26
JAN
2017

Parent Education Evenings: Some Questions & Answers

Thank you to all the parents who continue to attend our parent education evenings at both the Christie and Sorauren campuses! These events are wonderful opportunities for the parents to interact with the materials, learn more about Montessori and ask any questions. We always warmly welcome open discussion between parents and staff as we all work together to foster passionate life-long learners and well-rounded human beings.

At our Sorauren campus, the teachers offered a brief overview of the Language & Math materials followed by a question and answer period.

Photographed below was the presentation set up in Casa 2. The mat on the left features the large number cards and golden beads. Children gain a sensorial experience of the four math operations through work with that material. On the table are the teen boards, a chalkboard, writing paper, phonogram lists, and the metal inset. The mat on the right features a variety of language materials where children learn to build words and read. Parents are more than welcome to ask their teachers for further information on any particular piece of material or process. There are also blog posts addressing Math & Language. Please click here to read the blog post on “Language Preparation at School and at Home” and click here and here to read the blog posts on Math.

 

 

Questions from Parents

 

The following are a few questions that parents asked during both curriculum evenings at the Sorauren campus. As always, feel free to contact your child’s teacher about any questions or curiosities that may arise!

 

Q: What age does the child start Math?

There isn’t a specific age wherein the teacher determines that the child is now ready to begin the Math curriculum. As with all the other areas in the Montessori classroom, the teachers keenly observe the children and determine a child’s readiness on an individual basis. According to our rough guideline, a child begins the math curriculum at around 3 ½ to 4 years old. However, if a younger child is showing an awareness or an interest in numbers through counting quantities or identifying symbols, the teacher will gladly help foster this and develop the child’s skill and understanding in the classroom.

 

Q: What can I do at home to support my child’s learning?

Children are like sponges at this age. They love to learn and explore the world around them. Following this natural inclination and interest is the best way to foster a love for life-long learning. For example, a love for reading begins with a love for stories; incorporating books to your bed time routine is a great starting point! Involving the child in day to day activities such as setting up the table or loading / unloading the dishwasher also grounds the child’s home experiences and helps to instill a sense of community. Playing sound games and fun counting games all help build a child’s skills. Visiting the park, the museum, conversations answering their questions about the world, conducting easy science experiments at home, and trips to the library give the children concrete experiences and interesting real tidbits about the world to pique their interest. There are endless possibilities! Please don’t hesitate to talk to your teachers for any specific suggestions unique to your child.

 

Q: When will my child transition from the Toddler Classroom to the Casa Classroom?

There are a few signs that the toddler teacher looks for when determining a child’s readiness to begin transitioning toward Casa. These include a child’s readiness for Toilet Learning (click here to download the Toilet Learning handout), and a need for challenge that is no longer provided in the toddler environment. Once the teachers have observed that the child is ready to begin the transition, a conversation with the Casa teacher and toddler teacher occurs. The child then begins visits to his or her new Casa classroom until the transition is completed. For more information specific to your child, please speak to your Toddler teachers.

 

 

Q: Are there opportunities for children to work together or is most of the work done independently?

 There are ample opportunities for children to work together with the materials. Many of the materials done on floor mats naturally lend themselves to this cooperation; E.g. working with vocabulary enrichment and games through classified cards, and various math activities. However, even when a child is working independently within the environment, the child is never an isolated island. The child is operating within the social community of peers from ages 2 ½ to 6 years old. Children all learn not only from the materials they are manipulating, but from observing other children work as well. Empathy develops in conjunction with problem solving skills as children are given the guidance, tools, and opportunities to explore and experience. Children are all expected to contribute to the classroom and care for their environment from cleaning up after themselves to helping others and ensuring the materials are ready for the next child to select.

Below is a beautiful video from The Montessori Guide demonstrating these beautiful peer to peer interactions between children in a Montessori environment.

 

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