Montessori Homeschooling And Record keeping in Homeschooling

Montessori Homeschooling

Developed from the work of Dr. Maria Montessori, this style of
teaching aims at duplicating natural laws that a child faces in
life. Thus the aim of the teacher is to control the environment
and not the child. It was observed that children who are left free
to interact with their environment developed an innate
self-discipline, love for order and natural curiosity.

The Montessori method of teaching is especially suitable to the
preschooler who wants to do everything by himself. Finding ways in
which your child can participate in the cleaning, washing,
cooking, gardening and other 'adult' activities sets the perfect
backdrop for the learning experience. By providing such
opportunities for independence, the child's self-esteem also gets
a huge boost.

Artistic, cultural and scientific activities abound in the
Montessori 3-6 class. There is no TV, junk food, or computer.
Material is selected carefully. The child is never forced to work.
Instead he is encouraged to do things that interest him, and the
teacher picks up the teaching from cues given by the child.  The
Montessori method focuses on the child's inborn ability to learn
from his surroundings. Thus the teacher aims to encourage the
natural curiosity of the child. He is never forced to learn or
explore. When the child understands why he needs to learn
something, he will love the learning process.

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Record keeping in Homeschooling

A topic that frequently comes up in meetings and forums that deal
with homeschooling is record keeping. The importance of record 
keeping cannot be ignored. It is not only legally required in 
various States, but also provides important milestones in your 
child's learning experience. An interest-initiated homeschooling 
approach means that the topic of studies is far ranging and 
multifarious. Thus, it can be something of a challenge to write 
quarterly reports for the school district, when it is difficult 
to classify learning into neatly pigeonholed areas. 

Record keeping is important not only for the sake of regulations. 
It is also an exciting way to record and document the learning 
process of the child. When most of the learning is done through 
play and there is no clear cut index of topics that have to be 
covered, it is necessary for the parent to keep some sort of a log 
which records the child's progress. 

The records you keep can be as simple as a daily journal, or as 
elaborate as a software program. If you participate in a support 
group, you probably have set forms and requirements. But even so, 
keeping track of daily work makes reporting easy and efficient.

There are various record keeping methods used by various 
homeschools. Some of the more popular ones are:

This can be maintained by the teacher or the student. This 
basically aims to keep a log of what was learned and what was 
done. Recording memorable events that happened in the course of 
the year is a great way to reminisce later on.  

Daily planner:
Lay out the plans and the assignments for the week in a teacher's 
planning notebook. Check each item as it is covered. Maintain a 
separate area where any additional things can be recorded. This 
includes educational trips, visits and videos etc. Any extra 
topics that were covered are also recorded in this area. Make a 
summary every quarter. 

This consists of a collection of varied materials that show what 
the child has achieved and done during the course of study. 
Portfolio assessment is a very effective way to chart the child's 
progress. It gives structure to the otherwise loose and flexible 
form of schooling called homeschooling. A drawing portfolio will 
consist of some paintings or sketches that are considered the best 
in that quarter. A language portfolio may consist of essays, 
stories, reading-logs, spelling samples or letters. Progress in 
mathematics, fine arts, history, science and social studies can 
all be recorded this way. The biggest advantage is that portfolio 
assessment places control in the hands of the children. Having a 
tangible record of what they have established eggs them on to 
greater heights. 

Other than the above-mentioned systems, there are also purchased 
record-keeping systems that lay out a good checklist. Some of 
these allow one to personalize the organizer. Irrespective of the 
methods used, record keeping in one form or the other is 
essential. Your child's future may well depend on the 
well-maintained record that you have meticulously kept over the 

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