Category Archives: Montessori

summer-school-comparison

Summer School 2013 vs 2014 vs 2015!

One more comparison photos for the end of school year / start of summer! Until august, she will be attending the Montessori summer program at her existing Montessori school.

summer-school-2015

It was unexpected but the school decided to let her move up to the secondary level of Montessori, so she will be in the elementary program through the summer! That means new teacher, new classroom and lots of new and advanced work. I’m really excited for her! I have heard mixed thoughts on her new teacher, but we’ll hope for the best!

During the summer session, they will get to focus on the solar system and the living world around them! I’m also excited to put her into TOTs summer camp – a space camp and a dino camp, mixed with basketball – should be interesting! 

summer-school-comparison

Here’s to a great summer for everyone!

Good Play Matters

Good Play Matters.

This is a post written for Fat Brain Toys – Toy Blog. I wanted to share the full version here.

Today, our kids have so many toys. Maybe too many toys. Is there such a thing? I think maybe the right answer to this is, they have too many SIMILAR toys! 

At times we all try to limit the number of toys they have or purge what we do have, in time for a birthday or holiday celebration – but sometimes it’s just so hard to get rid of items that your child loves, so in return, we try to purchase different types of gifts. Whether they are books, clothing or educational toys – we are trying to find something DIFFERENT! As a mom, sometimes I feel like these “different” toys will not be received as well, but usually, I’m wrong, and my daughter loves them just as much!

good-play-matters

Let’s take educational toys for example. My daughter is not old enough to attend public school yet so rather than attending a traditional daycare, she goes to a Montessori school. If you are unfamiliar, Montessori is a child-centered curriculum rather than teacher led, and it is amazing to watch. At Montessori school, they are learning about practical life skills and academic skills through play (aka “works”). They will use these educational style toys to learn about reading, writing, math, geometric, culture and even practical life skills. Did I mention this is all before the age of 5? 

Education toys play a HUGE role in this type of environment. The classrooms are full of non-traditional toys and learning materials – the child thinks that their “work” is play and they may not realize at first that they are learning. Whether they are using different size blocks to learn about size, shape and stacking – or if they are using marbles and wooden tracks, to create different slopes, hills and flat areas to learn about speed and direction – they are playing while learning! They are learning so much more than you could ever guess. 

If you watch these children, they look and feel like they are playing. That is what I would call GOOD PLAY! They are playing for long periods of time, independently or with a partner – but they are learning at the same time. Shouldn’t we be doing more of this? 

As parents, I think we also have to bring some of these ideas home. Choosing the right toys for the age or even more challenging educational toys can really help our children grow their body and mind. They are capable of so much, at such a young age. Our children, are still little kids – we are obviously going to still have the hottest toy they asked Santa for or the doll they got from a friend – but there is a balance that has to be achieved when it comes to the toys we buy.

So, what am I getting to with all of this? I feel that the fact that some “non-traditional” schools can bring good play into the daily routine, reveals that there is plenty of room for play in even a traditional classroom environment. When I heard of some schools getting away from group time or playtime and stick kindergarteners at a desk ALL DAY LONG, it makes me sad. I would hope that traditional schools will continue to take note that play matters and keep children playing in the classroom; because really… good play does matter!

This is a post written for Fat Brain Toys – Toy Blog. I wanted to share the full version here.

johnny appleseed activities for kids

Celebrate Johnny Appleseed

The other day, while I shared our photos from Apple picking – I mentioned Johnny Appleseed. A somewhat, random statement on any other week of the year – but this week we celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day aka Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday! Lennox has been learning about Johnny Appleseed at school and today at school she will even be making applesauce as a celebration! A lot of people think that he is fictional, but actually he was a real person .If you don’t know much about Johnny Appleseed, here are a few basic facts:

  • Johnny Appleseed’s real name is John Carpenter
  • He was born in Massachusetts on September 26, 1774.
  • He was the pioneer of growing apples. He traveled around the country planting apple seeds.
  • Yes, apparently he did wear a pan on his head at times!
  • He thought everyone should be treated with respect and that everyone should treat others with respect.
  • He also thought that you only needed what you would use.
  • Bonus fact: Baby Lennox makes a cute Johnny Appleseed! johnny-appleseed-lennox

If you reflect on his simple theory of respect for all people and living things – this ties directly into the core values of Montessori! No wonder they celebrate the day at Lennox’s school.

I went onto Pinterest and found some great educational and fun activities centered around Johnny Appleseed. Below are some of my favorites.

johnny appleseed activities for kids

 Johnny Appleseed Activities for Kids