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Importance of a Montessori education for lifelong success

One of the main differences between a Montessori education and a traditional one is that the Montessori method focuses on individual learning at a child’s individual pace. Although it may seem as if that would slow the child down, it actually does the opposite. Because students are permitted to explore areas that they are most interested in, they are naturally encouraged to explore more challenging areas and dig deeper into a topic. The measures of achievement look at individual progress and development rather than traditional methods like grades and tests. A study conducted by the University of Virginia found that Montessori students had significantly better scores when tested against non Montessori students in mental performance, academic abilities and social and behavioral skills. The study further showed that the Montessori students were better equipped to adapt to changing and complex problems. This ability is often treated as a predictor of future success, another indicator that a Montessori education better prepares students for future success.

Another key value of a Montessori education is its emphasis on fostering independence among the students. In her book The Absorbent Mind, Maria Montessori writes, “The child’s conquests of independence are the basic steps in what is called his ‘natural development’, labeling independence as one of the key aspects of development. It is vital to begin fostering independence at a young age and Montessori allows that to occur.

The Montessori Method, especially when paired with Reggio Emilia enrichment, also serves to grow a child’s creativity. With Montessori, children are encouraged to follow their interests, leading to an inherent growth in creativity as they are doing tasks that they want to rather than to prepare for an exam or because they are told to do so. This allows children to enjoy the process of learning rather than just the end result allowing for a creative process to occur and for a child’s love of learning to grow. In an environment where students are forced to learn “for the test” or because the “curriculum says so” a student’s natural love of learning is often extinguished and along with it the ability for creative expression. A Montessori education avoids those issues by working for the opposite goals: fueling a child’s love of learning and allowing a child to explore his or her passions. When a Montessori education is also paired with the Reggio Emilia designated creative art space, creativity increases even more.

A Montessori education has many unique benefits that are vital to lifelong success and are not accessible with a traditional education.

https://www.education.com/magazine/article/10-benefits-montessori-preschool/

http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/education/blog/pros_cons_montessori_education/

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2006/sep/29/schools.uk

 

May 2nd, 2018

Posted In: Uncategorized

Benefits of a Full-Time Program

Watching your child grow up is bittersweet and we often think it goes by too fast. One day they can’t sit up by themselves and then at the blink of an eye they are ready for preschool. It’s hard, but every parent, without a doubt, wants the best for their child. Unfortunately that shock that your child is getting older, combined with the ability for a parent to stay home a few days of the week, often leaves parents opting for a part time program. Although it is better than not attending preschool at all, there are many benefits that your child receives at a full-time program that they will be missing by attending part-time.

 

The Journal of the American Medical Association found that children are better prepared for learning and social interaction in full-time preschools than in part-time programs. The article explains that students in full-day programs showed higher scores in social development, language, math and physical education than their part-time peers. Additionally, a study conducted by Arthur J. Reynolds, PhD, of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and his colleagues discovered that full-time preschool programs yield students better prepared for school than those who attended a part-time program. The children who attended the full-time program had higher scores on measures of school readiness skills, increased attendance and reduced chronic absences, when compared to those who attended a part-time program.

 

Although full-time attendance is important for all preschool students, it is even more critical for those in a Montessori program. A large aspect of the Montessori curriculum is consistency and constancy. Simply put, that means that students receive the full benefit of the Montessori program only through attendance of five days a week with three hour work cycles. There is no other way to achieve the full benefit of a Montessori education if not for consistent attendance. Part of a Montessori education and an aspect that we focus on in our classrooms is independent learning and student driven studies. We allow our students to choose what to focus on as well as learn at their own pace. A large part of that is if a student is learning something very interesting but time runs out, they know that their materials and everything else they need to continue will be there waiting for them the next day. This allows the student to continue thinking about a subject and the short wait time can often make them even more excited to continue. The issue arises, however, when a constant routine is not established. If a student doesn’t attend every day of the week, they often will have forgotten what captivated their mind the last time they were in school and have to get re-inspired to learn a topic. Having a part-time schedule leads to students not being able to truly be independent and the leaders of their own learning. Children flourish with routine and the best way to get a consistent routine is to get into the rhythm of school for five days a week and the weekend for anything else.

 

We know that seeing your child grow up is hard but our desire to provide the best possible education for our child and setting them on a path to achieve whatever they desire, begins now! Setting your child up for success starts at preschool and the most effective way to do that is with a full-time program.

April 11th, 2018

Posted In: Uncategorized

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8th, is fast approaching. Many know this as the day to celebrate the many women in their lives and their contributions, but where did this day originate from?

 

In the United States, the first National Women’s Day was observed on February 28, 1909. It was organized by the Socialist Party to celebrate the worker’s strike in New York where women gathered to protest poor working conditions. In 1910, the Socialist International established Women’s Day, in order to honor the movement for women’s rights and to build support for universal suffrage. The proposal was unanimously approved by the conference of over 100 women, from 17 countries, however no official date to observe it was set. On March 19, 1911, International Women’s day was marked for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, when over a million men and women attended rallies. However, despite the initial support, the holiday was not recognized by most countries in the same way until decades later. The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm gender equality, and since then the UN has been working to spread that message. However, it wasn’t until 1975 that International Women’s Day was celebrated by the United Nations on March 8th.

 

Although significant gains towards gender equality have been made, it is still important to recognize that about half of our population is still not treated completely equally. In developed nations, women still face issues of unequal pay for identical jobs, a double standard, and pressure to conform to gender roles. In less developed nations the inequality is even more severe where women still fight for the right to education, right to vote and even the right to marry who they choose.

 

Take the day to spread the message of equality. Teach your child about the vital role of women in society and the necessity to treat women as equal. Together, one step at a time, we CAN achieve gender equality.

March 5th, 2018

Posted In: Peace Education

The Silence Game – Introducing Children to the Benefits of Silence 

Today’s world is ensconced in the sounds of blaring TVs, traffic, phone conversations, and sirens…lots of NOISE. Rarely do we benefit from the sheer pleasure of birds chirping or the slight rustle of the leaves blowing in the wind. And when we do have the occasion to experience a bit of silence…. aaahhhh…what pleasure! Sadly, our children seldom have the opportunity to reap these benefits…one of the reasons a Montessori education strives to open their world to the adventure of silence.

Dr. Montessori asserts, “When the children have become acquainted with silence…(they) go on to perfect themselves; they walk lightly, take care not to knock against the furniture, move their chairs without noise, and place things upon the table with great care…. These children are serving their spirits.”
—Maria Montessori, Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook

One of the methods used to help children relax, become aware of their environment, and even extend their attention spans is the Silence Game. Playing the Silence Game offers children a sense of achievement and social essence as they work with their peers to reach a common goal. In addition, the Silence Game enables children to develop self-awareness and self-control, skills they will need to be successful throughout their lives.

Playing the Silence Game

Preparing and facilitating the Silence Game is quite easy. On a white board or chalk board, write the word “silence.” On the other side, place a picture of a peaceful, tranquil place, such as the beach or a waterfall.
Begin the Silence Game by doing the following:

1.Invite the children to sit quietly.
2.Introduce the silence board and explain that when they see the word “silence,” we should all do our best to remain silent. When we see the picture on the other side, we can make noise.
3.Tell the children that you will whisper each of their names individually. Once they hear their name, they may come sit quietly beside you.
4.Turn the board to show the word “silence” and start the game.
5.Begin whispering their names. The children will be anxiously waiting to hear their names called, so they will certainly do their best to remain as quiet as possible, so as not to miss their turn.
6.Once all the children are sitting quietly next to you, turn the silence board over to the picture to end the game.

Upon successful completion of the game, allow the children to participate in an activity to celebrate their success, such as free play time, singing, or a walk outdoors. You will be amazed at how much harder they focus on being silent the next time you play the Silent Game with them.

February 20th, 2018

Posted In: Montessori Education

Tags: ,

All About Routines – Preparing Your Child for School Each Day

It’s 9a.m. on Monday morning. You just dropped your child off at preschool. Do you feel like you’ve run a marathon? Chances are that you do…and you’re not alone. As a parent, mornings can be the most hectic time of day. But they don’t have to be. Read on for tips to get your child up and out the door each morning…hassle-free. And perhaps you’ll be able to take a five-minute coffee break before continuing with your day.

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Routines are Key to Success

The key to more pleasant mornings is establishing routines. Routines make everything easier, so start thinking about the evening and morning habits that will work best for your family. The goal is to create un-rushed schedules, so everyone in the family can head off to work and school without being in a frenzy.

Keep in mind that preschoolers are not little adults, so they’re not thinking ahead. They live in the here and now. So, it’s up to the adults in their lives to establish structure and help children follow routines to get them to school happy and healthy each morning.

The Night Before

Rule of thumb: Everything that does not have to be done in the morning should be completed the night before. Try these tips with your child on school nights to move things along the next morning:

  • Pick out out clothes for the following day. Make sure they are pressed and ready to go.
  • Pack backpacks, to include notes, permission slips, notebooks, etc.
  • Discuss plans for the following day, such as pick-up times and after-school activities. Make sure each child knows his schedule for the following day before going to bed.
  • Establish easy bedtime routines, making sure everyone knows what time lights out will occur.
  • If possible, pack lunches for the next day.

Morning Routine

You successfully made it through the evening routine. Keep the structure going the next morning with the following suggestions:

  • Get up early, leaving plenty of time to spare. You may want to get yourself dressed and ready to go before assisting your children.
  • Prepare lunches if you were unable to do so the night before.
  • Prepare breakfast, and eat with your children. Not only does this set a good example, but you can also keep everyone on task.
  • Help children gather their belongings at the appointed time, remind them of their schedule for that day, and send them on their way…hopefully without the last-minute, unexpected spilled milk or lost jacket incidents. But don’t fret! Because you planned so well, you’ll have plenty of time to address any eleventh-hour blunders that may pop up.

Want to learn more about helping your child establish routines? Feel free to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you!

February 8th, 2018

Posted In: Montessori Education

Tags: ,

The Importance of Building Reading and Writing Skills in Preschool Children

Reading and writing skills are important factors in your child’s success in school, work, and later in life. In fact, a child’s reading and writing level is a crucial determinant in how well they will perform in school and later participate in society. While reading and writing skills continuously develop throughout life, the early childhood years—birth through eight—are the most significant years for literacy development. A bonus is that reading is a fun activity that stretches a child’s imagination, opening doors to all kinds of new worlds for them.

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Children experience language acquisition from the moment they are born. As children grow, their speech and language skills continue to advance by expressing ideas, thoughts, and feelings, and communicating with others. Known as the emergent literacy stage, which lasts through the preschool years, children acquire skills that are crucial to the development of literacy.

Children interact with print media, such as books and magazines daily…long before they enter elementary school. They begin to recognize rhyming words, familiar street signs, and can even identify some letters of the alphabet. As children combine all this knowledge, they are preparing to learn to read and write.

The connection between spoken language and literacy is vital to a child’s acquisition of reading and writing skills. Talking and listening experiences during the preschool years prepare children for reading and writing development once they begin elementary school. A child who enters elementary school with weak verbal skills will likely have a tougher time mastering literacy skills versus those with strong verbal skills.

How Can Parents Help?

Parents play a significant role in helping their children develop literacy skills. A few of the practices parents can implement at home include:

  • Talk to your child, identifying objects, people, and activities in the everyday environment.
  • Engage in singing, rhyming games, and nursery rhymes.
  • Teach by example.  If a child sees a parent interacting with books and magazines, they identify that the parent values reading, which encourages them to model that behavior.
  • Read together.  Reading provides an opportunity to discuss the book, promoting a language-rich environment at home.

Building reading and writing skills is critical during the preschool years as it sets the foundation for a child’s future success.

January 3rd, 2018

Posted In: Montessori Education

Tags: , ,

Why a Montessori Education is the Best Choice for Your Toddler

All parents want the best for their children, and one of the best ways to establish a solid foundation is through education. A high quality education should offer well-rounded development for your child while instilling a desire to learn. To accomplish this, the materials should be fun and engaging while still informative.

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There is no better education available to toddlers than a Montessori education. From the classroom design to the helpful teachers, your child will be in the optimal learning environment. They will be free to learn as they please in an environment full of peers and hands-on learning materials. In a Montessori classroom, your child is in charge of their education and they can reap the benefits.

The Curriculum Caters to Your Child’s Level

Children all learn at different paces. One of the primary shortcomings of conventional educations is that they follow a strict guideline for the curriculum regardless of each child’s learning style. Auditory learners may thrive in a lecture-based classroom, while tactile learners may struggle. In Montessori classrooms, each child is able to learn at their own pace with the help of their teacher. The teacher will guide them through the curriculum using materials and methods that help each child learn best. No child is left behind or frustrated because they don’t understand things, which does wonders for their confidence.

Allows for Development of Social and Motor Skills

Montessori classrooms put a greater emphasis on social learning than conventional classrooms that encourage quiet. By allowing children to work together at group tables, the children are able to make friends, share their knowledge, and reinforce their understandings by sharing the information. This improves their ability to speak and have conversations while also helping develop greater social skills.

Encourages Exploration and a Desire to Learn

If anyone knows the best way for your child to learn, it’s them! Catering to your child’s interests is one of the easiest ways to encourage learning. Montessori classrooms have a wide array of learning materials accessible to your child, so chances are they can learn in the genre of their choosing. If they are having fun while learning, they will want to learn more which will further develop their skills. Practice makes perfect!

If you’re seeking the best of the best for your child’s education, be sure to consider a Montessori education. Their hands-on learning approach helps develop your child physically, socially, mentally, and emotionally. This will help set the foundation for the rest of their academic careers, and instill a desire to learn that will carry them through.

November 16th, 2017

Posted In: Montessori Education

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