Author: Carmen Gamper (Page 2 of 12)

Tag! You’re it! YOU are the greatest resource

Recently a mom shared with me that the “New Learning Culture” ideas make her sad because her children don’t have access to a child-centered school, she doesn’t have the money to purchase Montessori materials, and she can’t just start a new school by herself.

I’m glad she shared her concerns so I can bring back some hope.

New Learning Culture is all about creating inspiring, child-friendly schools with many learning materials available. But most of all the New Learning Culture helps create a change in perspective for individuals and also educational institutions.

learning-companionIn the NLC paradigm we adults (you) become the greatest resource for children. Through learning to honor children’s genuine needs such as connection, play, inspiration, boundaries, and nature, we naturally get creative and try to fulfill these needs as best we can in any circumstances.

The greatest gift for children is the time we spend with them. Being able to transform even a short amount of time, such as bedtime, into quality time, strengthens children’s self-esteem. Being able to add an element of play and even learning, provides the heart-mind connection needed for children to thrive even in difficult circumstances.

When children go to a school they don’t like, support them at home with your unconditional acceptance of their perspective. Always remain your child’s ally and advocate in the adult world. If you remain someone they can count on, that is all that is needed to transform challenges into learning opportunities, which strengthen your child’s growth in the long run.

About the learning materials… Even though it’s very useful to have access to Montessori materials, children don’t necessarily need all the “fancy” materials, ….in all cultures they happily develop intelligence by playing with buttons, sticks, and shoeboxes. Hands-on learning materials can be reinvented and crafted with recycled and natural materials (see ideas on the NLC blog and many other online resources). Homeschooling parents may be able to find like-minded people to communally purchase and share Montessori materials.


Even though there may be no child-based school in your area…..When you allow yourself to learn, envision, and talk about alternatives, these are the first steps to creating child-friendly schools or help existing schools transition. Everything we add to the worldwide movement for more child-friendly education is a step in the right direction and it gives this movement strength.

The many European Rebeca Wild based schools provide us with a proven template. Each of these European schools started in one parent’s heart who affected another parent’s heart, who inspired a teacher. First people meet in living rooms, then in public spaces, and then they may rent an apartment or home to prepare their first shared learning environments. What’s possible in Europe is possible here in the US, in Mexico, and elsewhere.

Let’s keep going towards child-friendly education step by step, in each moment we enjoy with children.  Our change of perspective opens the door to a shift in education paradigms within our local communities.

Tag! You’re it! Don’t give up! Children and students need us now.

NLC Online Kurs in Deutsch

Grundlagen für eine Neue Lernkultur

Online-Lehrgang in 14 Live-Treffen für LernbegeiterInnen und Eltern  Volkschule und Mittelschule
Sommer 2016

Der Online-Lehrgang “Grundlagen für eine neue Lernkultur” bietet eine Einführung in das New Learning Culture (NLC) Schulmodell, bei dem Kinder autonom lernen dürfen und dabei liebevoll und entwicklungsgemäß von Erwachsenen begleitet werden. Dieses Bildungsmodell beruht auf Maria Montessoris Originalschriften und Rebeca Wilds kindzentriertem Ansatz, der derzeit in mehr als 200 Alternativeschulen in Europa verwendet wird. Vor allem aber beruht der NLC-Ansatz auf den tatsächlichen Bedürfnisse von Kindern, LernbegleiterInnen und Eltern.

Die Teilnehmer lernen wie man Kinder auf ihrem Weg als autonome Lerner begleiten kann, und gesunde Grenzen setzen kann und wie man die natürliche Entwicklung der Kindern mit vorbereiteten Umgebungen, Lernmaterialien, sowie “non-invasive teaching” unterstützen kann. Die Ausbildung beeinhaltet auch kinderfreundliche Elemente aus dem Bereich der Reformpädagogik (Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, Waldkindergarten und andere Erziehungsansätze), und einfache Erkenntnisse aus nicht-direktiver Spieltherapie nach Virginia Axline, Bindungstheorie, sozialer Intelligenz und achtsamer Kommunikation.

Jeder von uns kann Kindern einzigartige Gaben bieten. Der NLC Online-Lehrgang befähigt TeilnehmerInnen eine breite Palette von Hilfsmitteln zu verwenden um Kindern authentisch, respektvoll und wirkungsvoll begleiten zu können.

Klicke hier um das detailliertes Kursprogramm zu sehen
Kursdaten: Montags – 1 Stunde  vom 20. Juni bis 12. September
Kursaufzeichnung wird gleich nach jedem Webinar als mp3 zugeschickt
Kursbeitrag Euro 650




DIY Fraction Materials

One of the simplest ways to introduce fractions as a concept is by cutting an apple in equal pieces. The child sees the whole apple, 2 halves of the apple, 4 quarters of the apple, and immediately realizes fractions describe pieces of wholes.


The top number of a fraction, the numerator, tells us how many pieces we are talking about. The bottom part of a fraction, the denominator, tells us in how many pieces the apple is cut.

Yes…simple…and powerful! This simple activity will remain as a positive memory in the child’s mind, and add to the foundational thinking for understanding more advanced math concepts. Children need to see and experience math concepts to fully grasp them. Let’s give children the time and experiences they need to develop simple, grounded intelligence, which ultimately leads to brilliance.

The Taptana / Instructions Part 1

I was so fortunate to study with Rebeca and Mauricio Wild, two of the world’s foremost educators for child-based learning residing in Ecuador. During each of their seminars we worked with math hands-on learning materials, and one of the many materials they showed us was the Taptana, a calculator that is thousands of years old and was developed by the Inca people.
It consists of a wooden board with holes (there must be at least 10 holes) and beads in the Montessori colors. Here it is on the photo:


As you see on the photo below, each hole and each bead have a specific value:
Each green bead is worth  1
Each blue bead is worth 10
Each red bead is worth 100
Each yellow bead is worth 1,000
Each light blue bead is worth 10,000
Each orange bead is worth 100,000


Depending on where we place a bead its value changes.
For instance a green bead (worth 1) is worth 1 in the hole labelled 1,
it’s worth 2 in the hole labelled 2,
it’s worth 3 in the hole labelled 3,
it’s worth 4 in the hole labelled 4, and so on.

A blue bead (worth 10) is worth 10 in the hole labelled 10,
it’s worth 20 in the hole labelled 2,
it’s worth 30 in the hole labelled 3,
it’s worth 40 in the hole labelled 4, and so on.

A red bead (worth 100) is worth 100 in the hole labelled 1,
it’s worth 200 in the hole labelled 2,
it’s worth 300 in the hole labelled 3
it’s worth 400 in the hole labelled 4, and so on.

This way it works for each bead…for instance, an orange bead (worth 100,000) is worth 900,000 in the whole labelled 9. I guess you can see where this is going. Can you imagine the possibilities ?

Practice recognizing the value of beads simply by laying various beads on the board. On the photo below which value do you see?

Here’s the value for the left side: 526, 840

What’s the value on the right side? (solution below)

Solution: 9741

Changing Education Paradigms

Just in case you haven’t seen this brilliant, animated talk by Sir Ken Robinson…Please watch!
We need new models for schooling and the New Learning Culture model for child-directed learning is one possible solution that can be adapted to any budget.

“Changing Education Paradigms”

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