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Seeks privacy when going in diaper Shows interest in using the toilet - may want to put paper in and flush (even if they haven't been able to "go") Shows curiosity at other people's toilet habits Has decided he/she wants to use the toilet Not afraid of the toilet Wants to wear underpants and use the toilet

What is the best way to approach toilet training?

Be matter-of-fact

Avoid the power struggle

Overlook failures

Avoid pressure or punishment

Don't lecture

Avoid constant reminders

Relax

Avoid extreme excitement or anger

How do and I start and when is the right time?

Start slow at child's first interest

Allow child in the bathroom with you or siblings when you use the toilet

Start with simple things like:

Dressing/undressing

Practicing flushing

Change diapers in the bathroom

Change diapers standing up (when possible)

Are there times I should avoid Toilet Learning?

Any major changes in the child's life:

New sibling, new school, new house

Switching from crib to bed

Weaning of bottles or pacifiers

Major illnesses

Sleep deprived

Any other stressful situations

What should I do when my child has an accident?

Accidents WILL happen....but it's okay, its a learning process.

The time line will be different with all children. For some it will happen quickly and for others it will take more time.

Some children wet the bed up until 8 years old, this is normal and no cause for concern.

BE PATIENT!

BE CALM!

Allow children to change their own clothing with minimal help when they have an accident.

What are the best diapers to use during the Toilet Learning process?

Once your child has begun the process of using the toilet and has been introduced to cloth underwear it is important that you don't go back to disposable diapers except at bed time.  Pull-ups are a glorified diaper and because they look and feel to the child like a diaper they prevent a child from adjusting sensorially to underwear.

How should I reward my child when they are successful using the toilet?

If a child gets a reward for doing something that is a normal part of development, it can lead to a child expecting a reward for any accomplishment.  Sometimes, rewards put undo pressure on the child and cause anxiety.  It is beneficial for children to learn to follow their internal instincts, reach  milestones individually and at the appropriate and normal stage in their development, and learn early to appreciate the intrinsic value of accomplishments.

What if my child is afraid?

Fear is a normal reaction for children when it comes to Toilet Learning.  It is important to address fears before beginning Toilet Learning.

When you do decide its time to start the process its important to make sure that all of the child's care givers are on the same page.  The routine should be consistent for the child no matter who is caring for them.  Send your child with a lot of extra clothing when they are with a care giver.  Also, be sure that your child is dressed in clothes that they can get on and off themselves.  (Avoid belts, too many layers, etc.)

YOU CAN DO THIS!

BE PATIENT! BE CALM! FOLLOW THE CHILD! ALLOW THE PROCESS! RELAX!!!

Thank you to Alia Boyle Hovius for gathering and sharing this information.

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Britney Peterson

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on Thursday, 20 June 2013 in Parent Education

Now that summer has arrived and you are spending more time with your children I thought this video might be of use....ENJOY!

 

Jane Nelson E.d. D., a parenting expert, shares ideas that support Montessori's respect of the child.

 

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on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 in School News

For the most part, Montessorians do not hugely advocate homework.  When parents ask what their children should be doing at home we commonly respond with a list of practical life activities that can benefit the child.  Some of these might include helping with the meal menu and preparation, planning activities or outings for the family, care of self, tree climbing and art projects. However, almost any educator will stress the importance of reading on a regular basis. Reading is enormously beneficial for a number of reasons.

 

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Books have the ability to expand a child's world in a large variety of ways. Reading is a chance for children to experience more of the world.  Conflict and resolution are introduced through a variety of themes, giving children the opportunity to learn coping skills, resiliency, cause and effect, logic, consequence of action and tolerance. Children build imagination, vocabulary and creativity along with a sense of curiosity and adventure. Exposure to different methods of illustration might engage a child artistically.  Development of grammatical skills and an understanding of appropriate use of language might spark the interest of a future writer.  The possibilities are endless....

Reading with our children creates opportunity for bonding and intimacy. Also, it increases opportunity and skills involving communication.  Reading promotes the development of an extended attention span, a huge benefit for young children preparing to enter school. And, believe it or not, reading skills (top to bottom, left to right, etc.) help develop the mathematical mind.

This being said, it can be difficult to keep our children excited about and engaged in reading throughout the summer months.  One of the most important things we can do to assist our children to continue to grow their reading skills is to provide them with literature that they enjoy and appreciate.

But, as parents we don't always know exactly what types of books are appropriate for our children at their ages.  Most children love to be read to and its quite simple finding appropriate books to read TO them.  However, choosing books that are developmentally appropriate and nurture our children's sense of self can be somewhat more difficult.  This is especially true as children are in the process of becoming independent readers.

A few excellent sources for finding the right books for your child can be found below:

Montessori By Hand

Reading Rockets

Education.com

Some fun family reading tidbits to keep in mind include:

When a child starts to "memorize" the words in a book, it is cause to celebrate.  Encourage children to point to the word they are reading and their ability to learn words by sight increases. REPETITION IS GOOD!  There are numerous benefits to a child reading or listening to the same book over and over.  More than anything they are developing an important sense of order.  Once they've met an important need, they'll move on...until then, use it as an opportunity to ask things like, "What do you think will happen next?" and other comprehension relevant questions. I've found that with my more advanced readers they still enjoy being read to.  The benefits are great as children develop comprehension and fluency skills.  To get your child reading you might take turns....ie, you read a page and then they read a page. Audio books are fantastic.  It's awesome to listen to a book together.  Narrators engage children in a way that can stir up emotion or engage listeners as we feel familiar with the characters. Invite your child to draw a picture of what you read.  This is a great way to build comprehension and is a wonderful conversation starter. Children mimic behavior so one of the most generous gifts we can give our children is the gift of watching us read for pleasure.  Visit the library together and create a cozy space in your home where you can all read.  Even non-readers benefit from looking through books as they sit next to a group of family readers.

HAPPY READING!

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Summer time and the livin's easy....UNLESS your child is set to spend the majority of their summer in front of a screen of some kind. The statistics regarding children and screen time are absolutely FRIGHTENING these days.  Click here or here to read more about the ill effects of too much screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics have strongly suggested that children are over-exposed but we live in a society that thrives on ipods, ipads, iphones, video gaming, and more....

Our kids are growing up in a generation that doesn't quite know how to function without a screen right at their fingertips.  My boys and I just moved to a new house and have been without television or internet for a month.  I kept delaying the process of getting us "connected" until the other night while I sat on my porch watching my boys (ages 10, 8 and 5) play a game of "pick up" ball.  They used a plastic pipe as a bat, a tennis ball, and several other random objects as bases.  There were no gloves.  But, they laughed, chatted, and created rules for their new game in ways that my three competitive sons rarely do with one another.  It was a beautifully decisive moment for me when I considered that if we had television and/or the internet as an option one of them would most likely be inside glued to a device.  We will be officially "disconnected" this summer.

As parents, we can see the changes happening in our children physically on an almost daily basis.  My middle son literally grows out of shoes in about 3 weeks time.  (His toes are as long as my fingers.)  What we might not be as connected to is the emotional, spiritual, and philisophical growth that they are experiencing.  These aren't always as easy to spot as the physical changes but they definitely exist.  Montessori spoke very clearly about the connection between the child's hand and brain.  If our children are to develop at their fullest potential, they need to MOVE.

I urge you, with everything inside me, to get your little ones MOVING this summer.  Engage them from every angle.  Sure, a family movie night won't do harm.  And there are some excellent computer programs out there that might keep them up to par with their math and reading skills but DO NOT let yourself believe that hours upon hours of screen time is beneficial in any way. Our kids have plenty of time in their future to commit to sitting still in front of a screen. (In the coming weeks I will be sure to post even BETTER alternatives to keeping your children's math and reading up to par.)

 

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In her article "Screen Time and Childhood" Jennifer Rogers says the following; "Children spend an average of five to seven hours every day in front of a screen. The only activity that occupies more time for children is sleeping. These same young kids are experiencing speech and language delays, and chronic attention problems. Literacy is becoming increasingly hard to achieve, creativity rare. Though there is little research to establish connections between so many young children’s failure to thrive and their over-exposure to technologies, the conclusion that screen time is corroding young minds seems ridiculously obvious to most teachers." (Link above.)

What are your plans to keep your children from spending too much of their summer in front of a screen?  Montessori was firm in her belief that children needed physical activity in order to develop fully and to their greatest potential. Below are a list of ideas that might help you engage your child.  I have learned that when summer (or, winter) sets in its important to sit down with the kids and talk about ideas.  When my kids say "I'm bored" I either refer them to the list of activities we created together. If nothing on the list looks inviting there is always the list posted on the other side of the fridge labeled "CHORES."  We often have a list of activities that can be done together, at home or away from home, as well as a list of individual activities for when mom or the siblings aren't available.  Our list might include some of the following ideas:

 

Dark Dancing - my kids and I love to turn out all the lights in our basement and crank the music.  Dancing in the dark encourages my boys to move in ways they might not feel totally comfortable with the lights on.  Plus, they aren't so embarrassed by how completely uncoordinated their mother is. Jump Rope - this is especially fun with older children.  There are a lot of fun songs and rhythms that can accompany jump roping.  It is a wonderful team building exercise. Obstacle Course - Build an obstacle course in your living room or in the back yard. As your children get used to the idea they are likely to come up with some very creative ideas.  Get the timer involved and invite children to beat their own time.  (Think: hula hoops, high jumps, assembling and disassembling a lego toy, long jumps, etc.) Making and Flying Kites -  see here. Build a Fort - Backyard and Living Room forts are the best.  Be prepared to let it stay in the middle of your space for as long as it keeps the kids happy.  These make a wonderful space for reading and playing board games. Pen-Pals - Get your littles in touch with someone via "Snail-Mail."  There is NOTHING more exciting than checking the mailbox to find a personal letter from a far-away friend. Grandparents, cousins, old classmates....the list of possibilities are endless. Make Home-Made Popsicles - combine your favorite fruits with some delicious yogurt (we prefer greek) and water or juice and freeze it in popsicle molds.  If you dont have popsicle molds, ice trays or your small cups and popsicle sticks work like a charm.

If all else fails, head to the Dollar Theater together.  Don't forget visiting your local library, family reads, books on tape, building a volcano (plus a million more at-home science projects,) cooking, gardening and puzzles.  If your children are part of coming up with the list of ideas and then gathering the materials, they are likely to find enthusiasm in carrying them out.

In teaching our children the dis-importance of extensive amounts of screen time, my very best advice is this: BE AN EXAMPLE.  Limit your own screen time and get in on that messy paper mache' project the kids are so enthusiastic about!

Happy Summer!

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on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 in School News

A parent recently brought to our attention an article in Slate magazine about preschools. The article (read here) explores the question of whether preschools really give children an advantage in life. In an interesting reference to Montessori, the author cites Angeline Lillard’s research, which finds that “classical” Montessori programs--those that follow the mixed-age groupings, do not perform testing, and mainly present concepts with hands-on Montessori materials--do provide an advantage, more so than “supplemented” Montessori programs, which can segregate by age and mix traditional Montessori materials with activities like pretend play and direct instruction. Children in the classical Montessori program “exhibited better working memory, planning, reading, and vocabulary skills, and they displayed a better understanding of fairness and willingness to share.”

Hearing about this article now seems appropriate, as we are continually assessing ourselves in an effort to remain as authentic to Montessori’s vision as possible.  In 2012-2013 we have been excited about various projects and activities that promote this goal:

We sent four teachers--Lara Althouse and Evi Bybee from Early Childhood and Bonnie Bracken and Brandi Allen from Lower Elementary--to the new AMS (American Montessori Society) Montessori teaching credential  program at Westminster, which began last summer. While they already had one Montessori certification, each teacher chose to pursue further education by working towards an AMS certification. They will be doing their practicum in their classrooms in 2013-2014. Kate Savage is currently finishing her two-year training with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. She will be doing her onsite training in Louisiana in June and is sitting her final exams later this summer. This summer Lauren Bornschein is beginning the Master’s in Montessori Education at Westminster, and two of our Toddler teachers are beginning their Infant/Toddler training with the Institute of Guided Studies out of South Carolina.  We are excited about these teachers’ training because having certified teachers is key to a “classical” Montessori program, as the teachers are the main observers and guides for the children’s progress.

In keeping with Maria Montessori’s emphasis on global education, and caring for the community beyond ourselves, we took Service Learning into the SLC community with Upper Elementary’s work with the Bicycle Collective and the Humane Society. Middle School students spent an entire immersion week on service projects of their choice, ranging from the Sarah Daft Home to Wasatch Community Garden and The Stable Place (for more on their immersion experience, click here. Lower Elementary students continued their service learning within the classroom and the school building, watering the school plants, cleaning their classroom and taking care of their classroom pets.

At the school wide level, we raised awareness about giving to others through the Fun Run.  Sadly, one of our Adopt a Native Elder grandmothers, Grandmother Roseline, died this year and after a relationship of seventeen years we will miss her greatly. The children raised over $6500 for the  Adopt a Native Elder and the Children of Ethiopia Education Fund (COEEF) organizations. We were so grateful for everyone’s efforts in supporting the seven young women who would not be able to attend school in Ethiopia without our assistance and in supporting our Navajo grandmothers, whom we have supported for seventeen years. Though the concept of raising money to give to others can be abstract,  in order for the children to feel more of a connection, we made a real effort this year to educate the students about the people the money they raised would go to. Our contributions make such a profound difference in all of their lives.

As an extension beyond our conscious, pre-planned efforts to involve the community in service learning, the community, particularly those involved with Toddlers, came together to support Nico in many ways.  Many people took it upon themselves to plan and carry out special events to raise funds to assist his family. Ms. Sophie, one of our Moons class teachers played a pivotal role in the fundraising efforts. This was the perfect example to our students as they observed a need and saw the community come together to fulfill the need. Another example of this was when one of our families had some crippling financial needs this year. Many families in our school supported their Facebook appeal.

We have appreciated everyone’s patience as we spent the year developing our new website, which we plan to launch for the 2013-2014 academic year. The new website will have an updated Parent’s Center that will combine parent education resources with classroom updates. We are also excited to be adding an alumni section, which will allow past graduates to touch base and to let us know how they are doing. We plan to gather more information in general from our alumni about how they fared in the transition from Montessori to a non-Montessori environment.

As a school we set the goal this year of improving our communications, among teachers and with parents. We streamlined our weekly email newsletter, and encouraged families to refer to that one centralized location for all classroom and school announcements. We added a second set of narrative evaluations at the Toddler and Early Childhood levels in order to increase feedback parents receive from teachers. We continued having two sets of parent/teacher conferences and teacher office hours, when parents can come in with their questions about their children in the classroom.

Aimee Brewer has surpassed all our expectations in her role as a stellar PSA President this year and we are infinitely grateful. Though she maintains an extremely busy work and family schedule she brought her innovative ideas to our annual school/family events. We wish her and her family the best in their move to the East coast this summer; we will miss them all dearly.

We are so fortunate and grateful that Ann Beverly is stepping forward to take over the role of PSA President next year.  Ann was instrumental as the Chair in the Green Committee’s efforts this year, with extensive help from Jaymison Peterson. The Green Committee planned events such as the MCS Clothing Swap. They also initiated a school wide glass recycling collection on Wednesdays this year. We thank and appreciate them for their efforts in keeping our school “green.”

We also want to thank Stephanie Thatcher for her leadership with the LegoRobotics team this year. The Virtual Vikings took 8th out of 20th overall and earned an Honorable Mention from the judges at the Lego FIRST Regional Competition in January. We want to thank Stephanie for her time and dedication in continuing the program, and we look forward to the efforts of the Upper Elementary students next year.

We are so appreciative of all the parents who are generous with their time and energy.  A variety of people coming together to serve one another in multiple ways as we seek to nurture the whole child is the true essence of community.  Each of your individual efforts helps make our school unique.  Many, many thanks for your continued contributions. We would not have such a warm, giving and caring community without you.

We are delighted that most of you will be continuing this educational journey with us next year, and we look forward to an exciting and fulfilling year. For those who are leaving us at this time, we are thankful for having had the chance to walk the same path while you have been here and we wish you the best. Best wishes to all of you for a safe and happy summer, Robyn & Ramira       Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan Head of School   Ramira Alamilla Associate Head of School   image

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on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 in School News

 

Tickets are on sale in the office now for our Annual MCS Family Carnival!

Many thanks to those who have organized this exciting event!

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"I'm so glad we are all good at different things."

Today I was performing a task alongside a collegue of mine and I expressed how much I loved the task to which she responded with the above comment.  This struck a deep chord with me as I was preparing to write this webpost about the beauty of authenticity. All of the greatest improvements throughtout history have come from people who were able to think outside the box.  Anyone who has spent any amount of time with children knows that they are small people with BIG vision.  I applaud those parents who have embraced the uniqueness of their children and are making an effort to give them the continued gift of being unique in a society that largely embraces conformity.  As children discover their world they do so with their whole selves.  An engaged child often uses more than one sense to discover and their entire little bodies are prone to form or move in order to fully engage.

Maria Montessori described ages 0-3 as an unconscious absorbent mind.  This means that a childs brain works like a sponge-absorbing almost everything in their environment and then the information sinks deep into their psyche, developing various observations and ideas of the world that will likely remain with them into adulthood.  This theory speaks to the importance of the early years...hence; our Toddler environment.

Maria Montessori then described the ages 3-6 as those of a conscious absorbent mind.  The sponge is still in tact-the child absorbs exorbient amounts of information using multiple teqhniques and senses.  But, their consciousness now plays a role in decifering information.  These children begin to be led and guided by their personal interest and intrigue.  Children begin to gain the ability to think and reason.  Their desire to participate as part of a community develops as the find themselves repeating tasks in an effort to master their bodies and minds. The beauty of this is evident in a normalized Montessori Early Childhood environment.

The transformation to an elementary aged student, about 6 years old, is like a huge explosion into a much bigger world.  They can see and recognize a world outside themselves.  These children begin to discover that they have something to contribute to a larger community.  The elementary years find a child with big thoughts and big ideas paired with the ability to take ACTION! At 6-9 years old they find satisfaction in collaboration and their big ideas grow as they learn to combine ideas with their peers.  Big idea plus big idea equals enormous idea.

Although we see a child become slightly more "me" oriented around nine years old, we now have a child with the ability to transform their ideas into other ideas as the skill to abstract grows.  They see the change they are capable of making.  Now, we are looking face to face at these big thinkers who have, hopefully by now, experienced the satisfaction of making some signifigant contribution(s) to whatever society they feel they are a part.

One of the most disheartening things about society, to me, is its huge impact on taking away big ideas.  No matter how big the box, the truth remains, we don't all fit inside it.  Our world thrives on originality.  Our children deserve the opportunity to be empowered by the big ideas floating around inside their little bodies.  Having all this wonder and hope and excitement about the world can hardly make a change if we take away the ability to apply them.  How can we do that in a system that expects the same things from each person?  The video below supports the idea that our children deserve to have a voice and we, at Montessori Community School, are proud to have the ability to give it to them.  We are more than the private school down the street. What do our children want from their education?  Are they able to voice the importance of their needs and wants?  Are we listening when they do?

I invite you to take three minutes to hear one perspective on the subject and when you are done watching pat yourself on the back with the knowledge that just by reading this post or watching this video you are taking steps in the right direction as we strive for a better, more authentic education for our big thinkers!

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The Spiritual Preparation of the Montessori Teacher

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The curriculum and the philosophy of Montessori are both based on her careful observation of individuals.  As she watched the children develop and explore their environment she brought essentials in to the environment that would support their natural development.  This action clearly supports her theory that entering a classroom and guiding a child in their development as a whole person means the teacher must be well prepared.  The teachers personal preparation and commitment to the students and their paths is extremely important.  Maria Montessori was the ultimate example of careful observation, preparation and honoring the spirit of the child.  But, as anyone who has participated in a Montessori training program can attest to, that preparation is necessary of any Montessori teacher.

“The real preparation for education is a study of one’s self. The training of the teacher who is to help life is something far more than the learning of ideas. It includes the training of character, it is a preparation of the spirit.” (The Absorbent Mind)

According to Montessori, to work effectively with children, we must tear out our most deeply rooted defects, especially those that would hinder our relations with our children. In true humility we must look at ourselves to identify our strengths as well as our weaknesses.


In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I feel a great desire to share my own understanding of the deep and ongoing preparation that our teachers commit to in order to be present and attentive to our children.  First of all, this preparation requires a moral preparation as well as a spiritual preparation. In an effort to model appropriate behavior and interactions, they must be non-judgemental and able to see a situation from many angles.  A Montessori teacher is required to observe the children and attune to their needs while she acts as a natural part of their environment and presents lessons in such a way that she entices each child, each day, and in each area.  Her depth of understanding the emotional status of each child must be sharp.  Her ability to assess, during her presentations, what a child is understanding must be present at all times.  There is no space in a classroom for judgement or prejudices.
As you know, ours is a program which teaches many practical skills. Therefore, assessing the needs of the children on a daily basis is a necessity in being prepared to follow their needs. They must let go of anger and pride as they step into the classroom each day.  They learn to model peaceful conflict resolution and learn to sit on and meditate with decisions in an effort to be fair and constructive. They learn to trust the process and see even the slightest change in their students.
My experience has been, and continues to be, that these wonderful people who are drawn to the philosophy of Montessori have a special gift.  Sending love and appreciation to the amazing teachers here at Montessori Community School.  Your dedication to Montessori, our children, and your own personal growth does not go unnoticed or under-appreciated.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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"(Parents) alone can and must save their children.  Their consciences must feel the force of the mission entrusted to them by nature for...in their hands lies positively the future of humanity, life."

Maria Montessori

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The philosophy of Montessori has, at some point, called to each one of us.  Over the years I have seen parents and teachers "fall for" Montessori for a variety of reasons and with a variety of intentions or hopes for its outcome.  Whatever the reason we chose this particular journey, it has probably become as clear to you as it has to me that a Montessori education is bigger than the 8 hours a day that our children spend inside the walls of Montessori Community School.  Our children are coming home with the ability to think  with initiative and innovation.  They have the desire to extend their learning outside the classroom.  From the time they are small, children are naturally learning.  They begin life touching and tasting everything in their path in an effort to learn as much as they can about their environment.  For a child who has been in a Montessori environment, their desire for knowledge has not changed much from the time they were infants.  They seek knowledge everywhere they go!

One of the most popular questions I get from parents is "how can I support the Montessori philosophy at home?"  What are we to do?  How do we keep that flame alive so their desire for knowledge continues to grow as they learn the tools necessary to obtain knowledge? As a Montessori mother I can assure you that the items below will make your job bringing Montessori home a whole lot easier as well as making your child’s Montessori experience more rich and meaningful than if it were to stand alone as a “school” experience. Slow down, model appropriately, and STOP hurrying our children: Our children are watching us.  And they are in an environment where they are learning appropriate social behavior.  They are learning skills necessary to recognize and communicate their needs and desires.  In our homes we can give them a voice!  The moments we spend effectively communicating with our little ones will serve them for a lifetime.  In addition to hearing their voice and giving it a fair amount of power, we need to SLOW DOWN.  Let us all make a committed effort to teach our children to stop and smell the flowers.  Lets show them that the only job worth doing is a job done well.  Effort and desire produce meaningful results. Preparation of the environment: Preparing an environment where the child can continue their patterns of growth and discovery is essential to supporting our children’s Montessori experience.  This is because our children are in a state where everything in their environment is of essence to their experience as an individual.  Our school environment allows the child space to learn in many aspects but often our home environments are set up to suit the needs of the adults.  Montessori said, “(The child) absorbs the life going on about him and becomes one with it....The child’s impressions are so profound that a biological or psycho-chemical change takes place, by which his mind ends by resembling the environment itself.”  Providing our children with an age appropriate, enriched environment is part of the gift we can give them in support of their Montessori education. Give our children space to explore their passions: These little ones are learning to find enthusiasm and joy in different tasks.  They are given freedom to explore topics of interest.  When we hear their voice and honor their passions, we support their love of learning.  A child who has developed an interest in plants desires nothing more than a parent who will listen and actively encourage their passion by providing them books, field trips, and conversations about plants.  A person truly masters a skill or subject when they can teach another person about it.  I urge you to give your children space to teach and share their passions with you. Accept their contributions: Our children are being taught to be contributing members of a community.  How can you allow your child this opportunity at home?  Their ability to contribute is usually beyond what we might think they are capable.  When we maintain our space as a family community we then have the opportunity to explore, play, and learn as a community.  My experience has been that to be an effective Montessori Parent, I have no choice but to understand and fully embrace that I have three little individuals on my hands. Their ability to truly and effectively contribute to society is one that makes me feel honored and privileged. I don’t advocate for having a house full of Montessori materials.  Our little ones spend many hours in a day working on academics.  They are most served at home when we allow them to participate in practical tasks and explore their surroundings.  When I invite you to bring Montessori home I certainly don’t want anyone getting the impression that I think our children should be home working on math.  I am saying that we can indulge their love of learning by hearing what they are interested in.  We can support their development of imagination by reading wonderful, adventurous books with them.  We can support their love of nature by hiking and camping and exploring with them.  We can teach them the beauty of the earth by walking slowly with them.  We can nurture their ability to build meaningful relationships by seeing them and hearing them and touching them.  We can teach them to be confident by looking them in the eye while they speak to us.  We can teach them to resolve conflicts peacefully by modeling peaceful conflict resolution.
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on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 in School News

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Thank you to all the families who participated in the Children’s clothing swap last week. We had a record amount of clothes donated! I hope you all got to update your growing child’s wardrobe a little bit.

 

 

Glass recycling Wednesday is getting off on the right foot! Each week we continue to see more and more glass coming in for us to recycle. Keep it coming! I hope you find this a useful service.

 

I wanted to publicly acknowledge the Green Committee members who have made our efforts to green MCS a success this year. You are all amazing and passionate about improving the school and the environment for our children.

 

One Green Committee member needs a little extra acknowledgement, Jaymison Peterson. With out Jaymison’s efforts the clothing swap just would not have happened. She sorted and folded so many kid tee shirts I think she will be folding in her dreams for quite awhile! Throughout the entire swap Jaymison was there, straightening and organizing, in order to make it easier for all of us to find what we needed, in the right size! And the wonderful signs for Glass Wednesday, you guessed it, Jaymison made them! Most Wednesdays she is one of the members taking the glass to be recycled. She is a vital part of the Green Committee and I hope she knows how much I appreciate her efforts and commitment to our Committee and to MCS. Thank you Jaymison!

 

And, thank you to all MCS parents and students for making the Green Committee a success again this year.

 

Ann Beverly

Chair, Green Committee

 

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on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 in School News

 

 

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on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 in School News

As you are aware our Annual Service Fundraiser –the Fun Run- will be held on Wednesday, April 17th.  Our goal for this year is to raise at least $6500 for our two special Navajo grandmothers, Emma and Elvira, as well as our seven students from Ethiopia.

As we have 220 students enrolled at this time this means that if each child could aim to raise $30 we would reach our goal. We are aware that this will be an easy target for some families and more difficult for others and want you to know that anything you can offer will be so gratefully received.

The Adopt A Native Elder program has an excellent website that we invite you to view at this link- www.anelder.org The website gives so much information about the work of the organization. We are aware that there are many other grandmothers who would really benefit from sponsorship and therefore if we meet our goal this year we hope to adopt another grandmother.  We have been sponsors for Grandmothers Emma, Roseline (who recently died), and Elivira for about seventeen years now and know how much our support has helped provide a higher quality of life.  As you know from some of our Weekly Email newsletters we hear from our grandmothers on a regular basis and having spent time with each of them on the reservation Robyn and Bob know what great an impact our commitment and support has on their lives.

Recently we received new photos and thank you letters from our sponsored students in Ethiopia. We include two of their photos here.  Along with the correspondence we received a recommendation to watch the following link -http://youtu.be/cYumqw7idQY On the video you will see that one of our students, Bethelhem Eyob, (who is one of the girls shown in the photos attached) speaks about her experience at school and her gratitude for her sponsors (in this case our school). In a recent communication from Rick Egan at COEEF he wrote, "Bethelhem Eyob is a brilliant student, and so I thought you may be interested in seeing a short video we put together from our last visit to Ethiopia. It includes a short interview with your student,  Bethelhem Eyob, talking about Mr Solomon and St Michael's School where she attends.

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Once again we thank you in advance for your support.

Warm wishes,

Robyn and Ramira

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Shakin' it for Nico!

 

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Deacon, Drake, Meghan and Sophie volunteer their time at the Zumbathon.

 

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A small crowd of attendees before the madness began!

 

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Shakin' It for Nico!

 

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Excited children watching their parents dance!

 

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Alyana and Lauren, volunteering in Child Care, bust out a move.

 

For those who participated in the Zumbathon last Friday night, we cannot begin to thank you enough.  The energy was incredible and seeing the event come together, as a community of loving adults put their dollars AND their enthusiastic energy into this project, was a touching experience for many.  We raised well over our anticipated goal and some of our staff members are looking forward to presenting the money to Nico and his family next week.

 

This event is just one reason we are all proud to be a part of the Montessori Community School...when we bring together our talents, our good intentions, and our positive energy-we can do amazing things!

 

Special thanks to the following:

Sophie Lake -MCS teacher, event organizer, event volunteer

Cinthya Barajas - MCS teacher, Zumbathon instructor/event volunteer, event organizer

Ralynne Purdy - Zumbathon instructor/event volunteer

Jena Marston - Zumbathon instructor/event volunteer

Meghan Burrows - MCS teacher, event volunteer

Alyana Kay - MCS teacher, event volunteer

Lauren Bornschein - MCS teacher, event volunteer

MCS Facilities - event organization, set-up

Drake Jones - MCS student, event volunteer

Tanner Jones - MCS student, event volunteer

Deacon Jones - MCS student, event volunteer

And especially to all the community members (MCS Community as well as many SLC Community members) who participated in the event!

 

Many, Many Thanks!

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on Thursday, 21 March 2013 in School News

6th Annual - Montessori Community School Fun Run

Wednesday, April 17th 2013

(Please note the change in date from the school calendar.)

 

The two main service projects that our school is involved with are the Adopt A Native Elder program and also COEEF (Children of Ethiopia Fund).

 

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For the past seventeen years our school has raised money, in various ways, for the Adopt a Native Elder program, to provide financial assistance for our three adopted Navajo grandmothers- Roseline, Emma and Elvira who have chosen to remain living on a reservation and spent their lives living in the  traditional life style as role models for their children and grandchildren.  For the past ten years our school has also raised money to pay full tuition to allow our  girls in Ethiopia to attend school. Only 25% of girls in Ethiopia are afforded the opportunity to attend school and COEEF has built schools in Ethiopia for the express purpose of providing education only for girls.

 

For the past six years the main fundraising event to support our grandmothers and young girls in Ethiopia has been our Spring Fun Run. All of our students participate in the event.  The children collect pledges from family and friends who are interested in supporting these two programs and the children run laps on the Lower Field to earn the money that has been pledged.  100% of the money earned goes directly to our grandmothers to whom we provide certificates throughout the year for them to buy food, clothing, general incidentals and firewood and for the tuition for our students in Ethiopia.

 

There is still a great need within the Adopt a Native Elder program for support of other grandmothers and we hope to be able to adopt another grandmother. That will be determined based on the funds raised at the Fun Run this year. Last year we only raised about half of what we had raised the year before so we do not want to over commit ourselves. Over the next couple weeks, the teachers will be talking to the children about service to others and in particular about our grandmothers and the students we support in Ethiopia. Our grandmothers and students will surely appreciate anything you can give.

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on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 in School News

 

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It is with extreme sadness that we advise you of the death of one of our beloved grandmothers – Grandmother Roseline Jackson.  She was 94 years old.

Approximately seventeen years ago our school began our relationship with the Adopt A Native Elder program and at that time we adopted Grandmothers Roseline, Emma and Elvira.

Approximately eighteen months ago Bob and I had the opportunity to travel to Arizona with the Adopt A Native Elder group on one of their Food Runs.  Each day we visited a different area of the Navajo reservation and our three grandmothers – Roseline, Emma and Elvira lived in two of these areas so we were able to spend several hours with each of them and get to know them on a more personal level.  It was such a pleasure to meet Grandmothers Roseline and Emma for the first time.  We really appreciated the opportunity to learn first hand so much more about the history of Navajo and the lifestyle that they have lead.

Grandmother Roseline was a wonderful warm and charming woman with a really funny sense of humor. She has had many health issues over the past two years and has been hospitalized a few times. Each time she has bounced back and has continued to have her positive attitude and sense of humor. I have kept in touch with her regularly and know how much she appreciated all the assistance we were able to provide her. Over the past few years she has felt the cold very badly and she needed to keep her wood fire going all year long so was especially grateful for all the firewood that our school provided for her. Her family also expressed their extreme gratitude for all of our assistance.

Written By: Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan

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on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 in School News

Summer is quickly approaching and registration is officially open for our currently enrolled students.  If you are not already signed up for "Full Year" we invite you to stop  the office to pick up a registration form. Please ask Lynn or Liz if you have any questions.

 

See the flyers below for information about this years Montessori Community School Summer Adventures Camp. Students will study Tanzania and Kenya.

 

Registration will close on March 29th so don't delay.  Space is limited.

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on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 in School News

We had the wonderful opportunity to catch a glimpse of what our students have been up to this year in Music, Art, and Dance at the Performing Arts Showcase last Friday evening.  Another huge shout out to the students who worked hard and gave their best effort!  Our students are amazing.  Also, another heartfelt thank you to Kindra, Laura, and Katie for their hard work and dedication.

 

 

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Narrators Oliver & Joshua welcome the crowd of excited families.

 

 

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Upper Elementary students charm the audience with song.

 

 

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Middle School students jam on their guitars with Ms. Laura.  Their rendition of "House of the Rising Sun" was incredible!  Great job, guys!

 

 

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Lower Elementary Wasatch students dance to Diana Ross's

"You Keep Me Hangin' On." They had great form!

 

 

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Upper Elementary grooving to Michael jackson!

 

 

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Upper El student, O, has great moves....what a crowd pleaser!

 

 

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Another group of Lower Elementary Wasatch students shine on stage!

 

 

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Lower Elementary Oquirrh students groove to "Beggin."

 

 

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Upper Elementary bringing the stage to life with the Beach Boys!

 

 

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Lower Elementary Oquirrh students remind us that all you really need IS

love as they dance to this Beatles classic!

 

 

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The wonderful people who made the whole show possible...thanks again to Kindra (Art), Laura (Music), and Katie (Dance).  A shout out to Margaret for taking on the role as the shows emcee.

 

Before and after the show parents had the opportunity to stroll the gym and check out the students amazing art projects.

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on Monday, 11 March 2013 in School News

We are so grateful to Linda Meyer and the Adopt a Native Elder program for their outreach and efforts in bringing the Children’s Rug Show to MCS on Friday, March 1st.

In addition to displaying various crafts that Navajo children made, such as handwoven small rugs, homemade cards, jewelry, and stuffed animals (with their very own names!), the presenters shared information about Navajo history and culture. At one point five children sat in a circle around a Navajo woman while she showed them how to grind corn. During the demonstration she also shared about the three crops that Native Americans introduced: squash, beans, and corn. She asked the children if they knew what those plants looked like when they were growing and explained their interdependence. Corn grows tall and provides shade for the squash, which provide the natural trellis for the bean vines to wrap themselves around.

In the center of the gym, a couple of elders invited children to learn how to weave on the loom, and for some of the elementary-age students, this activity held their attention for a long time. An elder named Roger showed children how to use a drum, and told stories at certain times.

 

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Similar to the squash, beans, and corn, we too are interdependent on one another for support and growth. Our children learn this from day one at MCS, living in community in their multi-age classroom. Every year we host the Fun Run, our primary school fundraiser specifically for the purpose of raising money for those in the global community who depend on us for our generosity. As a school we support our grandmothers in the Adopt a Native Elder program, as well as five young women through the Children of Ethiopia Education Fund (COEFF).

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Thank you to all the families who stopped by during the Rug Show in support of learning more about the Navajo culture and who bought crafts to support the Adopt a Native Elder program. We also want to especially thank our Facilities staff for setting up and cleaning for and after the event.

By Ramira Alamilla

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on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 in School News

 

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ZUMBATHON for NICO
make every move count

Friday - March 22, 2013 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Montessori Community School (in the Gym) 
2416 East 1700 South 
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Minimum Donation $5 - Please contribute more if you can.

Come join us for a fun evening for grown ups (ages 16 and up) with the MCS community coming together in support of little Nico who 2 years old. Earlier this year he was diagnosed with high risk Leukemia and your contribution could help greatly.