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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

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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

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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

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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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