Bunnies Everywhere!

April 5th, 2020

This year we had a mama bunny in the classroom and she had baby bunnies!  Since Montessori House children weren’t at school (due to Covid-19), we let the baby bunnies play in the classroom.

At Home Series

March 25th, 2020

To help parents make this home-bound time tolerable for all members of the family, and to keep their young children productively engaged and active, our Director — Ms. Maria Morningstar — has started a series called “At Home“.  The series is published in our website NEWS section.  Since they’re published using a blog, chapters appear in reverse order, with the most recent At Home the top entry.  Each chapter starts out with a short introduction and you then click on “Read the rest of this entry>>” to see the entire post,

Here’s what we’ve published so far (with links to each full chapter):

P.S.  If you’d like to take a video break with your children, Ms. Maria has a few recent posts with bunnies and dogs.


At Home #6: Practical Life (PL)

March 25th, 2020

Montessori House students of all ages love Practical Life (PL).  For our youngest students, a large part of their time is spent on PL.  Practical Life lessons are all demonstration and imitation.  By doing PL, children learn the concept of a “work”: having a lesson, getting it from the shelf, working (only as instructed), mastery, and clean-up.  An important aspect of Montessori education is engaging the whole child (physical and mental) to reinforce learning, as occurs with PL works.  Starting with PL, children establish a set of habits and a framework for further learning, as they become capable of lessons in other areas like math (numbers), and reading (sounds, letters, etc.), and more.

Why Practical Life? Read the rest of this entry »

At Home #5: Creating Your Child’s Work Area

March 25th, 2020

Creating an organized area for you child to “go to school” (while at home) will help you and your child.
Your child’s work area should have the following attributes: Read the rest of this entry »

At Home #4: About Handwriting

March 25th, 2020

In our Montessori House classroom we distinguish between handwriting and word/sentence/paragraph building.   Handwriting is physical and requires the child to have fine-motor skills.  The “building” skills for words, etc. depends on cognitive development.  The physical skill and cognitive skills may develop at different rates.  Don’t worry now, these skills will all fall into place, usually by 3rd Grade.

This note is about handwriting: Read the rest of this entry »

At Home #3: Giving Lessons

March 25th, 2020

Here are suggestions for how you can give your child lessons.  Remember in the Montessori classroom, when we say “lessons” we mean introducing your child to a “work”.  Once introduced, your child works on his/her own to master the work on which you’ve given the lesson. Read the rest of this entry »

At Home #2: Our Daily School Schedule

March 25th, 2020

8:30 – 10:35:   Children’s Work Time – more focused and individual/traditional Montessori works: 

Work Time Goals:  independence, self-direction, learning by trying (perseverance), creativity, purposeful (not destructive) exploration, patience, skill-building, and dealing with frustration.

How To: Bring your child to the School/Work Area (see “Creating Your Child’s Work Area”) to choose works.
During Work Time: Read the rest of this entry »

At Home #1: Words We Use At School

March 25th, 2020

Parents at home may find it easier to use the same vocabulary we use at school.  Our teachers consistently use these terms to provide structure for your children, and to apply clear rules and standards to their conduct in the classroom.  We hope parents can take advantage of their children’s training at school, and we hope consistent words while at home will make the transition back to school that much smoother.  Here are ten (10) important words or phrases: Read the rest of this entry »

CLOSED (along with all of New Jersey)

March 21st, 2020

I wanted to let you know, right away, that The Montessori House is closed effective immediately.  The reason is the Covid-19 emergency.  I hope the school will reopen when this emergency has passed.

The calls many parents have scheduled with me for next week will proceed, so that we can discuss your current student’s development.

We will continue to respond to your calls, texts, and emails to The Montessori House.

Finally, I want to thank all our families and staff for their support of the school and of our efforts on behalf of your children. I miss all of our wonderful children and families!

Be well, and be safe.

— Maria Morningstar, Director

Still Open and Available for Our Families (updated 3/17/20)

March 17th, 2020

UPDATE 3/17/20:  NJ DCF issued a clarification of  their guidance from yesterday.   It opens as follows:

“The Department of Children and Families reminds childcare providers that the state has not
directed that they cease operation as a result of the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

New Jersey Governor Murphy has ordered extraordinary measures to mitigate the spread and threat of Covid-19 in the state.  Chief among these is the order to close all K-12 schools (public, private, parochial) for at least two weeks starting this Wednesday.  Other key features of the order include restricting most businesses to daytime hours, eliminating on-site service at restaurants, and mandating that any gathering in the state number 50 people or fewer

For The Montessori House, the salient fact is that this order does not apply to childcare centers.  We won’t speculate on the rationale for the different treatment of schools and childcare centers, except to say that there are sound reasons for the distinction.

We’ve received guidance from state officials through  a few sources.  A release from Senator Loretta Weinberg states explicitly that,“As of now daycares are not included”.   Also the NJ Dept of Children and Families (DCF), which regulates all early childhood providers, issued guidance today encouraging providers like The Montessori House School to keep their doors open — on a short-term basis they’ve relaxed select regulations to enable providers to both stay open and stay in compliance.   Finally, we’ve communicated with others in the early childhood education industry who have spoken with the Governor’s office and they were told the order to close does not apply to childcare centers.  (Note, the order’s reference to PreK appears to refer only to such programs hosted in K-12 schools.)

At The Montessori House School our regular teaching staff is available and committed to providing our families the option of safe, high-quality care and early childhood education.  We’ve put in place procedures to limit the risk to students and staff of Covid-19 infection while at school, and we re-evaluate daily if further changes would be beneficial.

We know that with school-age siblings now learning at home, and parents working at home, that many of families will prefer to keep their Montessori House student home too.  We want our Montessori House families to know that, if their situation changes, we’re focused on having available the childcare they may need.