The Montessori Greenhouse


A concern of parents is that a Montessori environment is too protective, that children may not be prepared to face the real world. After all, a Montessori environment is made for the child, (the real world isn’t.)  Everything in the environment is child size. Again, the real world is made for adults. A Montessori environment is constructed for the child to succeed – the real world doesn’t care. So, is the Montessori environment an effective preparation to learn to swim in the real world or are children better off to be thrown into the deep end? A Montessori education is designed to master the deep end – but not today! It is designed to step by step to prepare (and help create) the future adult to master all the challenges of adult responsibility. The environment affords the protection for the child to safely build the adult they will become. The child...

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What is the Capstone Year and why does my child deserve to have one?

Capstone Year in Lower Elementary- students have freedom to work in the school library.

We often refer to the 3rd year a child is in a Montessori program as the Capstone Year. But what is it that really makes the year so special and important? We invite parents of our current 2nd year students in Early Childhood and Lower Elementary and 4th year students in Upper Elementary to consider the following reaso...

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The Montessori Transition


A common concern for Montessori parents is how their child will transition out of Montessori into a traditional setting. The question is valid but the concern may be overblown. Yes, there will be transition challenges. Those are an integral part of life – preschool to elementary, elementary to Jr. and Sr. High, to college, to a job, to marriage, to...

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The Capstone Year in Early Childhood


The Montessori early childhood classroom serves children from the age of 3 to 6 years. Ideally, children spend three years in this classroom. In Montessori, the 3rd year is often referred to as the Capstone Year. This year is equivalent to the traditional Kindergarten year. MCS strongly recommends that a 3rd year student fo...

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COVID: Heart to Heart


By Jessica Graham, M.D., Pediatric Emergency Physician and Thomas Hanff, M.D., Heart Failure Cardiologist; Current MCS Parents Our gratitude to Jessica and Thomas for providing the following information to our community: MIS-C myocarditis is seen in children after a COVID-19 infection; vaccine-related myocarditis has been described in chi...

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Courage

The Montessori classroom provides daily opportunities to develop and practice courage.

It is amazing to observe the breadth of accomplishment that a Montessori environment fosters. Courage is not traditionally thought of as an educational outcome but then again Montessori is not traditional. For children, courage is the ability to try new things even if they are afraid and as they mature courage becomes the ability to do what is righ...

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Montessori and the Myth of Low Student Teacher Ratios

A Montessori teacher is similar to a juggler

As parents we have to judge what makes a good educational program for our children. We ask our friends, we look at the school – is it clean and orderly and bright? We look at the children – do they seem happy? We observe the teacher - are they engaged and interested in the children? These are things that we can judge. And then we remember that we'v...

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Parent Teacher Partnerships


The parent teacher partnership is different from any other professional relationship you enter. You call the electrician to your house. You tell him what you think the problem is. He then uses his expertise and experience to diagnose and fix the problem. He doesn't need your help (nor does he want you to get shocked in the process). When he is fini...

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Offering Encouragement not Empty Praise

Create an environment where your child feels encouraged to become aware of his own actions

Parents sometimes use far too much praise in a well-intentioned attempt to build their child's self-esteem: 'You're an awesome climber, you're a great artist, you're great at sitting quietly.' However, often these remarks are not really sincere and they teach children to depend on praise for motivation to do something. When we praise children for d...

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Encouragment & Obstacles

The achievement belongs to the child.

The Encouragement of Eliminating Obstacles by Edward Fidellow The best encouragement you give is often the kind that is not seen – eliminating obstacles. This action is a hallmark of a Montessori education. Eliminating obstacles is not obvious – because you have removed them but it is essential for the amazing accomplishments that ch...

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Becoming a Montessori Parent


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 ch...

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Lock-Down Drills at MCS


Schools should plan for the rare possibility of an intruder as part of a comprehensive crisis/emergency preparedness effort; however, the nature and extent of those preparedness activities should be based upon a risk assessment of the crisis events a given school is most likely to confront. A Lock Down Drill is scheduled for February 12, 2019.  This emergency procedure at MCS involves staff - Sweeping and clearing hallwaysTurning off classroom lightsLocking doorsSheltering with children in our agreed upon secure areasTaking rollWaiting for the all clear We recognize that this drill in particular can sometimes cause anxiety and concern for parents and guardians, students, and educators too. For the adults, being familiar the procedure and ones responsibilities within that process can bring assurance and comfort. Practicing can prepare and be of comfort to the children with the fact that their teachers, parents and guardians, and the school have a plan, and therefore...

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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...

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How to Emotionally Prepare Your Student for a Future Event


There is a power in preparing for future events by devising solutions and strategies for goals rather than emphasizing, simply, avoiding problems. For example, having students identify what their best hopes are for their behavior during a field trip and asking them to identify those hopes in specific detail. If the student is unable to come up with their "best hope" we can ask them to think about what their teacher or parent would likely say if asked that question. If you have a particular student anticipated in having more trouble than another, you could meet with a parent and/or teacher so they can hear the opinion of that other person word for word. The following is how our school plans to approach students in preparation for Winter Sports and we suggest parents take a similar approach as you start engaging in conversations about the Winter Sports Program and the ski/ snowboard lessons. Sample Situation 1:Teacher/ Administration/...

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The Basics of Montessori Learning




As Montessori teachers and parents…

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Parent Education Night


Sign-up outside of your student's classroom. Childcare will be provided, however, you must sign up in advance. This is a really great night full of insight regarding the education of your child in relation to Montessori Philosophy. Don't miss out! (Your attendance can go toward Parent Volunteer Hours).

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Raising Your Successful 35-Year-Old: Motherlode, New York Times

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What do we mean when we say we want to raise “successful” children? Too often, especially around this time of year, that conversation centers on college or the kinds of academics and activities that lead to college. “Success” is hard to measure, and those external markers make for comforting milestones along the way. Comforting, but dangerous. Because when checking off the achievement box is what defines success, it’s too easy to forget that it’s the qualities in our children that might lead to those accomplishments that matter — not the goals themselves. Achievements, from the A on the science project to the letter of acceptance from Big U, can be the gold stars for parents. They’re the visible signs that we’re doing something right, and that makes it tempting to push our children forward, just a little (or maybe a lot) by stepping in when it looks as if they might...

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Parent Teacher Conferences, Feb. 27, 2015

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Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on Friday, February 27th. There will be no school that day. Sign-up sheets for the conferences are on a table in the lobby, arranged by class, from Toddlers to Middle School (please check the top of each page for the name of the class). As we do every year, we ask that you observe the following requests: · Please sign up for one meeting time per child.· Please be on time for your conference.· Please help the teachers to stay on time.· Please arrange for childcare during Parent/Teacher conferences. We have had parents make requests for child care during the conferences.  Unfortunately, as our staff is busy meeting with parents and all of our classrooms, along with some other spaces in the school, are being used we have not been able to accommodate this request.  Please note that our playgrounds and our Outdoor Classroom are...

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Silent Journey and Discovery 2015

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  The Silent Journey and Discovery is coming up on February 7th from 9:00am - 1:00pm. Sign up in the office, space is limited. Attendance is free of charge, brunch will be served & child care will be provided to those who sign up in advance. The MCS Silent Journey and Discovery is an event dedicated to parents to provide the meaningful experience of visiting each of our programs, from Toddlers through Middle School, to experience for yourself the magic of the Montessori materials and discover how the lessons learned in our early programs set the tone and lay important foundations for later learning. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain a sense of how the Montessori Curriculum unfolds through the eyes of a child to guide and nurture the natural unfolding of the whole child to inspire a lifetime love of learning and peace. Click on the following link to...

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Help me do it myself! The drive for independence.

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The biggest challenge parents face is their children’s drive for independence. A toddler or a preschooler’s drive for independence is even fiercer than a teenager’s. While a teenager may be looking to undo parental control your preschooler is looking to share control. They are trying to become part of your world by taking responsibility for their own actions. This drive for independence is slow and messy. Learning to walk – the first great independence is full of falls and scares (more for Mom than for baby). And it is a slow and unsteady success. Even when they accomplish vertical independence their rate of locomotion impels us to pick them up and carry them if we want to get anywhere now. Learning to feed oneself is a second (and very messy) independence. Graduating from hands to utensils is a major success of coordination and development. Again, if we want to finish dinner...

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