Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!

It has been an absolute delight to meet all of our new families. The returning children have clearly enjoyed, not only the rekindling of old friendships, but also the welcoming of the new children. The returning children have taken pride in showing their new friends how to wash their hands before snack, or how to navigate the buffet style lunch they enjoy each day. The new students have certainly experienced some separation anxiety but these feelings of anxiety tend to subside quickly, as the children become at ease with the daily routine and work eagerly on their activities and forging new friendships.

Very soon (if not already), your child may be coming home using the words “work” or “presentation” to describe their day. As parents, we often wonder why our child is working and not playing. It is important to acknowledge that the child’s work, and their greatest drive in their early life is toward attaining independence. While working to achieve this, children enjoy practicing and mastering many skills. In the classroom, lessons are not only intended to teach a skill, but also to help the child to develop a sense of calmness, concentration, cooperation, self-discipline and self-reliance. These traits, once achieved, are what Dr. Montessori termed “an aid to life,” as they will help to guide your child through all facets of life.

According to Dr. Montessori, “The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. Such experience is not just play.” These experiences, like pouring one’s own glass of water, or successfully carrying a heavy tray from one shelf to the table and back again, instill a sense of confidence and competence in a child that encourages them to continue to challenge themselves. The goal of a Montessori directress or teacher is to observe each individual child so that she can offer him or her the appropriate challenges, as dictated by their developmental needs and readiness. Presentations or lessons are given to a child individually or in small groups to show how to work with a specific activity in the classroom. It is important to understand that a child may not be shown a new presentation each day, as the child’s readiness is the indication for the directress. The time between each presentation allows the child to practice and repeat an activity. This repetition of their “work” helps to develop the child’s concentration and to encourage the child to master the activity, consequently perfecting their skills. At any given time, each child has a number of activities in their repertoire to choose from, and the freedom to choose one’s own work that is inherent in the Montessori classroom, supports the child’s ability to make choices and develop his or her own interests.

Our upcoming Parent Education Evening on October 1, from 6:00pm-7:00pm will discuss Montessori’s integral role in child development with a focus on the tools that a child acquires within the classroom that help to create “The adult he/she will become”. All parents are encouraged to attend. Child care will be provided.

We look forward to seeing all parents at our Breakfast Social next week; it will be a great opportunity for all returning and new parents to meet and mingle!