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New Child Montessori

Review by Danica Davidson

Maria Montessori, who dedicated herself to education, spoke these words of wisdom: “If education recognizes the intrinsic value of the child’s personality and provides an environment suited to spiritual growth, we have the revelation of an entirely New Child, whose astonishing characteristics can eventually contribute to the betterment of the world.”   Since saying this her style of school, appropriately called Montessori, has grown increasingly popular.  For parents interested in this form of schooling, they have an excellent source right at their fingertips:

Here people are able to get guidebooks to Montessori teaching.  Gini Newcomb, the author, has plenty of experience to help her write these guides.  In 1986 she became a certified MIA (Montessori Institute of America) and in 1995 became MEPI (Montessori Educational Programs International).  She has been a School Manager, Assistant Director, Lead Teacher and Director.   Her BA in Studio Art comes from the University of Missouri, where she also minored in Art History.

For years, she, like Maria Montessori, has dedicated herself to children and their education.  The guides she has were developed over a period of fifteen years in the Montessori classroom and specially created to ensure their flexibility.  Aimed for younger children, little tweaks can easily make them work for even high ages.  Newcomb says, “As a springboard for launching into various subjects of interest to nourish the growth of each child, the guides integrate practical life, grace and courtesy, peace curriculum, the Great Lessons, sensorial, math, language, science, botany, zoology, geography, music, yoga body awareness, and art into meaningful yearly themes. The guides provide a framework and starting point for new teachers and a source of renewed inspiration for experienced teachers.  Journaling, observing and following the child, and modifying these guides accordingly are important components for using them.”

She continues, “Working from the whole to the parts, the guides begin with a study of the child and his or her immediate environment and expands to the greater picture of our universe and solar system. We return to our earth to investigate the four elements, an overview of the seven continents, the time lines, our continent, our country, our state, our city.  The year continues with research and exploration of each continent’s culture, art, geography, biomes, plants, animals and people.  A universal view is presented, honoring all religions and cultures.   The child gains a sense of self and community, a connection with the natural world, an empathy with all the earth’s inhabitants, and a greater perspective of where he or she fits into the universe.”

What Newcomb so eloquently describes is exactly what countless people are looking for in education.  While she guides them, she still lets them make the changes they want.  Her lessons are designed to not only teach children about the world, but to also teach them love and tolerance.  Peace is a major part of this program, and if a child is taught that it’s nothing short of wonderful.

By going to Newcomb’s website, those interested can simply purchase the guides.  Several guides are offered: A Guide for the Montessori Classroom: Fall; A Guide for the Montessori Classroom: Winter; A Guide for the Montessori Classroom: Spring; A Guide for the Montessori Classroom: Summer; A Supplement: Instructions for Montessori Work; Art for the Montessori Classroom; and Yoga With Children.  The guides for Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer can be bought at a specially priced set. 

Newcomb gave much time and heart to writing these guides, and it shows.  On her website can be seen happy customers speaking of how amazed they are by the guides and the results they’ve received from using them. Gini Newcomb is continuing on the path Maria Montessori started, and as she does this she helps more and more students become new children as they do.■

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