Flags of the World: Montessori and Charlotte Mason Approach
Regina Angelorum Academy, a Catholic school in Ardmore, PA, is proud to share how they incorporate both the Maria Montessori and Charlotte Mason methods of teaching.
First off you may be wondering, “What is the Montessori method?” and “What is the Charlotte Mason method?”
What is the Montessori Method of Education?
“Montessori is an education philosophy and practice that fosters rigorous, self-motivated growth for children and adolescents in all areas of their development, with a goal of nurturing each child’s natural desire for knowledge, understanding, and respect.
As soon as you enter a classroom, you know that something different is afoot. Montessori classrooms are immediately recognizable. You will see children working independently and in groups, often with specially designed learning materials; deeply engaged in their work; and respectful of themselves and their surroundings.” – American Montessori Society
What is the Charlotte Mason Method of Education?
The Charlotte Mason method is based on Charlotte’s firm belief that the child is a person and we must educate that whole person, not just his mind. It is a three-pronged approach, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.” – Simply Charlotte Mason
Charlotte Mason’s twenty education principles are drawn from her observations of children during years of teaching, the science of her day, and, most importantly, from the “code of education” she found in the Gospels.
Implementing Montessori and Charlotte Mason with “Flags of the World”:
Marie MacLacklin, a Pre-K teacher at Regina Angelorum Academy, shares the process of teaching with the philosophies of Montessori and Mason and how the ownership of knowledge is transferred to the children. Incorporating these teaching methods instills confidence and a love of learning in the students.
“When I watch the children work with the Flags of the World, I am grateful to be teaching at a very desirable location: the intersection of Maria Montessori and Charlotte Mason.” - Marie MacLacklin
We began introducing the flags by observing the appearance of our American Flag and describing its characteristics (counting its stars, noticing its stripes, and its colors of red, white and blue.) Then we had a three-period lesson involving three flags at a time.
There are three essential phrases in a Montessori three-period lesson:
"This is..., Show me..., and What is...?"
· The teacher says, "This is the flag of Canada...; "
· Then, "Show me the flag of Canada..;"
· Eventually, "What flag is this?"
Weeks later, some of the children have made their own activity of flag-making a daily occupation in the Charlotte Mason sense of the word--an enjoyable leisure activity that serves to refresh the child's mind and body as they work with their hands and engage their senses.
The children select a flag that they like; draw its design onto a rectangular-shaped paper using pencils or markers, and then glue the flag onto a stick.
They ask me to help them find the name of the country in their guidebook of flags. Some search through the book on their own. They copy the name of the country on the back side of the flag, copying it from the book.
We have a basket overflowing with flags that the children have made and they will be displayed in the classroom!
Some children have chosen to work further with the flags by associating them with their countries on the Continent Maps. Gradually, the ownership of knowledge is transferred to the child through these periods.
As a Catholic elementary school catering to students Pre-K-8th grade, Regina Angelorum Academy challenges its students to explore the world around them in a unique way which heightens critical thinking skills and allows them to realize their full potential leaving them eager to discover more. The school’s Catholic Classical Curriculum is reflective of this mission.
“Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.”― Maria Montessori