Don’t forget about the big questions

Dear Friends, In Montessori circles, you will hear the term “Cosmic Education”  used.  In many ways, Cosmic Education lies at the heart of Montessori philosophy.  Its aim is to present a curriculum and learning environment in a way that captures the child’s imagination and reveals the interconnectedness of all things.  Categories, subjects of study, and classifications are  specialized and important ways to think about the world, however, at life’s core, these boundaries are more fluid, blurred and symbiotic.  One of the most profound ways of understanding this is through the old cliche, but astonishing truth, that we are all made …

Acts of kindness with a video

Dear Friends, Every day at TNSM, I witness acts of kindness: A Montessori material spills and two or three students quietly join to help with the clean up. A child sits alone and is invited by others to join a game. A student forgets to put his rug away and a friend rolls it up and places it in the basket. Alfred Adler, an early leader in psychology and student of Maria Montessori, said the primary need of every child is to feel a sense of belonging and significance. One way that children learn the significance of their own actions …

The New School Montessori Specials

  Hello Friends, What a beautiful end to the week. The weather has been perfect! On Thursday and Friday, our Specials Programs began for our (6-12) year-olds as they cycled through Music, Art, Appreciating Differences, and Spanish. At the New School Montessori, we understand how the arts are integral to cognitive development and self-discovery. Through our Spanish, Music, Art, and Appreciating Differences programs, our teachers promote an understanding of multiple cultures and traditions, help children develop social skills, empathy, creating thinking, self-awareness and cooperation. Our arts programming increases student engagement and cognitive flexibility as well as teaches children both what …

Have a great (slow) weekend

The first few days of school are a major milestone for your child. It’s a huge one for you, too. I still remember what it was like to drop our oldest son, Jakob, off in the (3-6).  He cried. A lot.  It went against all my parenting instincts to walk away before he had calmed down.  I knew how important it was to show him that I trusted the amazing teachers he was with, by telling him that I loved him and that he was in good hands, but then turn and go.  He was fine 10 minutes later.  I …

A new year is upon us.

Hello Friends, A new year is upon us.  I have always loved the school year cycle.  There seems to be something intrinsically human about it.  The rhythm of it..  Maybe it’s the midwesterner in me, but I love the way a school year follows the seasons.  The frenzy at the end of summer, the welcomed return of routine that comes with fall, winter’s rituals and important reminders around temporality and renewal, and spring’s confident bloom – no matter what.  You can never hold back spring. We look forward to seeing all of you as we begin a new journey into …

A New Journey Begins

Hello Friends, Next week a new journey begins.  The 21/22 academic year will be full of discovery, joy, and growth.  As you finish up your back-to-school shopping, we are busy preparing our beautiful learning environments in a way that embraces and informs your child.  Dr. Maria Montessori said, “The first aim of the prepared environment, as far as it is possible, is to render the growing child independent of the adult.”    As Montessori educators, we know that children yearn for independence. This can be a difficult transition.  It is a challenge to step back and watch your child struggle …

The Last Days of School

  “We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.” -M. Montessori Hello Friends, What an extraordinary year!  Each of you had a hand in making it a success.  Thank you.  We truly could not have done it without everyone working together.  When I think back to the first week of school, (it feels like a hundred years ago) I will never forget standing outside watching children play tag, climb trees, and fill the campus with laughter and joyful noise.  I …

Thanks

Hello Friends, I cannot believe we are almost at the end of the academic year. It is hard to put into words the level of gratitude I feel toward our parent, student, and staff community. Early in the pandemic, I wrote a lot about the meaning of community. How, at the core of it, we are asked to put others’ needs before our own. To think about the “greatest good for the greatest number.” To wear masks, avoid crowds, restrict travel, socially distance – not only for our own safety – but for the most vulnerable among us. Each of …

A Mother’s Day Message

Hello Friends, This weekend is Mother’s Day. I have recently learned this national holiday has a strange and complicated history including the originator of the day, Anna Jarvis (1920), lobbying hard to remove it from the calendar due to how commercialized it had become.   Like many holidays, Mother’s Day has taken on a life of its own, detached from its historical roots. For some of us, it is a time to reflect, honor, and mourn a mother we have lost. For others, it is a day of thanks for the mothers still living and loving in our lives. Mother’s …

An Amazing Metamorphosis

In Montessori classrooms, you will hear a lot about life cycles. In fact, you will hear a lot about cycles in general; water cycles (evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection), three-year cycles (the three-year Montessori curriculum), and even the three-hour work cycle in (3-6) environments. As Montessorians, we value and honor the phases everything and everyone passes through. Each phase is significant and important in itself. Infant, child, adolescent, and adult. Spring, summer, fall, and winter. Morning, afternoon, and night. In our pre primary classrooms, teachers and students observed the metamorphoses of butterflies unfolding over the past few weeks: egg, caterpillar, …