Archive for the ‘Montessori Moments’ Category

St. Patrick’s Day Concert

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

We had the pleasure of having Olivia’s grandparents — Alan and Bonnie — perform songs on mandolin and harp on March 17.   Thanks for the lovely music!

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Lion Dance!

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

A big thanks to Huee (mother of Isabel and Mila), who arranged for our students to have a performance and demonstration on Wednesday of Lion Dance by The Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute of New York City.  We were thrilled by the Lion Dance — as you can see below  (WOW!).

 

Do Parents Matter

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Interesting review in the WSJ today of a new book: Do Parents Matter?

The LeVines are not arguing for abandoning Western parenting mores but making an eloquent case that wisdom requires a little humility about what is “right.” American children speak more and earlier than children in some other societies, but “we don’t know whether American preschool children actually have better conversational abilities than, say, French children or just lack the social skill to restrain their speech in adult contexts, as French children do.” All the talking we do with our babies may stretch their brains, but it also creates children who believe everything they say is worth listening to at all times. In any case, “once American parents free themselves from the expert warnings that any deviations from current American practices will constitute trauma, abuse, or adversity for their children’s development”—warnings that the LeVines show in this book are largely groundless—“then it will be possible to learn from other cultures and reduce parental burdens to a more sensible level.” Parenting is hard enough as it is. There’s no reason to lose sleep over things that aren’t worth worrying about.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Yesterday, February 8th, our Montessori House parents joined children in all our classes for  the best Lunar New Year celebrations.  With stories, costumes, food, and more, our children had a chance to learn about and experience different aspects of this traditional holiday celebrated throughout East Asia.

Thanks to all the parents who were able to join us!

Here are just a few of our children outfitted for the holiday …

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Celebrating Lunar New Year 2016 at The Montessori House

Here’s what we did on a snowy day!

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Peace Curriculum Impact

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

We often think of children at school only in the happiest sense, playing and exploring together, finding joy in their discoveries, and enjoying time with their friends. But a classroom, like the world outside it, is a mix of personalities, with varying maturity levels, backgrounds, expectations, and abilities. Sometimes those personalities clash, that happy setting is disrupted by conflict, and the children involved in the conflicts need to navigate their way back to a peaceful setting. Fortunately, teachers of young children are in a special position to teach children the peacemaking skills they need to resolve their conflicts and manage their anger, both now and in the future.

Action Research conducted by our Director,  Maria Morningstar, explored the various types and sources of classroom and playground conflicts, and the effects of a peace curriculum in reducing and resolving those conflicts.  The purpose of  her study was to determine whether teaching children about peace would help them to reduce or resolve conflicts in the classroom.

The study took place in a suburban Montessori classroom of 26 children, ages three to six years.  The data collected included observations of children’s conflicts and resolutions, conferences with the children and teachers, and children’s journal writings.

The results:  as the peace curriculum was implemented, there was a clear reduction in the number of daily conflicts among the children, and children involved in conflicts shifted from requiring a lot of teacher involvement to resolve their conflicts to needing little or no teacher involvement in the resolution.

You may access the research abstract, presentation slides, or the entire study here: SOPHIA: The Effects of a Peace Curriculum on Reducing and Resolving Conflicts among Children Ages 3-6 Years

Slovak Paska

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Ms. Phyllis baked a special Easter bread for her students: a Slovak Paska.
A few families asked for the recipe, which may be found here.

Recipe photo

Ms. Maria’s Best Advice for Parents …

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

On Sunday, I was in a restaurant when I saw one of our parents from 4 years ago.  Her daughter was with us for 2 years, then the family moved to NYC.  The child is now at one of NYC’s public schools for “gifted and talented” children.  The child is doing very well in all academic areas, and she is always happy.  The mother told me that the other parents in her child’s class keep asking her, “What did you do that she’s doing so well?  And why is she happy?”  The parents then go on to say that they have their children enrolled in after-school academic programs, have private tutors, etc., but the children aren’t “#1” in the class, they don’t like school, and they’re unhappy.  The mother told me that her response to the parents is always the same:  “I started by sending her to a Montessori school, and then I followed their advice:  I do NOTHING with her except read and play, and I don’t make her take anything but fun classes after school; she likes gymnastics.”  The mother told me that all of the parents seem VERY skeptical of her, as though she doesn’t want to “divulge” some secret formula to success.  Just as the mother was telling me this, the father, who’d been listening to the story, said, “The funny part is that it’s much easier to be a parent when you just read and play with the children, because the parents love it and the children love it, and then the children love learning the other stuff at school.”

Montessori House Children’s Art at Cresskill Library

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

A selection of art created by The Montessori House children is now on display at the Cresskill Public Library.  The children created the art using traditional Montessori “metal insets.”  These beautiful pictures exemplify the children’s wonderful creativity and skills, and we are thrilled to have them displayed for all – especially you and your children — to enjoy!  We hope you’ll visit soon (a great snowy-day activity).  

Cresskill Public Library
53 Union Ave, Cresskill, NJ 07626
201-567-3521

Hours
Mon., Wed,., and Thurs.:  10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tues., Fri., and Sat.: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.   

Tragedy …

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

We can hardly comprehend the tragedy that occurred Friday at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT.  Our deepest sympathies to the families of the children and teachers who were murdered there.   We offer our prayers for the families, teachers, staff and neighbors of  Sandy Hook School. 

— Ms. Maria