Tips for a New Montessori Parent

A happy welcome to the new families entering Montessori Community School.  Parents, you will soon discover that being a part of a Montessori community is encompassing and the efforts you make towards supporting the Montessori approach will determine the success your child has in this environment. Below is an article by Edward Fidellow which will give you several tips to embracing your new role as a "Montessori Parent."

And so begins your journey......

Becoming a Montessori Parent by Edward Fidellow

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There are seven simple steps to becoming a Montessori parent. When we say simple we don’t mean that they are not challenging. It is a lot like the definition of bull riding. “The object is to keep the bull between you and the ground.” Simple – but challenging.

The first step to becoming a Montessori parent took place when you enrolled your child in a Montessori program. That in itself is a challenge. Most of us weren’t raised in a Montessori school. The whole concept is foreign and takes a bit of courage to step out of the norm and our comfort zone. We may have chosen the program because it wasn’t like our school experience (which is why we chose it.) Or we chose it because we saw something unique in a Montessori child we knew. Or we were just plain lucky and stumbled on to a Montessori school and were fascinated by what we saw. Even then we had to deal with the question, “If this is so great, how come the whole world isn’t lined up outside the door to enroll?” (Which is the same question Montessorians keep wondering about too!) But you made a complex and challenging decision to become a Montessori parent. And here you are. So how do you get the best out of your decision? You go to step two.

You begin to understand the core philosophy of what Montessori is all about. Fortunately, you don’t have to become a Montessori teacher to be a good Montessori parent. (You don’t have to know how to manipulate all of those materials and you don’t have to keep fifteen children from climbing the walls.) The most significant Montessori concept is to respect the child. I can almost hear the wheels turning “Of course I respect my child, I love them very much that’s why I have them in Montessori, I want the best for them.” Of course you love them – but respect is different. Respecting the child is first, to respect the nature of children. Children are not mini adults waiting to be molded. They are like tadpoles and caterpillars that have their own form and function of life waiting to become what they are intended to be. We are often impatient for them to become because we don’t realize that childhood – with its curiosity, playfulness, messiness and all – is part of the process of them transforming themselves into the adults they will become. We have to respect that process – which doesn’t mean they always get to do what they want. One of the operative words in Dr. Montessori’s writing is the word “train”. We do need to train our children but we need to train ourselves “not to destroy that which is good” in the nature of our children. The second part of respect is to respect the personality of your child. Your child is not a blank slate. They are already imbued with the unique characteristics of who they are. The artistic bent is already there. The math bent is already formed.The leader, the follower, the giver, the taker, the extrovert, the introvert are already dna’d into your child. Right or left handed, right or left brained are already formed.

So how do you cooperate with nature? You become an observer. That is the next step in becoming a Montessori parent – you train yourself to observe. What does your child gravitate to? What gives them great joy? What occupies them endlessly? These are all clues to who your child is becoming. You are fortunate that you have a trained helper in your child’s Montessori teacher. Your next parent conference should ask more than what has she done but who do you see her becoming. It is hard to cooperate with nature if you are not aware of the nature of your child.

Our third step is to become their champion. I know. I hear you say, “Of course, I’m their champion. I love them.” And so you do. But are their goals your goals? Translation: Do you have goals for them that do not take into account who they are. (There are many jock fathers who do not have jock sons.) Yes, you have many wonderful goals for them to be caring and loving, honest and faithful, upright, truthful, etc – and these are worthy, significant and meaningful goals which they should attain to. But the expression of their lives – career, vocation, work – is best met and fulfilled according to their gifts. When your five year old says, “I want to be a fireman.” He may be reflecting the latest book or television program he’s seen. However, if you continue to ask the why questions, “Why do you think that would be a good job? Why do you think that you would enjoy that?” you may discover that your child is not drawn just to the excitement but to the fact of wanting to help people or he likes the aspect of being part of a team. All are important clues to his personality. Your child needs you to champion and encourage his personality (especially, if it is different than yours.)

The fourth step is to practice what they learn at school – grace and courtesy. Please and thank you, may I, excuse me, please forgive me and a host of other considerations practiced (and modeled) at home will go a long way to giving your child every advantage in life. People respond favorably to a child with great manners.

Fifth, practice independence. Independence is the ability to be self-governing and that comes from making choices, living with the consequences and having responsibilities. As often as possible give your children choices. “What do you want for breakfast, cereal or eggs?” “Do you want two spoonfuls of carrots or one?” (Don’t offer choices where there are no choices. “Do you want carrots? They say no and you serve them anyway.) Give your children chores they can accomplish – making their beds, putting dirty clothes in the laundry, dishes in the dishwasher, etc. Chores build responsibility; responsibility builds independence; independence builds confidence.

Sixth, give them the gift of time. Give them time to accomplish their chores. Give them time to be children. Give them time to breathe. Give them your time.

Seventh, practice humility. They have a lot to learn from you. What is easy for you as an adult is mystifying and beyond challenge for them. Let your words be seasoned with grace. Look for the good in what they do. Their motives are often pure; their actions imperfect. Yet, we have a lot to learn from them also. And when you are wrong (when, not if) practice the humility of saying, “Please forgive me.” It will not destroy your authority or their respect for you. It will teach them one of the great lessons of life – when you fail, whether it’s in a relationship, school, career or life – own the failure and start over again – to succeed another day.

Becoming a Montessori parent is to become the best parent you can be.

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MCS Monthly Energy Production Report

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Montessori Community School is making a difference in our community by offsetting carbon by 6.81 tons (about 175 trees). 
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Music Class with Ms. Karey!

Not only have our students enjoyed the many art projects, activities, and field trips; our Summer Adventures Kangaroos have enjoyed learning fun and creative music originating and/or themed about Australia and Australia's culture.
 
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We have the best teachers who are dedicated, loving, and creative. Montessori Community School wants to thank our teachers, beautiful student body, and supportive parents for the surreal community we enjoy in this amazing school.  
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Early Childhood Assistant Teacher Position Available

MCS is now hiring!

Early Childhood Teacher

Montessori Community School of Salt Lake City seeks an Early Childhood teaching Assistant to work from 12:00 noon to 6:00pm, Monday through Friday with the possibility of extending into the morning hours. The position would involve working closely with the certified Montessori teachers and also a team of Extended Day Teachers.

We seek a warm, imaginative, bright, flexible, and creative teacher who can effectively plan, problem solve and collaborate with a team of Early Childhood teachers. The ability to understand and willingness to work with a range of learning styles is required. We expect our staff to be involved and active in our school community; participating in the ongoing development and refinement of our school’s curriculum, policy and procedures. Confidence, professionalism, and a sense of humor are important characteristics. Candidates must be able to communicate effectively with parents, students and staff. A strong respect for and love of children centered in an understanding of the Montessori philosophy are essential. We look for a long term commitment to MCS.

This position is for the 2014 - 2015 Academic year, beginning planning on August 11, 2014 through May 29, 2015. Wage is based on experience and background and includes a benefits package after 90 days of employment.

Montessori Community School opened in 1985 with a current enrollment of approximately 220 students, Toddlers through Eighth grade. We offer a uniquely authentic Montessori curriculum. Montessori Community School's mission is to provide a rich, individualized educational experience, which guides and nurtures the natural unfolding of the whole individual and inspires a lifetime love of learning and peace. Please see our website, www.mcsslc.com, for more information about our school.

Resumes and Letters of Interest should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Some Summer Fun for Elementary Students at MCS

Summer Fun Pictures: Classic Fun Center, Water Slides, Roller Skating, Hiking, Great Outdoors, Waterfalls, Trail Blazing, Experience of a Lifetime

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Kangaroos Class at Wasatch Hollow Park

Summer Adventures Early Childhood Kangaroos class enjoy their field trip to Wasatch Hollow Park.
 
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Lunchtime for Toddlers

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Our toddlers love lunchtime! They are always curious to see what each friend brings. 
 
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They are responsible for getting their lunch out of their cubby and preparing their food (with assistance from teachers when needed). 
 
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When lunch is finished, our toddlers are able to pack up their lunchbox, clean up their eating space, and return their lunchbox to their cubby. What darling, responsible little ones we have here at MCS! 
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MCS Elementary Explores Millcreek Canyon

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MCS Elementary Students Exploring Millcreek Canyon During a Summer Field Trip
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Summer Fun

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Explore. Play. Learn. Educate. 
 
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Join us for a "Celebration of Lynn's Life"

Lynn Bandley has been a very important member of our MCS community for 20 years.  Her grace and beauty will live in our hearts and we plan to share memories of her with her family and the many whose lives she touched through her contributions at MCS.  Please join us!
 
 "Celebration of Lynn's Life"
 
Monday, July 14th, 2014 @7:00pm
 
For all who would like to celebrate Lynn  
(Babes in arms and children able to sit for an extended time welcome)
 
Green Space at MCS
(Wear comfortable clothing)
 
6:30pm - video of Lynn's life will be shown in the lobby (repeated throughout the evening)
7:00pm - Short program followed by Open Mic. 
We invite you to share your memories and well wishes for Lynn's family and friends.
An opportunity to write your thoughts, well wishes and memories will be provided. 
 
 
We will provide some chairs and blankets but invite families to bring their own blankets as well.
 
 
We had originally intended to invite attendees to bring light refreshments but have decided
to keep the focus on Lynn and her family. 
 
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Koalas Field Trip to Mountainview Park and Splash Pad

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Thank you to our wonderful Summer Adventures Camp Teachers and Staff for making fabulous field trips such a success! 
 
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In Loving Memory of Lynn Bandley

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Lynn Bandley worked with us at our schools for almost twenty years and  her contributions to all of our staff, our children and their families are immeasurable.  We have felt at a loss without her since she had to take a medical leave but always hoped for the miracle of her recovery. We will miss her so much. She was such a huge blessing in all of our lives. 
 
Lynn's funeral will be held  this Friday, July 11th 2014 at 11am at the Salt Lake Rose Park North Stake Center that is located at 1155 N. 1200 West Salt Lake City UT, with a viewing prior from 9:30 am-10:30am.
 
There will also be a viewing the evening before - Thursday, July 10th 2014,  at the Mountain View Memorial Mortuary located at 3115 E. 7800 South, Cottonwood Heights, from  6-8 pm.
 
Because Lynn was such an important member of our community we will host a "Celebration of Lynn's Life" at our school and that is planned for Monday, July 14th beginning at 7pm. At the celebration we will have an open mic and anyone who wishes will have the opportunity to speak. Although we know how much Lynn loved all of our students, because this ceremony may extend to two hours or more we are asking that only children who can sit still for that time period attend. At the beginning of the academic year we will have a small ceremony to celebrate Lynn with the children. 
 
We  will be giving any updates about the Celebration on our school website www.mcsslc.com and also on our school Facebook page. We will outline the location of the event (it most likely will be held on the Green Space and if so, we would encourage you to wear comfortable clothing as some people may be sitting on blankets on the lawn).  We also might invite those who wish to, to bring light refreshments for after the ceremony, during which time you would have the opportunity to mingle with Lynn's family and/or one another.
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Monthly Energy Savings

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Elementary Fishing Field Trip

 
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Our Elementary Summer Adventures Camp Class explores bait fishing at Teapot Lake with much success! Thank you to Brad Fuller for guiding this activity.
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Toddler Summer Fun

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MCS Early Childhood Summer Camp

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Our Early Childhood students had a really fanstastic time the first summer session.  The children who are new to the program are fitting in nicely and getting settled.  The field trips and splash/bounce days have been a success and even with a little cold weather, camp is a huge success!
 
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MCS Elementary Summer Camp

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The Elementary students are having a blast at Summer Camp this year. We are looking forward to the next two sessions and a lot more fun times. Our new Elementary students are fitting in well and having an excellent time.  
 
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Toddler Summer Fun

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Our Toddlers, ages 18 months to 3 years, are having a very busy and productive summer.  We are always amazed at these little ones and all they are capable of!  
 
MCS still has space in our Toddler program for fall.  Give us a call to schedule a tour and learn more about the magic of Montessori at the Toddler level.
 
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Life Can Be Messy...

This article made me smile.  As a parent I often have a difficult time seeing past my own expectations of how things should be.  Spills, messes, fighting...they make me crazy and I forget that my boys are simply practicing, in the safety of my home, how to manage these simple realities of life in preparation for the bigger and greater things that are in their (hopefully very bright) futures.  While I appreciate pristine floors and the sounds of laughter and kindess amongst my three children, I am trying each day to embrace their journey and experience. My hope for them is that when I allow them to really experience mistakes and explore solutions on their own, they are experiencing a gift that they will carry with them always.  I hope you enjoy this blog post from a fellow Montessorian as much as I did...Click here.
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Nature Education

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Montessori Community School offers a unique outdoor education program at each level.  We value the opportunity for children to become stewards over the earth and explore their natural environment. You can read more about our Outdoor Classroom and Great Outdoors programs here.
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