Friday, July 31, 2009

Montessori Parenting: Full Time or Part Time Preschool?

NAMC montessori parenting full time or part time preschool boy playing with geometric solidsGuest Contributor: NAMC graduate, Robert Thompson

Robert Thompson, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. is the owner/principal of Willowglen Montessori School in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, established in 2000 and providing Montessori education for Toddlers through to grade 6. We are delighted to welcome Robert as a guest contributor to the NAMC web blog, and to share an article from his Principal’s Corner:

Dear Principal,
I am planning to enroll my son in a preschool program next September. Is part time or full time better? Ideally 2 full days a week would give me time to get my work done while he was at school but is this too much or too little for him?
Mrs. Gonzales

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, July 31, 2009.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Group Problem Solving with Montessori Teachers Helping Teachers

NAMC montessori teachers helping teachers group problem solving
Before I left my Montessori teaching position to be at home with my son, I shared a Montessori classroom with the best co-teacher. If one of us was struggling or challenged with something, the other would notice from across the room and find a way to assist. Before and after the school day, we spent a lot of time discussing and brainstorming our observations of our Montessori students and the classroom environment.

Sometimes, we had a situation with a student, or a curricular or logistical issue, that was particularly challenging. To resolve this type of issue, we employed a special role-playing/ brainstorming process introduced to all of our staff at our regular faculty meetings. Our school likes to refer to this process as “Teachers Helping Teachers”.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, July 24, 2009.

Montessori Music Curriculum: Fun With Composers Program

“…There should be music in the child’s environment, just as there does exist in the child’s environment spoken speech. In the social environment the child should be considered and music should be provided.”
- Maria Montessori, Lecture #13, p. 9,London, 1931
NAMC montessori music curriculum fun with composers program children playing music
Educators, behavioral scientists and researchers, medical professionals, and child development specialists are confirming that musical training can significantly enhance child development. Several studies indicate that exposure to music— listening, learning, and playing music, does have beneficial effects for children of preschool and elementary age. Active musical training, in particular, can improve their problem-solving skills, physical coordination, poise, concentration, memory, visual, aural and language skills, self-discipline, as well as their self-confidence and ability to learn.

The purpose of the Montessori musical program is to develop the children’s nonverbal affective communication, to increase their understanding and enjoyment of music within our culture, and to enhance their ability to express themselves through music. For many Montessori teachers who do not have a formal music background, creating and implementing a rich music curriculum can be daunting. This is why NAMC is always looking for ways to enhance our programs and offer resources in specific disciplines for Montessori educators.

A few years ago, NAMC was introduced to Deborah Lyn Ziolkoski, an educator and music specialist who has developed the Fun with Composers classical music series. This is a dynamic music program that is simple to implement and follow, and designed to develop in children a true love and appreciation for classical music. Today, Fun with Composers is being integrated into preschool and elementary music and piano curriculum around the world.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on .

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Montessori Parenting: Thoughts on Consequences and Positive Discipline Techniques

NAMC montessori parenting consequences positive discipline boy crying
Another reader comment about the Natural and Logical Consequences blog, comes from a mother who states that she has been trying for some years to deal with misbehavior around play dates in a similar fashion as my anecdote suggests, but without sustained success. She reasoned that my child must have a very different temperament from hers.

First, let me start by saying I often hear parents of my Montessori students tell me something similar, such as: “They only behave for Miss Michelle” or “I tried to be like Miss Michelle but my kids just ignore me.” These parents seem to think that I have a magic wand that I wave and their children are, somehow magically, “good.”

To be sure, there was regression on my son’s part, as well. Consistency was key with him, and as we worked toward a respectful solution, I obtained some helpful tips and tools along the way, and will share a small sampling here in the hope that it provides some assistance for our readers.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, July 23, 2009.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Montessori Parenting - Practical Life Challenges: Getting Dressed

NAMC montessori practical life parenting getting dressed mom and girl blow bubbles
My recent blog on Natural and Logical Consequences has generated some empathetic comments, so we've decided to offer some further thoughts about specific stories that our readers have shared.

The first is from a mother whose two-year-old daughter resists dressing, either with or without assistance. Trying to dress a reluctant toddler can certainly be a challenge. You may try to begin the process by telling her ahead of time what is going to happen. “After breakfast, we are going to change out of your pajamas and into your play clothes so we can go to Grandma’s house.” This way, she knows and is prepared for what is coming next. When it is time to change clothes, remember to give her limited choices so she has a sense of having some control over the situation. Too many choices can be overwhelming to a toddler and will lead to discontent.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, July 17, 2009.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Montessori Intern and Master Teacher – A Shared Experience

NAMC Montessori teacher and intern shared experience writing in binder
It is my belief that the thing which we should cultivate in our teachers is more the spirit than the mechanical skill of the scientist; that is, the direction of the preparation should be toward the spirit rather than toward the mechanism.
-Maria Montessori. The Montessori Method. Dover Publications. 2002. pg 9

When I finished my 3-6 Montessori training I was excited about stepping into my new role, that of a loving and respectful guide of young children. Although I had a background in public education, I was relatively new to the Montessori method. I had enjoyed my Montessori training, and was looking forward to my first year as a Montessori educator.

During the interview process, I was pleasantly surprised to receive several job offers. This illustrated to me that Montessori-trained teachers continue to be in great demand, and it highlighted for me the importance of nurturing new Montessori teachers.

One of the tenets of the Montessori approach is a shared community for optimum learning, which applies to Montessori educators as well as their students. The first year of any teaching career is one that is rich with new experiences and learning opportunities. More and more Montessori schools are recognizing the importance of this first year by offering a collaborative approach to professional development whereby the new Montessori teacher is able to hone her/his skills by practicing the Montessori Method and procedures with the guidance and leadership of a more experienced Montessori teacher.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Montessori Parenting: Logical and Natural Consequences

When my son was in kindergarten, I used to dread play dates. Everything would be fine until it was time to leave. My son would cry, whine, bargain for more time, and refuse to get in the car. The last straw was when his grandfather went to pick him up. Grandfather found him hiding in a closet, and had to carry him to the car, crying. Something, obviously, had to be done!

Punishment & Reward
Dr. Montessori believed that using rewards & punishment inhibits the development of self-discipline. Rewards and punishment deny children the opportunity to make their own decisions and to be responsible for their own behavior. Rather than learning how to analyze situations and make wise decisions, children may make decisions based on what an adult might do to (punishment) or for (reward) them.

Logical and Natural Consequences in the Montessori Environment.
Our goal as Montessori parents is to raise independent, productive citizens of the world. The purpose of defining and understanding natural and logical consequences is to motivate and allow children to make responsible decisions, not to force their submission.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, July 9, 2009.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Importance of Infant Parent Interaction in the Montessori Method

NAMC montessori method importance of toddler parent interaction mother and child All children need a laptop. Not a computer, but a human laptop. Moms, Dads, Grannies and Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles – someone to hold them, read to them, teach them. Loved ones who will embrace them and pass on the experience, rituals and knowledge of a hundred previous generations. Loved ones who will pass to the next generation their expectations of them, their hopes, and their dreams.
-- General Colin L. Powell, Founder, America’s Promise – the Alliance for Youth.

So much of Dr. Maria Montessori’s original theory and philosophy concerning early childhood development and education remains relevant today, over one hundred years later. Montessori claimed that education begins at birth. Simply stated, it is the family that serves as the most important environment for a child. Families today may look different from what they did in the time of Dr. Montessori – single parents, working parents, grandparents as parents – but they still serve the same important function, to love the children in the family, protect them, and to nourish them physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, July 7, 2009.
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As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.

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