Reality Vs Fantasy: Encouraging Real Experiences During The Holiday Season

As the holiday season arrives, the world around us becomes increasingly immersed in a world of fantasy.  Halloween brings scary images to grocery stores, Thanksgiving brings talking and walking turkeys, and the Christmas holiday brings Santa Claus imagery in abundance.  Whether or not a family takes part in these holidays, the imagery is there in the world around us; it cannot be escaped completely.  Even beyond the season, fantastical imagery […]

Managing Interruptions

Children can learn from a very young age how to wait their turn when others are talking.  From a Montessori perspective, this is a lesson of Grace and Courtesy.  In the classroom, we demonstrate to young children that it’s important to wait their turn and let others finish before talking.  We show the child how to signify that they would like to talk without actually interrupting those who are talking. […]

How to Avoid Using Food As Reward or Punishment

Promising or withholding dessert is not an uncommon parenting technique, and while it has the likelihood to work in the immediate circumstances, it will also likely send a long-term detrimental message to your child. First, let’s look at “bribing” children for behavior in general (giving them something for doing something).  When children are rewarded extrinsically for good behavior, they learn to expect rewards for that good behavior.  In other words, […]

Ways To Communicate With Your Child

The purpose of communication is to coordinate action and build trust in the process. When we apply this to the child, unless our communication accomplishes both (communicating the action clearly and building trust with the child), its purpose is incomplete and outcomes may be unintended. Studies have reported that the average one-year-old child hears the word “no” more than 400 times a day! One study estimates that the average child […]

Wandering Is Actually Part Of Learning

Have you taken time out of your day to observe in your child’s classroom, or have you observed in a Montessori classroom when deciding on a school?  During these observations you will see a number of things: children working independently, children helping each other, children socializing, and children getting one on one lessons from teachers.  These all sound wonderful, but you may see something else that, without experience in the […]

The Impact of Movement On Your Child’s Learning

“Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside.  Through movement we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.” – Dr. Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood If you walk into traditional-style classrooms, you will find rows of desks at which students sit and are presented with […]

The Windows Of Opportunity For Learning

The relationship between a child and learning has a very specific foundation and trigger: interest.  In helping guide a child to learning, Dr. Montessori found that if we capitalized on interest, we would know what the child is ready to learn and what their mind is driven towards.  She defined this drive, or almost compulsion, as a sensitive period.  By observing what sensitive period the child is in, we can […]

The Importance of Repetition

It happens so many times, your child comes home at the end of the day and reports what he has been working on…and it’s the same thing every day.  Often times this can make a parent nervous, especially if the child is older.  Why is my child doing the same thing every day? Occasionally repetition can signal that a child is stuck, but only if they appear to be doing […]

Supporting How Children Learn: Introduction, Recognition and Recall

Dr. Montessori identified and outlined three stages through which children learn, which she referred to as periods.  She found that they absorbed all information (particularly language and math) through this manner and therefore, designed all activities for the child around this concept.  By understanding this process and the stage your child is in, both teachers and parents can help children through the stages of learning and set them up for […]

When Your Child Doesn’t Want To Go To School…

At some point during the school year, many children make the same complaint: “I don’t want to go to school today.”  It may start at the beginning of the year, it may start during the middle of the year, or it may happen at different intervals throughout the year.  Children may show school refusal by not wanting to leave parents, complain of sickness, or struggle following a morning routine.  Usually, […]