Willow Barn and the Primary Aged Child.
Willow Barn Montessori provides primary aged children of home-educating parents with a Montessori education, and is also for parents needing holiday care for their children.
Children are welcome to come 2-4 days a week for a minimum of six hours a day to access Montessori primary education in a relaxed, child-led manner. Fees are £5.20/hr, including all healthy snacks.
In Montessori primary, the children follow the same maths and literacy curriculum as in state education, but the style of teaching is very different.
In Montessori settings, children are always introduced to any concept in its concrete form and then taken in sequential steps towards working in the abstract. Working in the concrete enables children to form imprints in their brains, gained from their sensory experience of the materials, which then helps them understand, remember and make links between concepts when later working in the abstract.
Working with materials also enables the primary aged child to move whilst working, which all children enjoy!
Most of the work is self-correcting, so this frees up children to be able to plan their own work, choose which order they do it in and even work with it until completion! So many state primary schools are working to such a tight timetable, that the children's concentration on one topic is frequently interrupted to enable the teacher to move on to the next item on the day's agenda. Much work is never completed and a child's understanding might not be complete before s/he moves on to the next topic.
The relationship between the area of a triangle and a rectangle.
The Relationship between Fractions and Decimal Fractions
The main focus of Montessori Primary work are the Five Great Lessons. These lessons are designed to calm the primary aged child who wants to know everything all at once: an answer to the Why? Who? When? How? questions.
These lessons are rather inspirational stories and are introduced to the children in order at the beginning of each year.
The First Great Lesson is entitled 'The Coming of the Universe' and takes the child, in a visual manner using a timeline and interesting objects, from the Big Bang through to the first life form on Earth;
the Second Great Lesson is 'The Coming of Life' and in the same manner takes the child from the first speck of life through to the arrival of human beings;
the Third Great Lesson encompasses human beings' time on Earth and the impact we have had;
the Fourth Great Lesson follows the story of literacy and language and
the Fifth Great Lesson follows the story of numbers and their history and impact on the world.
Unlike in state education, where children often study the Romans or Henry VIII , for instance, en masse, children in a Primary Montessori choose which area of life/history that is inspiring them, from listening the the Great Lessons, and are able to work alone or in groups and research these topics for as long and as in depth as they would like.
Children are supported in their areas of learning with resources found and made, and outings take place to show the primary aged child their subject of interest in the real, 'concrete' world. Children are then able to present their research to the others.