From the Desk of Amanda McCarthy, Director
- Unlimited time to focus on the task at hand
- A quiet space free from interruptions
- Respect: Start with an understanding of the needs of the child. Respect the child’s ability and need to discover things for themselves. Just as we value our own ‘work’, the ‘work’ of the child is equally important.
- Time: Provide time in the day that is not rushed or time pressured.
- Observe, wait and learn: Observation is a powerful tool and we use it to watch what a child is doing before we consider interrupting. The basic rule of thumb is that if a child is engaged in what they are doing, don’t interrupt them.
- Environment: A peaceful space, free of distractions (such as the TV) is conducive to concentration. You could set up a quiet corner in your home.
- Order & opportunity: Our classrooms are orderly and tidy with a place for everything. Various activities are set up around the room providing opportunities for the children to help themselves. This can easily be done at home, too.
From the desk of Cheryl Marrison...
From the desk of Jessica Byrd, Director
- Be confident- Your child picks up on your moods. If you are projecting happy confidence during drop-off they will feed off that energy.
- Be consistent- Have a routine. Make sure you are dropping off during the same time frame every day. If a child knows what to expect it eliminates feelings of anxiety.
- Create a new center of attention- Distract! A few of our current parents drop off in the morning during outside time. This is an enjoyable activity that helps to get your child involved and to feel more comfortable at the school and okay with your leaving.
- Always say good-bye- Give your child one hug and one kiss, let them know you will be back to pick them up. Then leave quickly even if the teacher has to peel your little one’s arms from around your neck.
- Have a Check-in plan- We want to involve our parents as much as possible of your child’s progress. Make a plan with your director on how you’ll check in with them. Knowing that you’ll receive updates will elevate some of the anxiety you may be feeling.
From the desk of Jennifer Potokar, Director
From the Desk of Amanda McCarthy, Director
From the Desk of DeEtta Brown, Director
From the Desk of Cheryl Marrison............
From the Desk of Jennifer Potokar, Director
From the Desk of Cheryl Marrison
The importance of establishing routines or family rituals can have an even greater impact as children grow older. Something as mundane as a family game night every Thursday has the potential to provide families with a venue for family discussions in a safe environment. Even in the most difficult of times of adolescence, children can look forward to these predetermined events.
2. Routines help kids cooperate by reducing stress and anxiety for everyone. We all know what comes next, we get fair warning for transitions, and no one feels pushed around.
3. Routines help kids learn to take charge of their own activities. Over time, kids learn to brush their teeth, pack their backpacks, etc., without constant reminders. Kids love being in charge of themselves. This feeling increases their sense of mastery and competence. Kids who feel more independent and in charge of themselves have less need to rebel and be oppositional.
4. Kids learn the concept of "looking forward" to things they enjoy, which is an important part of making a happy accommodation with the demands of a schedule. He may want to go to the playground now, but he can learn that we always go to the playground in the afternoon, and he can look forward to it then.
5. Regular routines help kids get on a schedule, so that they fall asleep more easily at night.
6. Schedules help parents maintain consistency in expectations. If everything is a fight, parents end up settling: more TV, skip brushing teeth for tonight, etc. With a routine, parents are more likely to stick to healthy expectations for everyone in the family, because that's just the way we do things in our household. The result: a family with healthy habits, where everything runs more smoothly!
Spring is right around the corner!
From the Desk of Cheryl Marrison…..
For 2015 we want to incorporate more community and social events into our program. Does anyone have any suggestions for community events within your child’s classroom? As a school we are always looking for ways to get the children involved in social activities. Perhaps some of you parents would like to help with planning and preparation. If so, please let your school’s Director know. They are always looking for parent participation.
Please take a look at the “Events” section of our website to see what is already planned for your school. Don’t be shy, we love parent input. If there is something that you think would be engaging and fun please let us know.
One of my other personal goals for 2015 is to help transform areas in our classrooms into having a more home-like atmosphere. I want to add some things such as child sized couches for our reading areas and perhaps some pole lamps. Suggestions for this are also VERY welcome.
Let’s all work together and make 2015 an AWESOME year for the children.
“The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.” ~ Maria Montessori
Way to Go University!
There are no greater memories than memories of Christmas time as a child (and now, really). When I begin to think about Christmas as a child, I can almost transform back and smell the sweet smelling homemade cookies, the glistening ornaments, the mountains of gifts on Christmas morning---I have some great memories and will eternally cherish each one sacredly.
What a great time of year to implement some Montessori in your home, if you have not yet. No matter what holiday you and your celebrate....just apply it accordingly. Here are some ideas!
1. Let your little ones help decorate! I have the fondest memories of my and all my siblings decorating our Christmas tree! We loved it! And everyday while we still had the tree standing, we took such pride in our hard work.
2. If you bake, let your little ones help with kitchen duties! While I am not the greatest baker, my mom always included us in making yummy personalized goodies for our teachers, babysitters, and neighbors! We had a blast!
3. Teach your little ones the value in the season. The holiday season is not all about gifts and receiving the biggest and the brightest ---it is a season about love, gratitude, and peace. Donate to a charity, spend time with your elderly neighbors, volunteer at a homeless kitchen and in turn, help your children learn the true meaning of this much anticipated season.
Until next time,
The Silent Journey
Hey everyone! It has been an amazing and exhilarating couple of weeks at Weinacker's! As I sit down at my desk this morning, I am engulfed with such sweet memories over the last couple of weeks. It is such an honor to have the opportunity to work with such great teachers, children, families, administration!
Despite all the wonderful things we had going on at all of our schools my favorite was the one that we had last night at our Hillcrest school, The Silent Journey with Amy Henderson. If you have never heard of Montessori's Silent Journey or sometimes it is referred to as Montessori Journey or Montessori Experience; this is a time for parents to come into their child's Montessori environment and silently become engaged with the world around them. The reason for this experience to be done silently is to activate all of one's senses to the best of their ability and fully engage in the presence. The Silent Journey is meant to help parents gain a better understanding of the Montessori process and their child's developmental journey. Everything about this experience is so beautiful and profound to me. I believe that this experience truly helps build the bond between parent and child. I highly recommend that if you ever get the opportunity to take part in a Silent Journey do not pass it up! A special thank you to all that attended, it was lovely sharing that experience with all of you.
It has been such a great couple of weeks for all of us at Weinacker's, I hope you all have also had a great couple of weeks too. We are entering into a somewhat crazy time of the year, the holiday season, and it is easy for all of us to get wrapped up in the to-do lists, parties, and everything else in our day to day lives--I encourage everyone to take a minute and reflect on lucky we are and try to enjoy the precious time we have with all our friends and family. Life is short, enjoy every second of it.
Until next time,