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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Montessori and the Real Building of Self-Esteem


Montessori and the Real Building of Self-EsteemMontessori education has been building self-esteem for over a hundred years long before it became apopular buzzword and a psychological “distortion” of reality. All the trappings of the modern self-esteem movement – participation trophies, not letting children fail, everyone’s outcome is equal – haveno place in Montessori or the reality of the world.Practical life in Montessori is the foundation of all this reality that is to come. Every practical life exercisehas a beginning, a process and an ending – just like successful life. But there is something in this processthat is so simple yet dynamic – the child builds and feels a sense of power, control, and accomplishment.It is these early experiences, these early real successes that become the foundation for all the successthat is to come. This self-esteem is internalized and does not come from outside, from what people tellyou but it wells up...

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"There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing"


Welcome to Autumn in Utah, where the weather can change on a dime. We believe in integrating nature and large motor movement into every child's experience at school. In our Outdoor Classroom, students are offered a wide variety of opportunities to extend their learning beyond the physical classroom and, in keeping with the Montessori philosophy, st...

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Talking To Your Kids About Earthquakes by Christina Economy


Waking up Wednesday morning to loud noises and shaking was a reminder that earthquakes do still happen here in Salt Lake City. As a California native living in Salt Lake City, I will tell you now; yes, earthquakes still scare me. Growing up, I remember my mom retelling a story about a 5.9M earthquake that rolled my crib from side to side as she tried to pick me up and move us to safety. At 7 years old I remember the 6.7M Northridge earthquake that rattled communities, caused fatalities, and created severe road damage. Discussing Earthquakes and drills is something that should be kept age-appropriate and factual. Like anything that can be scary or cause anxiety, knowledge can be the power to help combat that fear. Personally, knowing I was prepared on how to react during and after an earthquake is what helps make earthquakes a less scary event. Preparing your home...

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Flu Prevention and Safety


It has been an especially bad year for respiratory infections, especially influenza, and many of our students have been ill. We are working hard here at school to encourage healthy practices and a clean environment, but we need help from families as well. There are a few things families can do to help prevent spread of these viruses.Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly.  We thank you for keeping your child home if they experience any flu-like symptoms. Students are not permitted to return to school unless they are symptom-free for 24 hours.  In some cases, parents may be asked to provide a doctor’s note before their child will be permitted to return to school. Students experiencing flu-like symptoms will be sent home from school immediately.STAY HOME IF SICKPlease have your child stay home if they are ill. These signs and symptoms include: fever over 100˚F (38˚C)  For many adults and...

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Revised Immunization Policy Announcement


Dear MCS Community, We have spent the past several months gathering information on how adjustments to our policy would impact our school community from both practical and legal perspectives. The details of our new policy are outlined here and the new policy will be written and added to our Parent and Staff Handbooks for implementation with 2020-2021 Enrollment.  Our new policy will require current immunization records to be in each student’s file before they begin school. The policy will require that all students in the Toddler program and those in their first and second year of Early Childhood be fully immunized unless their parents have obtained a medical exemption. The policy will accept medical, personal and religious exemptions for elementary aged students, including kindergarten through sixth grade. We have adopted a commitment to herd immunity wherein the total number of our student body will be considered when accepting exemptions of any...

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Supporting Effective Communication with Children - Parenting Connection


My greatest hope for my children is that they will experience healthy, rewarding relationships.  Sometimes that feels like a tall order when I can’t even manage to carry what feels like a meaningful conversation with my pre-teen and teenage sons.  I’ve learned that asking the right questions is the ticket to successful conversations. “How are you?” and “How was your day?” are sure to illicit one word answers. This article from Positive Parenting Connection shares a list of questions that will help get your kids talking!  Happy Conversing!

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Are You a Good Listener - Parenting Connection


Are you a fixer? Critical thinking requires time to analyze and process information. Sometimes the best way for kids to solve problems is to talk and in order to do that successfully, they need someone to listen. Be that person. This funny video is sure to drive home my point; listening can be hard but it can (and will) be worthwhile. This article from The Center for Parenting Education is a great read for parents working to improve their active listening skills. 

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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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