Events of the Month
May 12th from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m: Infants, Toddlers and Casa children are going to be celebrating their Moms in the Casa playground area. Moms, make sure that you bring your running shoes and lots of energy to enjoy a marvelous afternoon with your child. Children are going to be preparing some delicious snacks too!
May 19th: NO SCHOOL| Teachers will attend an all-day conference during our PD Day.
May 22nd: NO SCHOOL | Victoria Day
May 23rd & 24th: Stream of Dreams | We have received our "cut fish" by our local high school St. Aloysius of Gonzaga. The fish are painted the basic blue and white and are waiting for the project day when we paint our final pictures. We will be sending home stencils soon so the children can practice and take their time coming up with creative ideas for decorating. May 23 and May 24 will be our project days with Credit Valley Conservation. Please come to the front lobby to have a closer look at the actual fish before we paint.
May 26: Planting & Unveiling Ceremony | The children have been growing vegetables in their classrooms and they are finally ready to plant them outside! You can join the planting ceremony from 10am -11am. Afterwards, the Credit Valley Conservation will be attaching the fish to our fences in a beautiful work of art. Toddler and Infant parents are welcome to participate, we hope to repeat the project and grow our mural in the next years.
May - June: Memory Album | Parent Association is fundraising with "School Years Memory Album." This Album is a record book of your child's school years, starting in Pre-School and growing with your child until Grade 12. Parents can fill the envelopes with photos, cards, artwork, ribbons and more. We will place the order at the end of May, so all the parents can receive their albums in early June. Parents please feel free to come by the front lobby and see the quality of the album pages for yourselves!
June 10 from 8am to 12pm: Garage Sale | Kaban families, as you "spring clean" please keep aside items you would like to contribute to our community garage sale. We will be collecting items the week before (books, CD's, toys, DVD's, clothes, kitchen items, etc). The Garage Sale will be open to the community and we will be advertising in the local Mississauga news.
June 26: End of Year Picnic | Please save the date ... and we will announce more details in the June newsletter!
Did you know...
Since 1952, the Monday before May 24 has been celebrated with fireworks and festivities as Victoria Day even though Queen Victoria, whose birthday is being honored, had been dead for many years. Throughout the British Empire in the 19th century it was the custom to celebrate the monarch’s birthday officially. Queen Victoria ruled for so many years that Canadians got accustomed to having a holiday on the 24th of May. And so her birthday has become a permanent Canadian holiday, except in Quebec where the holiday is called Fȇte de Dollard des Ormeaux.
Montessori education provides a prepared environment in which children can develop themselves emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and intellectually. A prepared environment does not mean reproducing the adult world in miniature, or distorting reality into a make-believe paradise in which the children’s wishes and fantasies are the only things considered. Rather, it should bring the world at large within reach of the child.
In order to achieve this, the prepared environment should meet certain general requirements. First, it should be attractive and practical, and reflect the organization and order necessary for a community to function properly. The rules used to achieve this should be valid for all. They ought to be derived not from the adult’s wish to impose his authority, but from a desire to allow independent activity. The prepared environment should create purposeful activities that will stimulate the interest of the children in a way that will further their general development. It must also be arranged so the children may carry out these activities in their own way and at their own rate. The environment should not be centered on a single function or skill, but appeal to a child’s whole personality. Moreover, there should be ample opportunity in the environment for the child to practice, work through, and integrate their previous skills into their new task, essentially creating a interdisciplinary approach. This should also be true with regard to general behavior. Children should feel comfortable in the prepared environment. The furniture and any objects in the environment should be adapted to the children’s smaller stature, so that there are no physical obstacles that may prevent the children from participating in the same tasks as adults. Finally, the prepared environment should contain material purposely constructed and selected to provide the children with the means of having certain basic experiences pertinent to their development.
Adapted from Education for Human Development: Understanding Montessori by Mario M. Montessori, Jr.
Realistic and Relaxed
Scarcely a day goes by without a reminder about how parents need to talk to their babies, feed them healthy foods, keep them safe, limit screen time, get them outside, etc. The demands are endless! Being a parent today can be stressful, but it can also be relaxing and enjoyable. By implementing a few Montessori principles, you can become a more relaxed parent, secure in the knowledge that your child has what he needs to grow, learn, and thrive. Dr. Maria Montessori developed her theories early in the twentieth century, based on careful observations of infants and young children. Though our world has changed greatly since then, the basic nature of the child is universal and has not changed. Three basic steps will keep you on the right track. These steps are often intertwined, not always separate. They are:
"Observe, Prepare, and Respect."
Observing and Preparing
Take a moment and recall how you prepared for the arrival of your first child - learning about pregnancy, staying healthy, knowing what to expect, fixing the nursery, reading childcare books, taking classes, researching products, procedures, and possibilities. Then remember how in the first few weeks at home with the baby, there was little time to focus on anything other than diapering and feeding. But, as you practiced being a parent and perfected new skills like changing diapers, waking in the dark to feed a hungry baby, or fitting your baby into the car seat, it all fell into place and became somewhat predictable - at least for a while.
One day you observed that the clothes no longer fit, so you got the next size up to make your child comfortable. As the baby began to be mobile, you rearranged the nursery so he could safely explore the toys you carefully placed within his reach. The nursery was originally organized to make it easy and convenient for you, the adult. Now you, the adult, must adapt the environment to address your young child's needs.
The observe/prepare sequence will continue and repeat as your child grows. There are many resources available to help parents understand what children need at different stages such as Montessori Insights for Young Children by Aline Wolf. In a Montessori Home outlines specific ideas for preparing the home environment. You can also refer to our Ideas and Insights Article Archive.
Respecting the Young Child
You can learn to understand how your child thinks, and then teach him how to perform the tasks he wants to accomplish. Adapt household jobs according to his age and ability. He will feel proud to be a contributing member of the family. Keep in mind the following:
- Respect your child as an individual member of the family. Do this by observing and putting yourself in her head. Stand back and leave her free to work things out for herself - even if it takes her ten minutes to put the cap back on the toothpaste. Try to understand her unique rhythm.
- Give your child simple norms of behavior - children appreciate knowing what to do and how to do it. You can explain to them, "This is how we do it in our family." Continue to show your child how to perform a task until it becomes an internalized routine, as repetition is important in developing a skill. Once learned, your child will take pleasure in this continued repetition.
- If your child is not mature enough to understand abstract reasoning, do not try to reason with her. Somewhere between the ages of five and eight, her ability to reason develops. Logical consequences are not appropriate before a child is able to reason. Accept your child's egocentricity; wait for maturation patiently.
- Teach by teaching (demonstrating), not by correcting, as children might give up making an effort when they are corrected. If your child makes a mistake, demonstrate the correct way on another day, so she can try again.
- Organize your home so your child can explore, move, and touch. Have child-proof rooms where toys are within reach. Allocate a cupboard or drawer in the kitchen for your toddler. If there is space, add a child-size table and chair for projects and snacks. Exploration, after all, is the key to learning.
- Do not interrupt a child who is trying to figure things out or who is concentrating on an activity. However, be realistic and maintain the family schedule - the parents are the keepers of the routines. It's fine to interrupt with a reminder that in five minutes we'll be leaving for school or eat dinner.
Follow the Routine and Relax
Be as consistent as you can - routines give children a sense of security and calm that enable them to learn and adapt to new situations. Rest assured, your child will grow and thrive even if you aren't perfect (no one is). Just follow these basics and relax!
"Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is acquired not by listening but by experience in the environment."
- Maria Montessori , The Secret of Childhood
—by Jane M. Jacobs, M.A., Montessori Educational Consultant at Montessori Services. She is a trained primary Montessori directress and also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has taught children aged 2 to 7 years in Montessori schools, Headstart, and also in a preschool for children with developmental challenges. In her counseling practice, she helps individuals, couples, and families.
—Originally Published 2015