—An overview of Montessori philosophy and practice for the preschool and school years, for the home and school, for parents and professionals
—The international source of basic books and materials for exceptional educational environments—science, math, language, history, geography, music and art
Because our main goal at Michael Olaf is to share information about Montessori philosophy and practice for the child, we have put the entire text, free, on the Internet. Every order you place helps us continue this work and we thank you. Please click on the list below to access each section of text. Enjoy!
Materials introduced in the AGE 3-6+ section are often used through the K-6 years and beyond, and materials introduced in the AGE 6-12+ section used throughout high school. In many cases materials from The Joyful Child, Michael Olaf's essential Montessori publication for birth to three, are also appropriate, especially for AGE 3-6. The ages recommended throughout the catalogue should be adapted according to considerations of safety and the interest of the child.
PREPARING THE ENVIRONMENT:
organizing the environment, age 3-6, age 6-12, the environment and the mind
html">AGE 3-6+ FAMILY LIFE - CARE OF EACH OTHER & THE ENVIRONMENT:
the first six years, participating in family life, the child's purpose
AGE 3-6+ FAMILY LIFE - FOOD PREPARATION & SERVING:
Practical life as the foundation for all later work, the needs of the parent
AGE 3-6+ TOYS & GAMES:
Active play, the senses, toys, cooperative games
AGE 3-6+ BLOCKS & PUZZLES:
Blocks, puzzles, an introduction to later studies
AGE 3-6+ EARTH:
Motor-sensorial experiences, the solar system, globes and puzzle maps, land forms, ecology, science experiments, lessons, art and language
AGE 3-6+ PLANTS & ANIMALS:
The nature table or shelf, plants, animals
AGE 3-6+ PEOPLE:
Geography & history, teaching geography, globes, maps, and flags, teaching history
AGE 3-6+ LANGUAGE:
Language of the child's world, vocabulary cards—speaking stage, experience first, pre-reading and writing, reading and writing, vocabulary cards—reading, books, exploring language
AGE 3-6+ MUSIC:
Singing, listening to music, composers, musical instruments
AGE 3-6+ ART:
Art materials, art activities, art appreciation
AGE 3-6+ GEOMETRY & MATH:
AGE 6-12+ INTRODUCTION:
Introduction, cooperation and peace
AGE 6-12+ EARTH:
Astronomy to geology, lab manuals, timelines
AGE 6-12+ PLANTS & ANIMALS:
Experiments and observation, adaptation & changes of plants and animals, classification, bodies—sex education
AGE 6-12+ GEOGRAPHY, HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY:
Introduction, American history, biography
AGE 6-12+ LANGUAGE:
Creating a language environment, learning to read, creative writing, personal spelling dictionary, handwriting, the history of language, etymology, grammar
AGE 6-12+ THE ARTS:
Art and music
AGE 6-12+ GEOMETRY, MATH & INVENTION:
Geometry, math, invention
PARENTING & TEACHING:
Age 0-6+, age 6-12+, age 12-18, age 18-24, for everything there is a season
INTRODUCTION TO MONTESSORI:
Introduction, Montessori teachers, specific elements of Montessori philosophy on which the educational method is based, Montessori teachers, a brief biography of Dr. Maria Montessori
If you would like to order the paper copy of Child of the World, with products and pictures, to read at your leisure, and to share with non-internet friends, please see http://www.michaelolaf.net/ordering.html
Michael Olaf's publications have been awarded the Parents' Choice Seal of Approval for the 8th year in a row.
For over twenty years, the Parents' Choice Foundation has been the only nonprofit consumer guide to children's publications and products.
Approval is based on the integrity of products and descriptions, appeal to families of all backgrounds, fair market cost, ease of ordering, courteous, informed and prompt service, and careful and ecological packaging.
OUR PROMISE: We at Michael Olaf do our best to continue to live up to this honor. We are dedicated to providing information first, products second. Each year we strive to include fewer, more essential, toys and books because we know that it is the wisdom of the adults interacting with the infant and young child that is most important.
Out of respect for the earth, and to set an example for children, our publications are printed on recycled paper and in recyclable black ink only.
THE MICHAEL OLAF MONTESSORI COMPANY
65 Ericson Court, #1, Arcata, CA 95521
© Copyright Michael Olaf, 2001
Montessori and World Peace
Parents' Choice Seal of Approval
Ordering Child of the World
Scientific observation has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment.
The task of the teacher becomes that of preparing a series of motives of cultural activity, spread over a specially prepared environment, and then refraining from obtrusive interference.
Human teachers can only help the great work that is being done, as servants help the master. Doing so, they will be witnesses to the unfolding of the human soul and to the rising of a New Man who will not be a victim of events, but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society.
—Maria Montessori MD,
Education for a New World
Today many young people realize that they will be responsible for the world's social and physical future. Foreign languages are again emerging as an important part of education, and through the ease of travel and internet communication, the world is becoming a single community. All this has changed in just one generation, and changes are happening now at an unprecedented rate. It is impossible to foresee what life will be like in one more generation. But one thing is sure, our children will be, in all ways, people of the world, and they will need to have been educated in preparation for this role.
As Dr. Montessori so wisely and prophetically expressed early in this century:
Today those things which occupy us in the field of education, are the interests of humanity at large and of civilization. Before such great forces we can recognize only one country—the entire world.
Children are constantly learning from the adult models, absorbing from birth on, the attitudes and beliefs of those around them. It is not enough to give them quality multi-cultural toys and books: we adults must prepare ourselves constantly to live up to the important task of educating our children. The ideas within these pages give parents, grandparents, anyone living with or working with children common sense ideas for learning to learn, and to live in peace with the family, the community, and the earth.
The Michael Olaf Company has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a tiny shop for families in the San Francisco Bay Area—to an international source of information and materials. We could not have done it without the suggestions and the word-of-mouth recommendations of you, our customers.
With our sincere thanks, we wish for you joy and contentment in your role as parent, grandparent, teacher, or friend of children. What could be more important?
SUSAN AND JIM STEPHENSON,
AND EVERYONE AT MICHAEL OLAF
Montessori education for children is, at its very essence, a movement for world peace. From the very first days of life children are treated with gentleness, respect and love, and then they treat others in the same way. As soon as children can walk, they are welcomed into collaboration with the real life of the family: cooking, cleaning, gardening, making decisions.
In the children's house (age 3-6) a child learns, through hands-on activities and role playing, to care for the environment, plants and animals, and each other, with respect and reverence.
In the elementary class the child learns about what we call "the cosmic task"—the work of each one to fulfill his or her needs while contributing to the well-being of every life form and the earth.
These children, and adults, always watch for ways to tithe or to contribute both money and time, on three levels—to family and friends, to the class and local community, and to the world. Some of the ways our children have done this are: to feed our pets before eating breakfast, to work in the classroom and home (not for money), to write thank you notes, to serve meals at the local homeless shelter, to cook for elderly neighbors, to play music at the local Alzhiemers's center, to send 10% of earnings and gifts to needy people at home and abroad.
As a Montessori business we have for years donated to teacher training efforts in Africa, and today have two main projects which we support, with the help of every person who places an order.
In the local community we donate books and materials to our schools and libraries.
In the world community we contribute to the Montessori classrooms of the Tibetan Children's Villages in Dharamsala, India. If you would like to help support the efforts of this Tibetan refugee project you can find out how at their web site: www.tibchild.org
We wait and wait for the new millennium to come but discover that it is the same dawn; then we wait again, it is the same sun; so the new millennium is not going to change anything; we have to change within ourselves.
—the Dalai Lama