President George Washington’s Farewell Address - While it’s quite long, many great questions arise from this address. https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane 100 Dresses
What If We Were All the Same?
Same, Same but Different.
The Crayon Box that Talked
Mr Peabodys Apples
Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers
Lonely Planet’s The Universe
Walking by Henry David Thoreau
When you have completed the book, talk about it - what made the book special? What was the moral lesson? Let them know that they too can imagine any world they’d like to just like.
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
James & the Giant Peach
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Story of Ruby Bridges (about courage in the time of MLK)
Little Polar Bear series
Poetry Treasury - We celebrate poetry here all year at TSHChildren love poems written by other children! https://www.amazon.com/Treasury-Childrens-Poetry-Alison-Sage/dp/0091767482
Films & Documentaries:
NOTE: Make sure you watch this movie and all films together. There is a big difference between children who are left alone to watch something and those who get to snuggle with their parents and talk about aspects of what they’ve just seen.
Swiss Family Robinson (1980s)
Kiki’s Delivery Service
My Neighbor Totoro
Spelling the Dream
Disney Nature: Monkeys, Oceans & Pandas
Biggest Little Farm
Life & Planet Earth I & Planet Earth II - By David Attenborough
Seven Worlds, One Planet - By David Attenborough
Planet Earth Series: Raising Giants and the Galapagos - By David Attenborough
Curiosity Stream’s AMAZING DINOWORLD
The Most Unknown
Inside Bills Brain: Decoding Bill Gates
Your Inner Fish- It aligns beautifully to the Timeline of Life tracing pieces of our DNA back to the first animals. Very accessible for most children.
COURAGE / FRIENDSHIP:
The Prince and the Pauper (1960s)
Mad Hot Ballroom
Searching for Bobby Fischer
Pavarotti - By Ron Howard this hits so many great points from the Italian culture and language that Ms. Anna infuses us with everyday to courage on the stage to the appreciation of his music (Mr. Willie is exploring taking some of our older children to the Opera later this year).
Free Solo - the account of Alex Honnold’s free solo attempt in Yosemite. Combining both nature and courage this documentary is an inspiration to children and adults everywhere.
Big Miracle - Based on a true story (featuring Drew Barrymore). Themes: The Arctic, animal origins and courage. There are moments of language (hell, for instance) so please take that into consideration.
Unstoppable - about Bethany Hamilton (this is the second, follow up documentary) - the pro-surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack on the North shore of Kauai. Bethany surfs big wave Fiji (and other places around the world) with one arm (having lost almost every other competition that year) nursing her one-year old baby on a boat between heats. Her story from 13 year-old victim to constant and consistent survivor is so valid as we examine our own struggles and strength throughout this time. If she can do what she’s done… we can do what we’re doing: forging on - despite our setbacks - to build the best education for children here and beyond. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xbNitFJlqk
Haim Ginnot Books
Last Child in the Woods
Dumbing us Down
The Secret of Childhood
The Knowledge Illusion - a fantastic book about how we learn from each other and how much we don’t know!
Walking - By Henry David Thoreau his final book before his passing.
You may read this book with your child (although it isn’t ideal and can be cumbersome for them) or if you choose to read it alone, it will give you a renewed sense of our place in the world:
The book reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by John Muir: “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure one is dirt."
Consider purchasing the Louise Bates Ames series “Your Three (Four, Five up to 14) Year Old” Nothing is more important that aligning our reactions, parenting and education to developmental stages. These books are old and cheap, but are still the most comprehensive science I’ve read on each year of a child’s life. If I had more time, I would write an updated series because the insight is so helpful.
What To Watch (Parents):
INSIDE BILL GATES BRAIN - on Netflix. Surprisingly this three-part documentary speaks to Bill’s set-backs in trying to eliminate polio, provide sanitary toilets to the 4 billion people who still don’t have them and reduce fossil fuels using nuclear. A great story on how even at the highest levels, failure is always on the horizon and what it takes to push through.
In summary, “The Wall Street Journal recently reported on our country’s most successful innovators: Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Larry Page & Sergey Brin (Google) and Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) among others. The article suggests that a Montessori component to education sets them on a life path of creativity, passion, self-direction and comfort with failure and ambiguity.”
When you combine this with Reggio-Emilia, Socratic Method and Project-Based Learning under the AEC the result is the robust learning we’ve seen in the last four months - learning that is exciting, that scaffolds, that inspires inquiry and that makes tough subjects appealing.