Replacement Behaviors - Parenting Connection


As a general Montessori rule, we avoid use of the word “no” when disciplining children.  We save the word “no” for very serious situations, when children are in danger. Otherwise, language is based on the replacement behavior (that which we want to see in place of the one that is undesirable).  For example, “our mouths are used for eating food” if a child bites, “why don’t you tell your peers the rules of the game so everyone understands how to play” when there is a conflict on the playground, etc. I believe that knowledge is power and when we give clear examples and explanations, children are empowered to make recurring good choices.
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Promoting Kindness - Parenting Connection


This amazing article in The Atlantic, written by Adam Grant, gives powerful insight to the value of prioritizing kindness and concern for others over achievement as a way of supporting children’s life-long success.  “Quite a bit of evidence suggests that children who help others end up achieving more than those who don’t. Boys who are rated as helpful by their kindergarten teacher earn more money 30 years later. Middle-school students who help, cooperate, and share with their peers also excel—compared with unhelpful classmates, they get better grades and standardized-test scores. The eighth graders with the greatest academic achievement, moreover, are not the ones who got the best marks five years earlier; they’re the ones who were rated most helpful by their third-grade classmates and teachers. And middle schoolers who believe their parents value being helpful, respectful, and kind over excelling academically, attending a good college, and having a successful career perform better in...
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The Capstone Year...What Every Montessori Parent Deserves to Know




What is the Capstone Year and why does my child deserve to have one?We often refer to the 3rd Year a child is in a Montessori program as the Capstone Year. But, what is it really that makes that year so special/important? While the reasons to leave can be compelling and are worth every consideration, we believe the reasons to stay are worth your careful and thoughtful consideration.Below is a list of 24 reasons we recommend keeping your child in Montessori for the Capstone Year:Does your child look forward to attending school? If so, consider yourself lucky. Why tinker with a winning situation when so many other families are frustrated or disappointed with their child’s school experience.Your child has waited for two years to be a leader in their class. The third year students are looked up to as role models for the younger students, and most children eagerly await their...
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3085 Hits

The Value of the Three Year Cycle - A Parent's Perspective


The Capstone YearI’ve been thinking a lot lately about the third year of the Early Childhood three year cycle. We made the decision to keep our oldest daughter in the Magnolias Class to complete the cycle (known as the Capstone Year).Last year, an article in The Atlantic called “The New Preschool is Crushing Kids” (read here) helped support our decision. In the mainstream setting, Kindergarten has become the new first grade, and Common Core standards have laid out academic guidelines for what should be completed in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. Research corroborates that kindergarteners spend more time doing seat work and less time doing art and music.  The net result is 2nd graders who perform worse on tests measuring literacy, language, and math skills. The cause, it is thought, is direct instruction that is repetitive and uninspired which leads to children losing their enthusiasm for learning.How do we maintain that joy for learning...
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Specialty Classes at Montessori Community School


Early Childhood SpecialtiesDanceIn Dance Class, Early Childhood students are introduced to the main elements of dance: time, space, and energy, so that they can decipher and make choices in their movement. The students learn how to alter speeds, change levels, utilize space, play with quality, move with their whole bodies/being, mirror positive/negative space, as well as shaping and weaving. MusicIn Music Specialty classes, Early Childhood students are introduced to music and rhythm theory as well as vocal skills. They learn to sing and play instruments and to create, respond to, and understand music. In this class students are exposed to many different music styles as well as music from many cultures.Outdoor ClassroomEarly Childhood students participate each week in the Outdoor Classroom with our specialty teacher where they seasonally explore the plants, soil, invertebrates, birds, and weather through hands on activities. The students have many opportunities to practice and master essential developmental skills...
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Admissions Information - An Overview of the Montessori Education


An Overview of the Montessori EducationThe Montessori ClassroomMulti-age Classrooms: Each of our programs offers multi-age classrooms. “Montessori encourages learning from peers in part by using three-year age groupings. This ensures that as children move through the classroom they will be exposed to older and younger peers, facilitating both imitative learning and peer tutoring… Dr. Montessori was quite clear about the need for this mix of ages” says Angeline Stoll Lillard, author of Montessori, The Science Behind the Genius. Multi-age classrooms also allow each child to move through the curriculum comfortably with little regard for how their peers are performing in comparison to themselves. A Montessori multi-age classroom affords children daily opportunities to teach a skill or share information with others. Further, because every child is particularly good at something, this opportunity exists for every child, every day. Prepared Environment:  All the materials are easily within the child’s reach and placed on shelves...
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Bedtime Routines - Parenting Connection


It feels like adequate sleep is increasingly becoming more difficult to achieve. Two working parents in most homes, after school activities, more screen options, and a number of other factors can make it difficult to ensure our kids are getting enough sleep.  At school, we know that students learn better, experience more positive peer relationships, and enjoy school more when they are getting enough sleep. The APA recommendations for sleep can be found here and we also recommend listening to your child’s needs and adjusting schedules accordingly. Experts say that the specific time a child goes to bed isn’t as much a contributor to good sleep as a consistent bedtime routine. Be sure to follow those consistent and comforting bedtime routines to help your child achieve the best night's sleep possible. Happy Resting! 
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Is Montessori Community School the right fit for my child and family?











Montessori Community School offers an authentic Montessori education while supporting a charming and safe community for our students and their families. Choosing the right school can be a difficult task as increasing numbers in research show the impact of early education on the growing brain. So, beyond why a parent might choose a Montessori education for their child, I would like to answer some common questions about what sets Montessori Community School apart and how you will know if it is the right fit for your family.Tour, Admissions Meetings and Observation: Inquiring parents are required to visit our facility prior to acceptance of their child. This allows parents to “get a feel” for our campus and to learn specifics about each program from a knowledgeable member of our staff. Following attendance at a tour or an admissions meeting, parents are invited to observe in one of our classrooms. While an observation is...
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The Benefits of Risky Play - Parenting Connection


Phrases like “helicopter parent” and “lawnmower parent” have earned their reputation with great legitimacy.  While the world is changing and childhood may provide more opportunity for danger “in this day and age”, the adult’s approach to protecting children from danger may be more harmful than helpful in some cases.  Not only does risky play provide greater strength to the child’s body, but it also teaches skills of assessment, resiliency, and strategic thinking. Small steps with mistake making, practicing the proper use of judgement, and assessing risk are essential skills which prepare a child for success as adults. Practice makes perfect!  This article on Montessori in Nature is a great resource for determining which kinds of risk are appropriate for your child.
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666 Hits

Combating Tardiness and Creating Effective Morning Routines - Parenting Connection


The honeymoon period for the new year may be wearing off and you may be finding that mornings are getting more and more tough.  If you find that your children are significantly less enthusiastic about bouncing out of bed and preparing for school, you are not alone.  That said, tardiness to school can have a wide range of negative outcomes for students.  Below are some ideas for young children to help bypass the drama.  Keep in mind that Montessori children are used to independence, to having a say, and to consistency. Have 5 bins of the same color available for your child to plan their outfits for the week.  On Sunday nights, create time for your child to put outfits together for the entire week.  This allows your child the option to choose their clothes for the week, while also limiting the overwhelm of an entire closet or dresser full of clothes when...
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Parenting Connection - Using Questions as a Teaching Tool


Questions are one of the most powerful teachers in existence. How else do we really know where someone else is coming from? And how can we possibly meet them where they are at without that information?  Asking questions gives kids a chance to think critically, use their language, and reason and decide. It’s in the presence of their trusted adults they will do the most learning. Might as well use a method that involves them! Enjoy reading about how to use questions to help a child work through a mistake or problem.
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461 Hits

Parenting Connection - Letting Toddlers Help


One of the key tenets for the Toddler department at MCS is to foster independence. There are many ways that we help guide our students through their exploration and discovery of their environment. Toddlers love to learn by doing even when it does not look as clean and concise as we might like it to. This article from Psychology Today speaks to the idea of letting our toddlers help in a variety of ways to grow their sense of independence.
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484 Hits

A Letter from the Director


Dear MCS Parents,It has been a year of learning and growth as our administrative team have adjusted to new roles and responsibilities. Although many of us have taken on new responsibilities this year, we have been fortunate to make this transition as a committed and familiar team who have worked closely with one another for a number of years.  Robyn has provided a great deal of guidance and even more trust while sharing her vision with our students, staff and parents.  Our staff have continued to provide a quality education, with a deep commitment to the Montessori philosophy and a spirit of community, to ensure a year filled with the kind of success you have come to expect from our school.  We are indeed grateful (and lucky!) to have such a wonderful staff who are committed and trustworthy.  Over the past several years we have been working towards our IMC Accreditation and have...
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Positive Parenting with Michelle Vo, MD


In March we had the pleasure of hosting Montessori parent of 3, Michelle Vo, MD, for our Parent Education Event.  Michelle presented on the subject of Positive Parenting; a method that focuses on developing a strong relationship between parent and child and which is based on mutual respect and communication.  It's purpose? To create strong emotional connections between parent and child.  Positive Parenting aligns beautifully with Montessori in that it meets a child where they are at developmentally and the adults are considered guides. This is different from some more traditional approaches where the parent is the disciplinarian.  Michelle spoke to us about parent self-regulation, with reminders to take care of our selves so that we could remain emotionally available and feel successful as parents.  As parents, we are our children's safe space and approaching this task mindfully and intentionally is crucial to creating a safe and secure space in which our children...
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Tips for a New Montessori Parent

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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 FidellowThere 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...
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Home – The Montessori Frontier

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There are many parts to a Montessori education. There certainly is the beautiful materials that add so much to the enjoyment of learning. There is the educational philosophy that goes along with the materials. There is also the part that looks at your child’s gifts and abilities but the most crucial part of  a Montessori education is the part that nurtures and helps transform your child into a successful adult. Ultimately, Montessori is a philosophy of life, of a way to approach the challenges and blessings.If you love what Montessori does for your child at school begin to implement at home those actions that will continue the transformation. We are not talking about red rods, alphabets or math but about the core value that makes Montessori dynamic and transformational. It is all about making wise choices.It is a simple formula – learn to make wise choices – but it is a...
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2421 Hits

Structuring Screen Use in the Home


Welcome to November; it’s cold and dark early in the day. While there is really no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes, and we’d all benefit from spending a bit more time outside, the unfortunate reality is that many of us hibernate inside for much of the fall and winter. Along with this, we may also find ourselves filling more of our time with screens. While technology enhances our lives by connecting us with family, friends and information from around the world, it is also a worthy idea to set boundaries on its use. But technology is so deeply ingrained with most of our daily lives, do we really know just how much time we spend on screens. How do we know what is too much? How do we evaluate the content of what our children are viewing aside from general rating systems? Do we have to preview...
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640 Hits

Parenting Connection 10/09/18


I believe wholeheartedly that our children require a great deal of practice at becoming empathetic, compassionate, contributing members of society and that they deserve a great deal of support along the way.  Feelings can be SO BIG for kids and, in a world that thrives on immediate gratification, it can be hard to work through the “stuff” that comes with those big feelings. This wonderful article from Montessori Nature discusses the elements a child needs to learn to regulate their emotions at a young age.  
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439 Hits

Birthday Wishes in Honor of Maria Montessori



 Maria Montessori - Her Life & LegacyAs we are so deeply indebted to the great work and legacy of Maria Montessori, and in light of her birthday on August 31st, we would like to honor Dr. Montessori by telling her story. Born in a small town of Italy to parents, Renilde Stoppani and Allessandro, Maria forged her own educational path, even in childhood. Throughout her youth, she acquired a very ambitious taste for science and mathematics, which was extraordinary for a girl during the time. After attending a tech school, Maria Montessori decided to study medicine. Throughout an intricate and complicated series of events (including a letter of recommendation for college acceptance by the Catholic Pope himself), Maria went on to Medical School to become the very first female Doctor in Italy.During Maria’s residency, she spent time working with children in a psychiatric hospital. She had not been working there long,...
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2824 Hits

The Society by Cohesion: Why Did We Have To Have All These Kids, Anyway?


Below you will find a beautifully written article, written by Montessori advocate and author Catherine McTamaney, about how a Montessori classroom functions.  She so concisely sums up some of the most basic and important tenants of a Montessori classroom (including why there are so many kids in a classroom) to describe their place in our environment and, most importantly, their outcome! Enjoy!Glance through some school brochures. You'll notice quite a bit of language in common: whole child, child-centered, low student-teacher ratios, individualized attention. If so many school settings agree that fewer children per teacher is something to brag about, why are Montessori classrooms so large? Remember the basic design principles of a Montessori classroom: multiage classrooms, specialized materials and extended time to explore them, professionally-prepared teachers and individualized curricula to match each child. The curriculum not only complements the first three factors size: it relies on it. Because Montessori classrooms are multi-aged,...
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