It's Montessori Education Week!

Welcome to Montessori Education Week! I love this time of year as we head toward spring and a new school year. There is opportunity for families to re-enroll for another wonderful school year, new families to enroll for their first wonderful school year and a chance to explain a bit more about this fabulous philosophy.

Why Montessori? Why not! This philosophy centers on your child, their abilities and capabilities.. It focuses on independence, problem solving, respect and a life-long love of learning. Whether your child is an infant, toddler, preschooler or kindergartener, this environment is a multi-faceted approach to their positive growth and over all development.

Though we at Montessori Beginnings are partial to “Montessori”, it does not solve all of the challenges that occur with children. The article below,, “How to Get Your Child to Listen”, was submitted by one of our teachers and it offers some powerful suggestions on getting your child (ren) to listen. Thank you to ahaparenting.com for this insightful article and the wealth of information on the website! Hope you enjoy -

Kathy

www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/communication/How-get-kid-listen

Welcome to a New Year

The hustle and bustle of the holidays are now over. We have made it through half a year! Our children came back energized and full of stories. They are really settling into routines, eager to experience and learn more with each passing day! Of course we love to provide a multitude of opportunities for them to learn, grow and have fun too!

As you settle into this new year, we would like to wish you and your family health, peace and prosperity. Whatever comes your way, may you be met with understanding, an open heart and helpful hands.

Happy New Year!

Your MBS Team,

Jennifer, Gretchen, Amelia, Jennifer, Mindy, Shaunna, Kathy, Stephanie, Susan

Here We Go Again!

Has it been since June that I posted!? What a summer! Never have I seen so many water logged children. From slip and slides, water pads to our annual Mud Run, we spish-splashed our way through summer. Of course there was the usual climbing, digging, laughing, running, swinging etc…There was much to explore outside and plenty of balance between play and work inside too.

Summer was a relaxing time to re-charge, try new things and have some warm weather fun before fall and winter come around. So here we are, knocking on fall’s door, waiting to welcome “Old Man Winter”! We will still be just as busy. There will be many new materials, lessons and routines to work with. New friends and their families have joined us, ready for a whole new year of joy filled and joyful days.

I speak for all of the team her at MBS when I say we are so excited for this school year. The potential and talent the children are showing is a testament to the love and support their families are giving.

So here’s to another glorious year! May we have more triumph than tragedy, laughter than let downs and a lot more positives the pit falls.

All the best-

Kathy, Jen, Gretchen, Jennifer, Stephanie, Mindy, Shaunna, Amelia

Another Great Year

So another year will conclude with our annual Ice Cream Social Thursday. This is a busy time of year as graduation and end of year activities happen and student photo and work portfolios are sent home. It is also a time to reflect. I am blessed to have some of the best, most hard working teachers and families.

We have been privileged to be part of our toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners  journey of discovery. We laughed, cried, danced, played and observed our children learn, grow and thrive.

While each day brings new challenges and opportunities, every year brings joys, challenges and our team's own journey of self discovery. Every year brings hope, excitement and possibility.

Bring on the new year!

Unnecessary Help

We are going through re-enrollment right now. While it is a busy time of year sorting out returning students and helping enroll new ones, it is also a time to reflect on the year so far. 

We are fortunate to have two toddler classrooms with children anywhere from 12 months to 33 months. Maria Montessori believed in the power of the mixed age group and as educators, the faculty and I witness the benefits on a daily basis. At any given time there will be ample opportunity to assist children in self-help skills, lessons, conflict resolution and many other tasks. 

As the day unfolds, children are working independently or together. Then there are times when they need help. 'Help' is an interesting term. While one may think what they are offering is help, it may not actually be beneficial. You may ask, "How can helping not be helpful?" Perhaps when we feel the child is not prepared to do something for themselves or it might be easier to just do something for them. When we are not allowing the child opportunity to come to their own conclusion, help can actually be a hindrance.

Recently, one of my teachers presented me with this article from the Center for Montessori Teacher's Education/NY,, Please read on for simple ways to help children- 

“Any unnecessary help given to a child is a hindrance to development”  -Maria Montessori

Guidelines for Giving Necessary Help:

1.      Entice the child with slow, calm movements (vs. overly enthusiastic or exaggerated movements.)

2.      Watch child’s eyes as the child leads with the eyes before the hands.

3.      Be observant of the tiniest movements indicating interest toward the activity (a tiny finger poking forward.)

4.      Wait and give the child time to participate.

5.      Be observant of yourself and the child so that you will be able to move in and out of a child’s energy field without disrupting it. (We do not want to overwhelm a child with our presence.) Montessori stated that we should not substitute our personality for the child’s.

If you will consciously practice the above skills, you will increase your sensitivity and be more aware of when to help and when not to help. The child is then free to grow in independence and self-awareness.

Credit: Center for Montessori Teacher’s Education/NY

111 Year of Montessori Education!

February 25th through March 2nd of this year marks another Montessori Education week. This is a national week of recognition for this timely, amazing, "whole child" philosophy. Maria Montessori's great work and contributions to children's care and education are one focus. It is also an opportunity to dispel some misconceptions and highlight positives during new family tours, our Face Book posts and family nights.

Classrooms allow for freedom of movement not a "free for all." Children have a choice of materials to work with as long as they are being respectful. Children also follow a schedule throughout the day, a guideline that can change depending on the schedule and needs of the children. Often times, especially for toddlers, the daily schedule and routines become the curriculum. Concentration, problem solving, resolving conflict and just having fun are only part of what happens in a typical day. Skills we take for granted are being honed each day a child is in his or her classroom or outside in their play area.

Practicing the principle of "freedom within limits", Montessori schools inspire children to work at their own pace, alone or with others. Trained, certified Montessori teachers encourage the growth of self-motivated, independent children by balancing active, self-directed learning with small group collaboration and peer teaching. Classes are comprised of a range of ages and abilities. Older children take on the role of peer mentors, reinforcing their own skills and experiencing the responsibilities of leadership through helping others. Younger children revel in the attention and focus from the older children. Everyone learns to respect each other in a warm atmosphere of acceptance and joy.

Perhaps the hands-on materials, many designed by Maria Montessori herself and placed at the children's level in a specially prepared environment is the common denominator to all Montessori schools. Materials have a control of error built into their design (self-correcting). Children can see and learn from their own mistakes without a teacher pointing it out. This is one of the many ways a Montessori classroom fosters independence.

As the team of terrific educators and I prepare for the week, I can't help but be reminded of the importance of fostering independence but also the lifelong love of learning. It is when we do this that we transform the child into the world well equipped. Go Montessori go!

 

'Tis the Season

Here we are, the last month of the year. I am reminded of the John Lennon Song, "Happy Christmas".  Mr. Lennon sings, "So this is Christmas and what have you done?" The lyric reminds me to reflect on another school year. 

As every year, we are a busy group of educators and families. So much to do that we need to make sure to slow down and take in the special moments of accomplishment and pride. Take time to smile, play and learn and give back. It may seem like the same thing each year, but it changes based on the students and we love it.

We celebrated our thirteenth year, recognized as a top school on Cape Cod. This is the second time in three years we have received this honor and we couldn't be more grateful and proud. Without our fabulous families and faculty, we would just be a building instead of home. An establishment instead of a community. To be able to be a part of the lives of so many is a gift all of us here gladly accept.

This past year has seen us welcome new faces and say farewell to others, which is the natural order of things. If only every student could stay...but time changes everything.

So as we say farewell to 2017, we say goodbye to all the fun, inspiration, challenges, joy and laughter the year could muster and look forward to all 2018 has to offer!! 

No matter how you celebrate the beauty of the season, we wish you joy, peace and prosperity!

Kathy, Jen, Jennifer, Cara, Gretchen, Susan, Kathleen

 

Peace Be With You

Our Pre School and Kindergarten just commemorated World Peace Day last Thursday. It got me thinking that Montessori curriculum stresses peace and even 100 years after Maria Montessori put her curriculum into practice, this concept is still so relevant and timeless. 

Will we ever have peace? I tend to think we will always live in a world without true peace. If this will continue to be the norm, then I love that the Montessori method provides an exception. Peace begins at home and the classroom becomes an extension of that through the respect provided to the children, each other and the classroom environment. The goal is to have everyone work together as a child develops, so the child progresses.

In a Montessori classroom, children are taught important executive function skills like; how to wait, how to watch, how to interrupt politely, how to take care of their belongings and the classroom, how to plan, and how to solve conflicts peacefully. This focus provides opportunity for perseverance and tolerance.

Last Thursday, as I watched the children sing and sign, "Light a Candle for Peace", I was struck by their excitement and innocence. There is a level of trust that knows no boundaries. It is up to us to stoke that trust, creating a solid foundation that can lead the children to perhaps, a different, better outcome. If the children are our future, then it is up to us to give them the tools to be successful and peacefully prosper toward adulthood.

As Maria Montessori said, “This is education, understood as a help to life; an education from birth, which feeds a peaceful revolution and unites all in a common aim, attracting them as to a single centre. Mothers, fathers, politicians: all must combine in their respect and help for this delicate work of formation, which the little child carries on in the depth of a profound psychological mystery, under the tutelage of an inner guide. This is the bright new hope for mankind.” (The Absorbent Mind, p. 15)

Wishing you all "Peace"-

Kathy :)