All the group sessions when they poured their hearts out - Tara Cortez Greig telling me that I did not know the boys in her class (Jayendra, Arvind and Santhosh) - that one day they would kill me as they were so bad!! Jayanth - all of six - inviting me to see the stars with him at the Sholinganallur overnight camp!
- Mrs Uma Shankar

songlines abacus

Farm School

Through the Montessori method, we offer children under 12 years of age an environment that allows them autonomy and learning that is spontaneous and experiential.

We see in the children independence, self-direction, making choices, arriving at their own learning and living in a community.

How do we offer the next developmental stage ie. the 12 to 18 year olds, the same opportunity to a fuller extent than we are now able to do?

Dr. Montessori left us with a recommendation for the adolescent to create an environment on a farm for this age group. Keeping this in mind Abacus acquired 30 acres of farmland in March 2014 and an environment is being created for the adolescent suitable to their needs and the times in which they live.

Songlines Abacus farm program now enables children from 12 years of age to make regular visits to the farm over the year.

That Montessori chose nature as the environment for the adolescent to find their way forward strikes us because as we watch the children on the farm we see that it is the connection with the earth and all that Montessori said is unfolding before our eyes....

  • Adaptability
  • Character
  • Courage
  • Practical ability
  • Sense of Community

.... things which we have to fight to build in a structured city school is happening here naturally and spontaneously.

They are experiencing agricultural cycles, village life, respecting natural surroundings and forming a wider understanding of others. We are combining the work at the farm with that in school so that the children have an integrated experience. The school calendar too is modified to include the seasonal cycles of the farm.

The learning's:

  • Moving away from home in to her own community.
  • How he looks at his physical body, its capabilities and its engagement with work.
  • Learning about plants & animals, climate & soil, water & sun at the farm changes the way she learns.
  • Seeing other people with fresh eyes, be it a classmate, or any of the widely different kinds of people he meets in the farm and village.
  • Experiencing Music and Art differently, staying with the silence and the peace.

His idea of who he is slowly forming - in a very different way; his preparation for adulthood is unique.

For all of us who have the privilege of accompanying the children, this program has been a wondrous thing and we are looking forward to being able to offer the opportunity to more of our children in the years to come.

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