For conventional educators, reading is a skill that must be taught by means of drills, homework, and tests. Yet, most children who go through authentic Montessori programs are not taught to read; they discover reading on their own!
How do Montessori children learn to read without direct adult instruction, and is it possible to give your child the same experience at home?
In a Montessori environment, preparation for reading is everywhere. It’s in the left-to-right hand and eye movements required to wipe a shelf; in the rhyming songs we sing; in the vocabulary we give.
Presentations that guide a child towards reading start around 2 ½ years. With a fun group activity called Sound Games, children realize that words are made up of individual sounds. Each sound is then associated with a symbol when Sandpaper Letters are introduced. These symbols – the 26 letters that make up our alphabet – become the plastic (or wooden) letters of the Moveable Alphabet. Continue reading →
We’ve all been there. The first day of school is a mixture of emotions, both for parents and child.
Mom and Huffington Post blogger, Susannah Lewis captures this emotional roller coaster in a hilarious viral video. Titled “Kindergarten vs. Every Other Grade,” the video shows how parents’ feelings about sending their kids back to school evolve over time.
With summer quickly coming to an end, and the fall semester just around the corner, many new families are out and about looking for new schools for their little ones. It’s that time of year! There are many factors to consider while compiling your list of schools to visit, most importantly, recognizing what is important to you and your family. You might find that child safety is your number one priority, or that you prefer low student to teacher ratios, or even that the school has a strong emphasis on professional development and proper training for their staff. Whatever your priorities may be, below is a list of what we feel are important factors to consider when touring any preschool.
1) When you first enter a new school, you should automatically feel a sense of warmth, or comfort. Your first impression of a school is determined within the first…
These past few weeks have been filled with dinosaur fossil making, bone tracing, diorama making, story telling, and much more. Our Dinosaur Summer Camp was probably the most popular so far! The children loved reading about different dinosaurs, and creating various dinosaur projects.We created skeletons by cutting and pasting dinosaur bones onto paper. We made tiny dinosaur footprints, or “fossils” in dough, learning about the process of fossilization. Continue reading →
When infants first interact with the world, they don’t have words to describe what they encounter, so they absorb their surroundings and new information through their senses. They experience the external world through the use of their senses. Our eyes help us see, our ears let us hear, our hands help us feel, our noses let us smell, and our tongues help us taste.
Children are spontaneous learners. Every day is a new opportunity for a child to learn. You can use almost anything surrounding you to help stimulate a child’s senses. Begin by experimenting with different smells, watch their expressive language for likes and dislikes. Visit a park, find nature objects to touch, taste, smell, using language to describe what you’re experimenting with. Children respond differently to sensory experiences. These experiences can greatly improve their motor skills, raise awareness of the world around them, and contribute to language acquisition. They can also be quite therapeutic. Enhancing and building upon the child’s senses helps improve their social, emotional, cognitive, physical and language development.
I had an interesting conversation with a prospective parent recently who teaches at a local college. She shared that she and her colleagues are constantly discussing “how underprepared kids are for college in terms of ‘soft skills.’” By soft skills she meant skills other than the purely academic — the personal qualities, habits and attitudes that make someone a successful college student and, by extension, a good boss or employee later in life. She had just come from an observation in toddlers and primary and was surprised to have seen that in Montessori, “starting in toddlers students develop the self-motivation, independence, and follow-through that many college students lack!” In other words, beginning at these very young ages, Montessori children are already developing the soft skills that will benefit them so greatly later in life.
It was a pretty astute observation for a prospective parent seeing Montessori for the first time, and it got me thinking. When I talk to parents, I often describe a Montessori learning material, like the binomial cube, detective adjective game, or golden beads, that leads to the acquisition of academic or “hard skills.” Obviously, hard skills are important, but soft skills are equally so. Continue reading →