For Parents Who Worry (Isn't That All of Us?)

For Parents Who Worry (Isn't That All of Us?)

"The education of our day is rich in methods, aims and social ends, but one must still say that it takes no account of life itself."                                                                                        —Maria Montessori, The Absorbent MindI started my adult life as a teacher and I think I eventually grew in to a very good one.  So, you can imagine my bewilderment when each of my three children were "slow to read."  (Confession - I actually don't believe in "slow" or "quick" when it comes to the learning process...but I forgot about that when it was my kids!) I did all the right things.  We read books together from the time they were infants, they...
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MCS Book Club

MCS Book Club

School Psych Corner : Welcome back MCS families! I wanted to make you aware of an exciting opportunity that will be happening this year. I am coordinating an online book club for parents and other family members where we can read and discuss books on a variety of topics such as parenting, child development, and education. You are welcome to join in at any time and participate as often or as little as you wish. I’ve created a book group for this purpose on GoodReads.com and have selected a few books that might be interesting to read and discuss. As group members you are all invited to pitch ideas for books to read in future months. I have selected the first book to get us started. We will read and discuss throughout the month of October. To join the group, follow the invite link below: https://www.goodreads.com/group/invite/198621-mcs-parent-book-club?invite_key=9bd61e6cca9a23aa8a9612dbacf87105144b24d7&utm_medium=email&utm_source=copypastegroup Happy Reading! Melissa
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Spreading Peace

Spreading Peace









Last week our school community shared in the beautiful gift of celebrating peace as a community and as part of a world-wide event. Each member of our school, from the tiniest toddler to the tallest elementary student, joined together on the field to sing "Light a Candle for Peace."  Then, our elementary students sang "What a Wonderful World" and one of our elementary teachers, Christian, spoke to our students briefly about sharing compassion around the world.  He invited the students to imagine a mirror that allows them to look at themselves full of love and compassion, then invited them to turn that mirror and extend the same love to their friends, their family, their community, their city, their state, their country and, finally, to the entire world.  As stewards over these each of these beautiful little humans, we take great joy and responsibility in the privilege and responsibility of teaching peace to...
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PSA Green Committee

PSA Green Committee


Our Green Committee is a great way to support Green Initiatives around the school.  If you are interested in being part of our Green Committee, please contact our PSA.Enjoy these great pictures of Uinta students who rode their bikes to school today!  Three cheers for alternative transportation!When the weather is fine and the construction is clear…we ride!  
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Creating a Place for Peace

“Find a time and place of solitude.
Look into the distance and into the future.
Visualize the tomorrow you are going to build;
and begin to build that tomorrow, today.”
-Jonathan Lockwood Huie


As part of our Peace Curriculum that is incorporated into our monthly studies at MCS, this month each of the classes is engaged in a study of creating space for Peace as we prepare to celebrate International Peace Day on September 21st and in honor of Maria Montessori’s extensive work in the field of Peace Education. Studies show that a preventative curriculum that promotes communication, community and self-advocacy is more effective than a punishing approach to bullying in schools. Ours is a program that we expect will follow our students far beyond their structured educational experience. We hope for and assist children in the development of skills of peaceful conflict resolution, gaining respect for peers and incorporating communal advocacy, taking in to account the needs of a community and how one’s behavior affects another, and establishing a lifetime of self advocacy, self love and self respect.

Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of educators. ~Maria Montessori
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The Uninterrupted Work Cycle - The Basics of Success

A Montessori teacher put it this way: "Protect the three-hour work period with your life! It's one of the most important ingredients in our method."


Parents!  Exciting things are happening around here.  Already, we are beginning to see the inklings of classrooms running like well-oiled machines.  Below you will find a very meaningful article about the uninterrupted work cycle.  While this sounds like more fancy Montessori-esque language, it has great meaning in a successful Montessori environment.  This is the place where the students natural instincts to find meaningful learning experiences is most honored to prepare the child for future learning opportunities.  This is where one child's need for movement is given as much respect and space as another child's need for full concentration on a task.  This is where Montessori shines like a bright star in a sky full of educational opportunities for kiddos.  I hope you'll take just a few short minutes to read below and learn why we want so badly for your child to arrive to school on time each and every day and what great opportunities this important beginning of day time has to offer your child.

Warmly,
Britney



"When the children had completed an absorbing bit of work,
they appeared rested and deeply pleased."
—Maria Montessori (author), Paul Oswald (editor),
Basic Ideas of Montessori's Educational Theory


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The Story of the Universe - Adventures in Lower Elementary

There are a lot of things for our Lower Elementary students to get excited about this time of year!  The tall slide on the playground, the Native American flute, their upcoming trip to the Utah State Fair, and math exercises using materials that span CLEAR across the Lower Elementary hallway are just a few of them.  My personal favorite, though, are the Great Lessons that start the school year.  Great Lessons are aimed at the elementary students vivid use of imagination, one of their very best attributes -wouldn't you say,  to get them thinking about some of the big questions in life. Where did humans come from?  Why does the earth rotate?  Who made up language? 

There are a total of five Great Lessons and they are used to introduce the year's studies of history, geography, botany, zoology, science, language and math in the LE program.  Not only are they important in inspiring the child's imagination and investing them in the importance of various subjects they can look forward to studying, but they are memorable, too!  Having the opportunity to hear these stories three different times in their LE cycle allows students to consider them from various perspectives.  

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A Special Invitation to our MCS Community

A Special Invitation to our MCS Community

MCS Families,Our Aspens Community Builders have arranged the event below for their first Community Building event.  They have extended the invitation school-wide!The Voice Area of the School of Music invites you to a unique outdoor experience on Presidents Circle on September 22nd at 4:10. Twenty-two of our School’s talented singers, as well as internationally acclaimed pianist Jed Moss, will present A Musical Menagerie, Animals in Song. The hour-long voice recital will include works performed in English and will feature songs about farm animals, dogs, cockroaches, frogs, snakes, worms, microbes, crows, and even warthogs. Second Chance for Homeless Pets will join us, and best of all, our outdoor space is family and animal friendly! Please join us on the lawn for a beautiful afternoon in late September celebrating and surrounded by the animals we love.
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We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

We are looking forward to the opportunity for our Early Childhood parents to participate in the ThroughPlay study through the University of Utah.  MCS parents can expect to receive a link to the questionnaire via email shortly.  Completion of the questionnaire is a prerequisite to receiving an invitation to the presentation mentioned above.MCS will offer child care to our families.  If you plan to attend this presentation and are interested in child care here at MCS, please email Britney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Illness Policy - Tis the season....

Illness Policy - Tis the season....

The beginning of a new school year can bring many wonderful new things; new friends, new classroom works and new routines are just a few of my favorites.  Unfortunately, new illnesses tend to make an exuberant appearance as well.  While we understand that illness at home can impact schedules and routines (for both parents and children) we want to urge each of you to read up on and abide by our illness policy here at MCS. We will do our part here at school to try to minimize the spread of illness by encouraging lots of hand washing and nose blowing (and then more hand washing) and by sending children and staff home when they are ill.  We ask that you each support us by following the illness policy set forth in our parent handbooks and as listed below so that we might minimize the spread of illness to our students...
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Great Summer Reading....Teaching Kids Empathy

Great Summer Reading....Teaching Kids Empathy

I happened upon this lovely little post from Tinybop this morning that shares the most wonderful list of children's books that teach empathy.  These are hard times and an important time to teach our kids how to handle the world's turmoil in a healthy way.  What a great summer read!  13 kids books to spark conversations about empathyLately, it seems like every other day, we turn on the news or open up our social media to find that another tragedy has occurred. Each time we’re faced with these events, we may be overcome with sadness, frustration, and hopelessness. But in these times, it’s important to have conversations with the children around us about inclusion and empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s what helps us connect to other humans, and what makes us better humans. You may be surprised to learn that empathy isn’t an...
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Montessori Madness - Trevor Eissler


Montessori education is unique, untraditional, and gaining popularity across not only the state of Utah but the entire country.  During parent interviews we often ask parents "What are your hopes and dreams for your child?" and the following is among the list of heartfelt responses that we often receive: To develop leadership skillsTo develop self-disciplineTo develop a sense of personal responsibilityTo develop independenceTo develop initiativeTo discover their passionsTo develop a lifetime love of learingTo build a strong academic foundation Classrooms at Montessori Community School offer all that and more as we strive to follow each individual child, carefully prepare an environment that supports each of these goals, and work as a community in the best interest of each individual.        
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Parents, Stop Feeling That Everything You Do Is Wrong

Parents, Stop Feeling That Everything You Do Is Wrong

“You should look down at the rocks and make sure they never crash against them, and prepare them to ride the waves.”Dr. Kenneth GinsburgLet's be honest, this parenting gig doesn't come with a description of roles and responsibilities that make it completely clear what is expected at all times.  Giving our absolute dedication and best effort just doesn't look the same from day to day (or moment to moment!)  Throw your hands up (or hide in shame) if you have ever ended the day thinking "I am an awful person...my child probably went to bed thinking how awful I am and they don't feel safe and they don't feel happy and I've ruined everything."  Just me?  Didn't think so.This article really spoke to me in terms of how we can (and should) give ourselves a break.  News flash - we are raising our kiddos to be humans.  Giving them human experience,...
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Preparing Our Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet

Preparing Our Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet

Childhood passions that seem like fads, sometimes even totally unproductive, could be mediums for experiencing the virtuous cycle of curiosity: discovering, trying, failing and growing.A Montessori education is designed to provide a love of learning and to give children the means to find the information they need.  We hope to instill a passion for knowledge and the confidence to seek understanding. We provide avenues for curiosity about this big, beautiful world and all it takes to make it tick.  Our objective is to give children the tools they need to follow any dream they may have.  The reality is, they probably won't choose a career and spend an entire lifetime at it....thats just not how the world is turning anymore.  This really fun article shows one perspective on preparing our kids for what (might be) to come!
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United as Parents

United as Parents

We, unfortunately, missed the opportunity on June 1 to honor all parents around the globe for the "Global Day of Parents."  I found this short blog post on Montessorium very sweet as the things that unite us as parents and that we likely all have in common included:1. A sense of wonder at bringing a new life into the world.2. Joy in the small, daily accomplishments of a child.3. Trepidation about the responsibility parenthood brings.4. Hope for their child’s future.5. A desire to see their family grow in health and happiness.And so, just a few weeks late but with extra attention due to the heartache and disunion going on around the world, I feel inclined to stand as a global citizen and honor my fellow parents throughout the world.  Keep shining,Britney
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"Establishing lasting peace is the work of education..."

"Establishing lasting peace is the work of education..."







"Everyone talks about peace but no one educates for peace. In this world, they educate for competition, and competition is the beginning of any war. When we educate to cooperate and be in solidarity with one another, that day we will be educating for peace.” María Montessori Each year MCS staff and students decorate peace flags, share a peace walk through our campus, and hang a peace dove in our gardens as a way to support, honor, and celebrate peace on earth. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times, Dr. Montessori was a strong advocate for peace. She firmly believed that the education of children was the key to future peace. Her vision was the reconstruction of society and formation of world peace through education. A teacher walks with Toddler students past our Outdoor Classroom where the student's peace flags have been hung. Upper Elementary students prepare to carry the Peace Dove...
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  "....doing the right thing for the right reason is an amazing accomplishment all its own."

  "....doing the right thing for the right reason is an amazing accomplishment all its own."

One of the reasons that a Montessori education has been such a great fit for my own children is that they are given space to make mistakes.  I can honestly say that the greatest opportunities for learning in my own life have been the result of a mistake.  Of course, some were big, some were small.  Some I could identify immediately as a mistake and others revealed themselves as mistakes long past the time I could do anything about them.  Some I can look back on and laugh while others bring a sense of pity and regret.  All that said, the humility that comes with making mistakes and the courage required to step up and try again have been my best parenting (and LIFE) tools so far.  Below is an interesting read from Edward Fidellow about how a Montessori environment builds self-esteem and the beauty in making mistakes. Montessori and the real...
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The Montessori Method: An Education For Creating Innovators

The Montessori Method: An Education For Creating Innovators

Imagine an education system that trained students to be creative innovators and leaders without the use of grades, tests or homework. It actually exists and it’s called the Montessori Method.The Montessori Method focuses on fostering a hands-on, self-paced, collaborative and enjoyable learning experience. It teaches students to start small with their ideas, to build them through experimentation and to solve the problems that come up along the way with a sense of stimulating curiosity. Read more here.
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What a Fun Run!

What a Fun Run!




An obstacle course bounce house, the new format for the Fun Run this year, was a great success with all the Early Childhood and Elementary students. They were so enthusiastic in their participation and we were quite impressed with how many times so many of the children completed the course. Several parents came to cheer on their children and that of course made them want to complete extra laps.As the course was not suitable for the Toddlers, they ran their laps on their own playground and once they got the idea they ran with great enthusiasm. They got so excited it was a challenge to get them to stop in the end!With the online pledges to date plus individual donations already handed, in the students have earned over $5,500! We are still shooting to meet our goal of $7,000 and would appreciate your support. Please be sure to get your pledges...
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Competition in Montessori

Competition in Montessori

As the mother of 3 very healthy sons, competition is a large part of the parenting challenges that I face on a regular basis.  How do I teach my children to be healthy competitors (always striving to be their best selves) and still celebrate the accomplishments of others?  Montessori is a great environment for children to learn a nice balance of respecting and appreciating their peer group while knowing what it takes to push themselves.  Enjoy this article by Edward Fidellow on Competition in the Montessori environment. Competition in Montessori? Well, No! Which is it? Is there competition in the Montessori classroom or not? Well – yes and no! Let’s examine the “No” first. There is no formal institutionalized competition in the Montessori philosophy because Montessori is about your child not about your child in competition with others. Your child is not competing with any one else. Nor is your child competing for stars...
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