For children in the first plane of development (typically ages 3-6), Maria Montessori emphasizes concrete, hands-on learning to make abstract concepts easier to understand as they grow older.
WHAT IS A LINEAR CALENDAR?
A linear calendar is one way to help make the passage of time more concrete for children. Since it visually displays the entire year in one continuous line, children are able to count down to when special events, holidays, and birthdays are occurring.
Once hung on a wall, a linear calendar makes a dramatic visual statement that really draws attention to how long a year is, and once the end of a year is reached it hints to the cyclical nature of years in general.
It can also help make clear the divisions within one complete year: 4 seasons, 12 months, and 52 weeks.
The linear format mirrors the timelines that children will encounter in their elementary years when they begin studying the Great Lessons.
We’ve been using a linear calendar in our home for the past two years, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you’re looking for a simple way to begin discussing the passage and recording of time and/or calendars with your children, I encourage you to try a linear calendar. Simply print the calendar out and display it somewhere in your home.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
It’s super easy! We use a clothespin to keep track of the date. The weekends are color coded so our kids can easily determine what days their father will be home from work. We label birthdays with small gold star stickers — alluding to how Montessorians celebrate birthdays of course! You can distinguish other important dates or holidays with stickers, small post-it notes, or clothespins with pictures attached to the top.
If you’d like to display a linear calendar in your home or classroom, it’s available free to download in the Resource Library.
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Do you have any other questions about the linear calendar? Feel free to leave a comment below or send me an e-mail, and I’ll be happy to answer as best I can!