They have set Friday as the day to complete their rough draft of their presentation and Monday to complete the work.

AV is working on a study of the Levant civilization.  He, being the research king, is reading web pages and watching videos.  It will be interesting to see what comes out of this study.

Of course eating is important.  Feeding ten people is quite a bit of people to feed and clean up after.  Of course everyone wants to cook, too. BR and LR worked together yesterday to create tacos.


LR has been working on his own project.  He is researching Polynesian map making and has made his own twine from raw hemp.  He loves it.  Making twine is a small bit addicting. He split dried bamboo and made half-inch wide strips to be the lines on his map.  Today he began attaching the bamboo together with his twine. I’m sure his written paper will be following tomorrow.

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Filed under "Coming of Man", Art, Cooking, Geography and World Studies, Geometry, Mathematics, Physics, Practical Life - Elementary, Projects, Science, Writing

First full day of school

This year I’m working with two other families who are Montessori (ish) home schooling their children. My guys continue to be functioning inside the home school ethos.

BR is back but is joined this year with his mom, brother (LR), and sister (AR).

The W family is also a part of our consortium mom, daughter (DW) and brother (BW).

We range in age from 5 (“Really I’m 6.”), 6, 9, 9, 11, 11, and 13.

Here are photos of our time together.

AV showing BW how to flint knap an arrow head.

Our focus this year is the

Fundamental Needs of Man/ Coming of Man/Rise of Civilizations (when you have multiple ages crossing developmental planes it gets complicated. It is the Montessori flow of the same sets of topics.)

For the youngest children, the Fundamental Needs of Man brings up discussions of defense and food acquisition. It crosses into AV’s third plane of development which for him is how civilizations rise and fall.  AV studied with Keith at Rivercane and has a rudimentary knowledge of flint knapping and pressure flaking.  BW is very kinesthetic. He wanted to know what man did to hunt.  AV took him outside and showed him how to flint knap.   We really need to acquire some better rocks (not my rock collection).  Ahh but BW is really interested and excited.

BR - been waiting to work on his new project.

BR’s interests turned to gemstones after a trip to the mountains of NC this summer.  He mined for rubies and found 8.1 carrots.

He has been maintaining an intense interest in the top gems of the world and the way rubies are formed.

JV has become sucked into the vortex of the project and is working with BR.   JV doesn’t have too much in the way of free time to invest in the project as his life includes six works (subjects) which must be covered daily.

AR came in with a plan. She is 6 going on 7 and, with two older brothers, knows her mind.  She brought a binder full of bird information that she wanted to choose among to make a book about birds.  She is using the Montessori Animal Classification Game to choose what topics to discuss for her report.  The Animal Classification Game is a series of tickets covering everything from habitat to food to reproduction.  (I’ve searched for an example on line and have not found anything, so you’ll have to visualize.)There are 9 categories all color coded. Under each category there are “answers”.  For example, under food preference there are three answers: carnivore, herbivore, and omnivore.  AR will scan her information to find discussions of food and formulate a sentence along the lines of: “The Common Spotted Owls is a carnivore.”  This work is designed to help children learn what things are important to know about animals.  As writing becomes easier for her, we will add at least one sentence that covers something interesting about the animal, too.

AR and BW teamed up to work on stereognostic skills.  The stereognostic sense is the way we hold information from past experiences in our memory and then apply it to another sense. For example the visual sense being translated into the sense of touch. These shells are named by touch. The critical thinking that is required to use the stereognostic sense is high.  I was skeptical of this process in lower elementary when I introduced it last year. The children loved it and found the challenge worth the time.  They invented the shell game and JV made bag, blindfold (sea shell themed), and  the little cards last year.

AR and BW are working their way up to the full bag of 15.  They have mastered six shells.

LR contemplating the binomial cube.

LR sat with the binomial cube for a bit of math.

He found the layout of the box slightly different (as we use the classical Montessori layout to promote algebraic awareness) and we worked through the algebraic discussion of faces and sides.  We translated this into “real” numbers.   Ahhhh the difference in thought across the algebraic line is difficult to visualize.

He and DW sat with a lesson on divisibility. This is officially my favorite lesson.

Our highlight was the older children’s presentation of the traditional coming of the universe with God With No Hands.  The older children presented the demonstrations and the charts.  I narrated the imaginative story.

Older kids preparing to present God With No Hands

LR watching DW explain chart three

DW demonstrating that heavier liquids sink closer to the center of the earth while lighter liquids rise.


Filed under "Coming of Man", AV, Binomial & Trinomial Cube - Cube rooting, Biology, BR, Educational Philosophy, Geography and World Studies, JV, Mathematics, Montessori, Projects, Science, Writing