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Montessori, Why Not?


I choose a Montessori school for my son almost as an act of faith. At that time my knowledge of the method was null, besides having heard of small chairs and colored beads. But seeing my son happy day after day encouraged me to study and deepen the Montessori’s ideas. What I had discovered astonished me as a father and as a scientist. As a father, I found how children are really respected and prepared for the future. As a scientist, I found solid scientific foundations for everything Maria Montessori proposed.
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Spring Cleaning as Brain Food by P. Donohue Shortridge

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The holidays have come and gone and spring is just around the corner.  This might be a fine time to consider sorting through your children's possessions.  If you take a close look at the sheer volume of your child's books and toys, you may determine that just like adults he uses only a percentage of them. Thinning the herd, so to speak, offers much to recommed it; Its a lot easier to find things if there are fewer things to find.  A place for everything and everything in its place is a cliche' based on sound thinking.  Our brains seek order, harmony and beauty in the world, your child's brain seeks it out too.  Additionally, there's an essential developmental incentive to clear the clutter out of your child's life.  Providing external order for your child allows him to organize his thinking.  He's already taken in so many impressions of the...
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Rhombus, Reniform and Rembrandt

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Your child’s education in Montessori is different – so different that it makes you shake your head in wonder and say, “Is this something my child is really learning?” As parents we want our children to excel at reading, writing and math. Yet their Montessori education leads them through strange and esoteric materials. (At least they are foreign to most adults.) Why would a three year old need to be versed in geometry? Fine, a nice circle, a square and maybe a triangle but what purpose for an isosceles triangle, parallelogram or a rhombus? Then if that is not enough esoteric learning, your child moves on to the botany cabinet. How many three year olds need botany? They are introduced to leaf forms like spatulate, orbiculate, sagitate and reniform. Most of us adults can’t even pronounce them let alone know what they are. If that is not enough diversity in...
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Discipline as Guidance by P. Donohue Shortridge

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Your child wants to do what is right, even at the youngest age.  First of all, she wants to because she loves you and wants to be just like you.  She also has a powerful inner drive to adapt to the world around her, the world of your home, and to do so she needs to know what the rules for life are.  She looks to you to show her.  As parents, if you can keep that in mind, you can create an approach to discipline that is positive, less stressful on everyone and it will assist your child in developing into a competent, civilized, compassionate and joyful person. So, what are some strategies that you might employ? First of all, model the correct behavior for your child. For example, if you do not want your child to leave the dinner table in the middle of the meal, then don't...
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Admissions Information Meeting - Open to the public

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What: Admissions Information Meeting When: Thursday, January 15th from 6:30 - 8:00pm Where: Montessori Community School Who: Parents interested in learning more about Montessori Community School. Open to the public. Sorry, adults only - no childcare provided. The teachers and administration of Montessori Community School would like to invite you to learn more about our program. During this hour and a half long presentation we will introduce our programs, administration and staff. And, you will have the opportunity to visit each of our classrooms and meet and greet with the teachers. We look forward to sharing our approach to education and the Montessori method. Montessori Community School serves children aged 18 months through 8th grade and we offer an extended day program, 7:30am - 6:00pm. 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...
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What Every Child Needs!

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What is it that every child needs that parents don’t seem to have? (Life time passes to Disney World and unlimited shoe budgets don’t count!) You can fill in your own blanks. It is something that a Montessori school can help offer. Of course a good education comes to mind but that is not even the greatest gift your Montessori school can offer. What your child needs most is one of the attributes that makes a Montessori school so special. Yes, it is a safe place emotionally; a challenging place intellectually; and a caring place socially. It is designed for your child and populated with adults who care. These are all good things but not the greatest thing your child receives. And your final answer is?   Time! Time is our most treasured commodity – we always seem to be running out of it. We always seem to be talking...
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Things are coming together nicely here

Hello MCS Families, Things are coming together nicely here at the school. We are still working out some details but are really looking forward to the students return on Monday. Again, we can not express enough our appreciation for all of the offers to assist. And, we want you to know that the teachers at the school have worked tirelessly to prepare temporary classrooms, to support one another, and to keep the energy positive and uplifting. Our teachers are amazing! We are looking for an old washer and dryer that can be used to clean our mops and some carpets that were submerged in water. Please contact the office if you are getting rid of any old machines that the school could use temporarily. Thank you to all who attended Parent Teacher Conference last week. We were so excited to launch our online record keeping system, Compass, which will allow...
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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...
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Creativity in Montessori

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  Montessori parents have often voiced concerns about creativity in a Montessori classroom. They just don’t see it. The concern is very similar to the fact that they also see few “academic” papers coming home. They don’t receive many brightly painted pictures to adorn their refrigerators. And so naturally wonder if a Montessori classroom is giving their child an opportunity to express their creative side.   As concrete and hands on as a Montessori classroom and a Montessori learning experience are it requires a good measure of faith to await the outcome of a Montessori experience. Every Montessori teacher (and parents too) for the last one hundred years have often held their breath waiting to see the fulfillment of this amazing process. And then they exhale with great relief and satisfaction. After a while you no longer hold your breath because you know it is going to work – and...
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Learning the Language of Life

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Montessori Children Handle Big Words and Big Ideas As a parent I was surprised about the words my children knew and used correctly (no, not the bad ones.) We’ve experienced them going from crying to making sounds, from sounds to their first words (mama, dada), from words to phrases (me go) to sentences – “I want candy.” It seems like a long (and sometimes frustrating) process for both children and adults to begin to communicate. We can’t wait for them to start talking and then ironically, we spend a lot of time telling them to be quiet. The beginning formation of their language skills is “ice bergian.” Ninety percent of what they know supports the ten percent that is audible. The structure of their language has been constructed by and large with little direct input. They have been sorting out the complexity of words and phrases. They don’t yet possess...
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What’s the Big Deal about Table Washing?

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What’s the Big Deal about Table Washing? Edward Fidellow www.crossmountainpress.com Many parents are attracted to Montessori because of its tremendous reputation for giving their children a great academic education. Parents are willing to spend impressive amounts of money to give their children this academic advantage. But as often as parents are impressed with Montessori excellence, they are a little bewildered that their children come home excited about mopping floors, doing dishes and washing tables. (This is what successful people hire others to do.) So there is a real disconnect between what you want, what you are paying for and what you think you are getting. How then does Montessori get this academic reputation if all you are seeing for six months or a year is table washing and practical life? Montessori success is not built on its finished academic product but on its sure foundation. So what kind of academics...
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Happy Birthday Maria Montessori!

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Maria Montessori - Her Life & Legacy As 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...
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Speech and Language Screening will be September 9th

ATTENTION MCS PARENTS:  Speech and Language Screening will be September 9th. The screenings will be a brief measure of your child’s speech and language skills in order to determine if further speech and language, or hearing evaluations are needed. The speech and language screening will take approximately 10-20 minutes to complete. After the completion of the screening, we will identify if there are concerns regarding your child’s speech and language skills or hearing. A note will be sent home with your child regarding the results of the screening and if further assessment is warranted. You might consider having your child’s speech, language and hearing screened if your child shows one or more of the following: · Your child has a difficult time learning and using new concepts and vocabulary · Your child has had chronic ear infections · You and others have a hard time understanding your child’s speech. Your...
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Why is Grace and Courtesy a big deal in Montessori?

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As you may already know from your communications with your child's teachers, MCS classrooms begin the year with a heavy emphasis on our Grace and Courtesy curriculum.  The article below, written by Edward Fidellow, will help you understand the benefits of a Grace and Courtesy curriculum and might offer some ideas how to reinforce the lessons at home! Happy Reading!   Why is Grace and Courtesy a big deal in Montessori? Edward Fidellow   www.crossmountainpress.com You cannot observe a Montessori classroom for even a short time without coming away with an impression that Montessori children are by and large very polite, orderly and impressively quiet and serene. This atmosphere is created by the lessons of “grace and courtesy”. Grace and courtesy – good manners, caring about each other, putting others first – are solid virtues that make possible the extraordinary academic gains of a Montessori classroom. Grace and courtesy is...
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Early Childhood Field Trip to The Living Planet Aquarium

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  The students loved visiting the aquarium. It has been one of the most fun field trips of the summer. We spent a lot of time observing in the Shark Tunnel and the Touch Pools. Many students were quite taken with the octopus, turtles, and clown fish.  The Penguin exhibit was so much fun! We were able to see and hear a presentation on penguins and enjoyed watching their feeding time. We learned that penguins really love fish! We were also able to cross the netted bridge in the aquarium's 'Journey to South America' exhibit.    Measuring up with Megalodon and the penguins from around the world was a wonderful experience. The students were so proud they were almost taller than the Emperor Penguins, the tallest penguin in the world.  There were many other school groups there that day, but our Montessori students were the best! 
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Music Class with Ms. Karey!

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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.   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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Lunchtime for Toddlers

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Our toddlers love lunchtime! They are always curious to see what each friend brings.        They are responsible for getting their lunch out of their cubby and preparing their food (with assistance from teachers when needed).        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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Toddler Summer Fun

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MCS Parent Testimonial

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When asked "In what ways has your child thrived in the MCS environment?" this was one Montessori Community School parent's response: Every one of my children is different. Because Montessori adapts to the individual needs of every child, the Montessori Community School has been the right place for each of them. Many of the skills that are essential to function as happy, passionate, and contributing members of our society, do not come naturally and take years to master. Entire books have been written and read by adults on how to acquire the skills to be effective members of the society. I think about, organizational skills, a sense of order, the capability to work independently, research, thinking and analyzing, leading meetings & debates, conflict resolution, listening skills, mindfulness, staying connected with your passions, goal setting. At MCS, my children have been learning and integrating these skills starting in early childhood. The...
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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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