We had a wonderful Silent Journey and Discovery experience this month. Fifteen parents were in attendence. We started in the lobby where we shared the routine and schedule and then headed into the classrooms. Upon entering each new environment, attendees spent the first few minutes of their visit to access the environment in relation to the students at that level. With some prompting they looked at the nature of the materials in the space. Then, when the bell rang, they were invited to sit down and engage with the classroom materials. After visiting each classroom and working with the materials, attendees participated in a student-led Socratic Dialogue. Following a wonderful lunch, we had an open discussion about the experience as a whole and staff members answered specific questions about the materials, the curriculum, and the Montessori philosophy. Thank you to those who attended. We are looking forward to hosting this event again in the Fall and we hope more of our parents will have the opportunity to experience this wonderful event.
SJ&D participants engage with materials from the Practical Life, Math, Language and Sensorial materials in an Early Childhood environment.
Upper Elementary teacher, Margaret, gives these parents a lesson on the Division Board during their visit to the Lower Elementary environment.
Parents work independently on Checkerboard Division in the Upper Elementary environment.
Participants explore the Middle School environment where they read about Middle School students experiences of different learning cycles.
Middle School student, Maddi Schmunk, and Upper Elementary teacher, Margaret, prepare for the Socratic Dialogue. Maddi chose the topic quote and led the discussion beautifully. The topic of discussion was quote, "It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life" by Sister Kenny.
Two parents who attended the Silent Journey and Discovery share their experiences below:
"The Silent Journey and Discovery was a very emotional and powerful experience for me. I did not attend a Montessori school as a child so I am only familiar with the Montessori philosophy through what I have read and observed in the last two years. It gave me a great appreciation and understanding of the different developmental levels of the works. I loved seeing the progression and advancement of the works through Toddler, Early Childhood and up through Middle School. The grammar and math works were thrilling to learn and experience. The focus on the sensorial aspects of each work creates a love of learning. In addition to receiving an amazing education the students are also learning how to be independent, respectful and loving human beings. I think every MCS parent should participate in the Silent Journey and Discovery to really understand and appreciate the experience and education we are giving our children. I know that it made me realize that I will do everything in my power to continue my daughter’s Montessori education."
Mother of Savvy Williams, Blue Class
"Having not grown up in a Montessori environment, it has been difficult for me to understand what exactly a day in the life of my Montessori students is like. I try to take in as much as I can at pick-up and drop-off, with the occasional visit and guided lesson by my children, but there is no way to fully understand without an experience like the Silent Journey and Discovery. It was an eye-opening voyage that I would recommend for every parent, and prospective parent. I want to do it again.
Going through a classroom from each cycle really makes the whole Montessori experience come full circle from seeing how the Toddlers get their first understanding of space and shape, to Early Childhood and their practical life lessons, to Lower Elementary and their grammar materials which encourage socialization, to the Upper Elementary complex math problems, to a Middle School student-led Socratic discussion. We only saw the tip of the iceberg, but the hands-on learning experience helped personify the school life of our children. I was struck by the thoughtful organization of each room; how comfortable and serene a small space can feel.
I also enjoyed the roundtable discussion following our classroom journeys. We were able to get some insight from teachers, staff, students and other parents. Because Montessori isn’t the “traditional” schooling for kids in our country, there are obvious concerns and hesitations with going outside the “norm”. Many of my concerns were put to ease and I feel my children are on the correct path for them at this time. I appreciated the book recommendations and feel they will help in understanding the Montessori Method and perhaps assist me with decisions for my family down the road.
My kids have been at MCS for three/four years now and I feel like I have finally been able to look beyond the curtain of their daily journey, something that every parent should see and experience. Now, when my kids and I have our chats at the end of the day, I can ask even more detailed questions and have a bit more understanding as to how their day went. That is priceless.
Thanks again to all who helped facilitate the Silent Journey and Discovery."
Mother of Lucas, Oquirrh Class and Emily, Blue Class