Montessori21stCentury’s Weblog

Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

New Montessori Spring/Summer Newsletter Uploaded – Everything from Ground Hog Day to the 4th of July

I just completed revising the AMC Montessori 1999 Spring/Summer Newsletter. This issue is packed with lesson information – from Ground Hog Day to the 4th of July. As you know, Ground Hog Day is just days away now, so read the newsletter today, to get important lesson information you can use, starting this week.

Find additional Montessori lesson planning information for Valentine’s Day, Lincoln, Washington, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and 4th of July by visiting AMC Montessori 1999 Spring/Summer Newsletter.

Be sure to see my other post about the revised AMC Montessori 1998 Spring/Summer Newsletter as well.

Enjoy! 🙂


Leave a comment »

Montessori Spring Lesson Planning Newsletter Just Uploaded

I just completed revising the AMC Montessori 1998 Spring Newsletter. I was amazed as to how much of the original matter was still intact. After all, I originally wrote this newsletter way back in 1998! Some of the recommended site links had been changed, but many of the lesson plans remain the same.

Discover links for Montessori extension exercises using rocks and minerals, gemstones, seashells, butterflies, fingerweaving, wildflowers, property of light, relationship of color and shape in math and much more by visiting
AMC Montessori Spring/Summer 1998 – Revised and Expanded Newsletter


Leave a comment »

Apples and Oranges – A PreK – Grade 8 Montessori Unit Study

I just uploaded a free Montessori Apples and Oranges Unit Study. Below, is just a sampling of what you will find when you visit See the New and Notable section.

Make Your Own Classified Reading Cards for PreK – Grade 5
Apple Parts – Classified Reading Card Activity
Parts of an Apple Blossom – Classified Reading Card Activity
Learn about the life cycle of an apple tree. Draw a diagram for your notebook. – Extension of Montessori’s Classified Reading Cards for Elementary Students

Let’s Compare the Different Varieties of Oranges
Orange Peel Shape, Color, Size
Orange Peel Sensory Table
Apple Sensory Exercise

How to Make Apple Pie and See the World
Apple Sauce Parfait by Montessori Teacher Kathy O’Reilly of Cooking with Children Can Be Easy
Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
Colonial Cooking – Apple Butter

Apple Cell Density
Water in Apples Graph
The Historic Citrus Trail

Math Extension – Apple Comparisons Using Scales
Math Extension – Count and Graph the Apple Seeds
Math Extension – Apple Circumference

How to Advertise and Market – An Apple Campaign
Label It, Sell It (Nutritional Labeling and Marketing

Food for Thought – Newsletters in English and Spanish



Leave a comment »

Homeschooling? Feeling stressed out? Let me offer a few suggestions…

Let’s look at a following scenario. It’s Monday morning, and, if you are married, your husband has gone off to work. You’re tired and wondering how and why you decided to homeschool. You take a quick inventory and discover rooms in the house bear little resemblance to Maria Montessori’s organized environment for learning. In spite of your family’s diligence to keep everything organized, the young visitors you had this past weekend managed to change all of that.

Your youngest is showing the first signs of the flu and your oldest child wants to take the day off. You look at the week’s flexible schedule and wonder how you will accomplish many of the tasks on the list. What you need is an hour or two for yourself, but you can’t manage that right now.

Fortunately, you are well organized and have the pediatrician’s telephone number right there at your fingertips. You have a good rapport with this doctor, and you feel confident that your youngest child’s problem will be solved. Your mind is in a multitasking mode, as you try to divide part of your mental and physical energies to helping your youngest feel comfortable, while trying to address the concerns of the oldest

Time and again, I have received e-mails from frustrated moms who contemplate just throwing in the towel. They indeed feel totally stressed out. The problems may involve finances, and sometimes just a mix of finances and family problems. However, many of the difficulties stem from lack of communication with one or more of the children being homeschooled. What usually ensues is a power struggle.

Yes, this can happen to any well meaning parent and child who share a loving relationship. Yet, there are different ways to nip this in the bud. For example, if you see that your child becomes obstinate, stop and think about all of the possibilities for his behavior. Admittedly, it is really difficult, at times, to look inward, but we all need to do this from time to time. I am not preaching, but just giving some advice from my personal experience.

Take time to stop and reflect on your feelings. What is truly making you upset? What can you do to diffuse the problem(s)?

Now, stop and analyze your child’s behavior. Is he or she balking maybe because of a feeling of inferiority? Perhaps, too, your child is just not ready to do ‘the work’ because he really doesn’t understand the foundation.

This past November I was reminded of how children can show us in many nonverbal ways how uncomfortable they are feeling about a learning situation. I can’t go into much detail, because of confidentiality, but I was asked to help a child who was about to make a major move out of state. She had been through some traumatic times during the past two years, so I decided to volunteer to help her through this transition.

During the first two tutoring sessions, this young girl treated me in a very stiff and formal manner. On the third session, she began to relax and started opening up. She shared with me how anxious she was feeling about the move.

One evening, in particular, I noticed that she appeared to be very tired and worried. As I recall, the lesson was about animal extinction. She had been reading aloud, but then stopped and looked down.

Some tears welled in her eyes, and she struggled to regain her composure. She had been thoughtfully gazing at her book, but then looked at me and was met with an understanding smile. After all, we have all had turning points in our lives. We briefly discussed our faith in God and how He helps us through these difficult periods in life.

We chatted for quite awhile about animals, and, then spent time discussing what she had been learning at school and made comparisons with some of the facts in the book she was reading. As she talked, her face became more and more animated, and she once again became energized. I then gave her the option of either continuing to read or review her school homework. I could see that she liked the fact that she had some control and that I trusted her decision.

Timing, sometimes, can be everything. Knowing when to lead and when to observe takes time to master. It’s important not to be too critical. Make suggestions along the way – never all at once. This very intelligent 11 year old girl who had never had a proper phonics foundation and used her finger to underline each word she read aloud, began to open up to my suggestions. Why and how did this happen? She began to see me as someone she could trust, and she realized that I wasn’t trying to control her learning progression.

These skills of tuning in to a child’s needs are something that we acquire over a period of time. We all can miss the mark as well; sometimes, other factors just get in the way. That’s why it is so important to stop and reassess the learning situation.

Are you spending too much time on a subject that your child just can’t tackle right now? Just look at the factors that can block what Maria Montessori caused ‘spontaneous explosions’. Lack of interest, mental readiness and developmental readiness are just some of the causes. If you feel that the issue might be coming from a lack of readiness, redirect the focus to something that interests your child. Plan also to introduce creative interdisciplinary lessons to spark interest and understanding in all subjects. If your child is very young, allow him to select ‘his work’ from the Montessori materials that have thus far been introduced.

If you feel really stressed out and just need some time for yourself, direct your child to do some independent research on a topic that interests him. Let him make the selection. Don’t try to reason or engage in diaolgue when you are feeling angry or simply stressed out.

Take some time out for YOU. Remember to eat nutritiously and grab moments of each day for rest and relaxation.

Once your mind is relaxed you can focus on cleaning up the mess made by those little visitors who know nothing about Montessori’s prepared environment.

When you are feeling refreshed and relaxed, visit You will find some interesting free lesson plans and other wonderful resources for school and homeschool classrooms.

Have a great week! 🙂


Leave a comment »

Fun Valentine Projects for Your Community

This Valentine’s Day commit to do something fun yet really meaningful for those in your community who are are sad and lonely. Become involved in a Valentine’s project and possibly enlist the help of other families and friends.  

First, call your local nursing home or children’s hospital and explain that you would like to bring Valentine gifts to the patients.  Find out the do’s and don’ts of acceptable gift giving. Now, get busy and go to work. 🙂  

Visit the FamilyCares website. Scroll down until you see Valentine’s Day Projects, FamilyCares Valentine Visits, and Be my Valentine Kits. One word of caution here. The first time we became involved in a community project, we got a little carried away by our enthusiasm and spent more than we wanted. Don’t make the same mistake. Meet with your other community project partners and agree that you will set a spending limit. To make the project enjoyable for everyone, be sure to also consider the age, ability. interest, and attention span of the children/teens involved in making the gifts.

Bargain hunting does take time but is well worth the effort. These trips are useful for children and teens as they learn about budgeting, units of measurement in cooking and how much yardage of material to buy.

Visit some craft, yardage and stationery stores in your area and explain what your group is doing and ask to see the remant racks and bins. Also inquire about possible discounts. You can also cut costs by purchasing baking items at many discount grocery chains. Below, are some additional sites and recipes to consider for your Valentine projects.


Free Valentine’s Day Cards

Craftown Valentine Projects

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Cutouts ~ Recipe from Montessorian Kathy O’Reilly

Chocolate Chip Bars

Scented Baskets

Have fun!!

Leave a comment »

Montessori Unit Study – The Human Respiratory System

Below, is a link that will lead you to a complete unit study on the human respiratory system. The grade 2 through college science lesson planning links will lead you to articles, hands-on activities and other exercises that are compatible with the Montessori classified science reading cards, creative writing and other extensive lesson plans found in Montessori lesson planning found at Montessori lesson planning materials.To access this free unit study visit Montessori Unit Study – The Human Respiratory System


Leave a comment »

Montessori Medical Terminology Lesson Planning

The post below was originally published on January 7, 2008.  Since that date, I had the opportunity to present lessons to ESL university students.  I have revised the post and included the additional information.

I just spent several hours developing a unit study that could be used for students at the secondary level.   It’s been awhile since I taught medical terminology, but I found, at the time, that there were several ways to help students really fuse the learning of the new terms with medical science.   At the university level, I tutored students individually, and also served as presenter for a group of ESL nursing and PT students.  The initial lesson presented focused on the basic study of the Greek and Latin roots, prefixes and suffixes used in medical terminology.

Using a Montessori approach, I presented the information, but stepped aside, until help was requested.  Students were given sufficient time to individually practice pronouncing the terms   In addition, these students gathered together in a group setting to practice pronouncing the words.   By using flash cards, color coding, and other tools I suggested, they begin to easily combine the basic roots with different prefixes and suffixes to form medical terms.

So that the students could fully appreciate the topic at hand, we used diagrams, audiovisual aids and discussed medical laboratory tests, x-rays and clincial applications where the medical terms would be used. The students then independently studied diagrams and a select a list of relevant medical terms matched to the body system or medical topic being presented.  Many of these students found that the flash cards serve as an invaluable tool in learning medical terminology.

Upper elementary and middle school students who have worked with the Montessori classified reading cards will find flash cards to be helpful, as well.  Moreover, a concentrated study of the Greek and Latin word elements is also useful for those preparing to take ACT and SAT tests.

To view the newest Montessori unit study please visit Montessori Medical Terminology Unit Study


Leave a comment »

Valentine Origami Art & Math Activities

Many people visiting this blog really seemed to enjoy the winter holiday hands on math and origami activities, so I decided to find some similar projects for Valentine’s Day.

Recently, I discovered a Valentine art activity that will really help children see geometry in action. The instructions are easy to follow, and the images needed to complete the project are ready for you to print out and use. Just add some tape or glue to make some colorful Valentine ornaments. Visit Valentine Heart Ball Geometric Model for complete details. To see an actual visual presentation of Valentine origami visit Traditional Origami Heart and How to Make an Origami Heart (with video) – wikiHow.

I also recommend visiting Make Your Own Valentine Origami Greeting Card. Download this .pdf to view the diagram with instructions on how to make your own Valentine origami greeting card.

For additional Valentine projects for children and teens visit January and February Lesson Plans and scroll down until you see the February Valentine’s day lessons.

Enjoy! 🙂
Heidi Anne Spietz


Celebrate American Montessori Consulting’s 20th Anniversary

2008 marks American Montessori Consulting’s 20th anniversary. Drawings will be held each month. Prizes will vary from month to month, so be sure to enter once monthly. Visit and scroll down until you see *New and Notable*. There you will find out more about how to enter the drawing and what monthly prizes are available.


Leave a comment »

Montessori Winter Science Links

Visit Montessori January Lesson Plans Below, is just a sampling of what you will find there.







Leave a comment »