Our class is a part-time Montessori social learning community for homeschooled students. It is a self-directed, collaborative learning environment designed for children 6-9-years-old (1st-3rd grade). Class meets from 9:30am-3:00pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays in San Marco.
Our program is centered around The Five Great Lessons of the Montessori elementary curriculum. These are impressionistic lessons that are focused on creating a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world. They include:
- The Story of the Universe
- The Story of Life
- The Story of Humans
- The Story of Language
- The Story of Numbers
After each lesson, we spend a few weeks immersing ourselves in the stories and topics generated from them. For a great description of each lesson and the wide-range of potential follow-up activities, click here.
Though we have a full Montessori curriculum available, the part-time and self-directed nature of our approach means that individual students access a subset of the curriculum based on their interests, needs, and the goals set by the family. This is an enrichment program, not a core competencies program. Our goal is to educate the whole child, not to plow through the whole curriculum. We focus on guiding students along their own path to becoming independent, lifelong learners.
Goals & Tracking Progress
We support children and families in setting their own goals, and empower them to pursue them. We do not set goals for children. If there are specific goals you have in mind for your child, we recommend making an agreement with them. We encourage the children to follow this agreement and we can assist in the agreement-making process if you’d like.
Each week, the children set goals and then work towards accomplishing them. This is also done daily by setting daily intentions. The tool we use to help them accomplish this is a Kanban board. The Kanban is a place where children (and parents and teachers) can list goals, track progress, and see accomplishments. At the end of the week, each child shares their accomplishments with their parents via a photo of the kanban and work samples that come home. Work is also recorded in their notebooks, which becomes part of their homeschool portfolio at the end of the school year. They share what they are working on, what they have completed, and what they are excited to work on the following week. This time for reflection is very important in the learning process and helps steer their future goals and intentions.
- 9:15 – 9:30 Arrival
- 9:30 Class Begins
- 9:30-11:45 Morning Work Period
- 11:45 Clean Up and Wash Hands
- 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch & Outside Time
- 1:00 – 2:30 Afternoon Work Period
- 2:30 – 3:00 Clean Up, Class Jobs and Sharing
- 3:00 Dismissal
Three parent conferences are offered each school year. The first occurs at the beginning of the fall semester to set goals and priorities. The second occurs at the end of the first semester to assess progress, and set goals for the second semester. The final conference occurs at the end of the year to review progress. Ongoing support is also available as needed, via additional meetings, phone calls, email and observations.
We invite parents to observe the classroom beginning in October. We find that allowing the students some time to settle in before bringing in visitors really helps them gain ownership over the community. By October, they are confident in their work and in classroom routines, and proud to share their environment with families. Additional observations can be set up throughout the rest of the year, as desired.
Annual Portfolio Evaluation
As a teacher certified in the state of Florida, I am qualified to conduct annual portfolio evaluations. If your child is registered with the county as a home education student, a portfolio evaluation is one of several methods for meeting the requirement for an annual assessment. A portfolio evaluation can be provided for $30.00 for students enrolled both fall and spring semesters. In addition, I will provide work samples for the portfolio itself.