Nearly There!

The girls are starting TEC Connections Academy on 9/1 and we are full of jitters and anticipation!  They're little work spaces are all set up, and they are connecting with their teachers tomorrow at orientation.  
I'm (Mom) tutoring online using Orton Gillingham and Montessori Language this Fall, until Montessori School is ready for me again!
Best of luck in the new school year, everyone.

Handwriting in the Early Childhood Environment

While not all ideas are new ideas (this philosophy has been around over 100 years!), I feel compelled to share a little bit about handwriting in Primary/3-6/Early Childhood. I'm glad to share about writing, since our (Massachusetts) state is on of the last to keep it in the frameworks.

Throughout my undergraduate work, Montessori Training, Graduate work, and with professional development, I've been to every possible "out of box" handwriting program the world has created for us.
But guess what?  Not all children require the same tools to gain skills.  Ugh.  Is that new?  Nope!  I don't use any of those.  From where I sit, I don't think workbooks have any place in a preschool class or a Montessori 3-6.  The steps listed below can be used in whatever order the child needs.

Before I share what happens in my class, please read these two blog posts about what comes FIRST.  These skills and strengths are necessary before trying to write or learn to write.  Check i…

Back at Home!

Hello All!
We are back at home with all three girls, using TECCA Connections Academy and following our own interests.  Our school district has given the girls the best elementary and middle school education we could ask for, but with COVID and all the mess that comes with it, we are home.  We will enter 2020-2021 with two 7th graders and a High School Freshman.  Yes, that much time has past since I posted here!
Wasn't this a Montessori blog?  Yes, it still is!  I'm still a Montessori Teacher and Mom.  We will also be "following the child," with the Montessori Adolescent Philosophy. This year we will: Follow their interests in unit studies Biology, Zoology, Geography, Politics, Health, Yoga, etc.Entrepreneurshipeach learner has chosen a side business to develophenna tubesslimebabysittingCommunity Action ProjectsGirl ScoutsCommunity GardeningFood BankTutoring servicesFamily-focused homesteadingcare of environment care of selfcare of familycare of petscare of friendships&qu…

Ways to Aid Good Concentration

Children have visible cues that show concentration.  It happens at school and at play; take a peek! Signs like a tongue out, rocking, stillness, even a quickly moving leg can tell us that the child is focusing.  It’s important to know what it looks like when your child or student is concentrating.  Through recognizing this, we become aware of this vital learning skill for each individual.  Once we learn the ways in which each child finds concentration, it is the adult's job to aid and protect it. Here are some simple ways to aid concentration in children: Don’t interrupt.  A wise woman once told me; do not interrupt the focusing child unless you observe disrespect, danger, or destruction.  I always run over that checklist in my head before engaging concentrating child.  It can be a challenge for little ones to return to focus.Set the stage.  Clear the clutter and prepare the environment.  Children can have a hard time focusing if there are too many distractions.  Get low and imagine…

Education Trends Today...Over One Hundred Years Old

I read all the education journals and magazines, so I'm finding the 'latest trends' in education to truly be 'old trends' from a method developed over one hundred years ago.  An article written just this May, lists 12 Education Terms To Know in 2015.   I read them, and I smile.  Then I think, oh yeah- we (Montessori Teachers) do that!  Here's to the "Progressive" schools, I thank you for thinking outside the norm, and I wish these things below for all children.

The practice of one teacher keeping the class of students for more than one year.  In Montessori Schools, it's for three.  Imagine a child not having to readjust to new expectations, new classmates, new adults.  The month of September would be full of learning.  Imagine the adult, greeting students in the beginning of the year, knowing them inside and out- on a very individual level.  Teachers get to see the full transformation of the child.  It's beautiful.  And not new.....


Food For Thought

I promise not to use food for anything else but consumption.  And repurpose our water usage for nature.  Sounds like a funny promise?  Well, think hard, teachers.....

For eleven years I have been using beans for my pouring work.  Quinoa for my spooning work.  Cereal for necklaces.  Flour & Salt in my special play dough.  It has to stop in my class and in my home.  This is food, and it's being wasted.  That's a shame, and I promise to stop.  Can you?

When I rethink anything about the classroom, and it requires a change I always tell my students, "Teachers are always thinking" to avoid lengthy over-their-heads-teacher-talk.  This one, I will be sure  to explain my answer.  I will be sure to tell my little 3-6 year olds that not everyone has the food they need.  So, I'll have to think of something else.  Here's a small list (keep in mind, children who put things in their mouths should not be around these items):

beadsstonessandmarblesacornsfish tank stonessea…

Montessori Teacher, A Prepared Self

Teachers need renewal, just like any profession.  Montessori Teachers require a bit of a different 'up keep' of sorts, and sometimes it's an active choice to maintain our particular level of self-care.  Below is a small list that helps me in my teaching practice.

Find an outlet. For creativity.  For inspiration.  For decompressing.  Being a teacher (any type of teacher!) requires that you leave all of your outside-of-the-classroom baggage at the door.  Able to greet each child- each and every day- with a warm and open heart.   It takes an active plan within each of us to keep that magic going.  Try:  artmusicvolunteeringyoga & meditationreadingwritingdancinghikingcookingsewing/knittingbuilding and tinkeringGo to a Montessori Conference or Session.American Montessori Society, Association Montessori Internationale, North American Montessori Teachers Association.  Or, go visit your training center.  The Montessori Training I attended accepts students back for refreshers …