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Thursday, Sept. 4 • 8:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.

pink towerMontessori education is designed to maximize development of your young child’s brain power. How? Join Head of School, Lynn Fisher, at September’s First Thursday as she unlocks the secrets of how an authentic Montessori program works. Little House & Children’s House parents are invited to attend this monthly program held at the Toledo Campus. This month’s event is Thursday, Sept. 4, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. and again from 3:45-4:45 p.m. Come and discover your child’s super powers!

First Thursday is a monthly parent education program presented by West Side Montessori faculty. Any family is welcome to attend! First Thursdays are opportunities for parents in our community to learn more about Montessori through the eyes of children, teachers, and other Montessori parents. Make plans to come, meet other parents, and learn more about the Montessori method.

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Head of School Lynn Fisher walks on WSM’s wooded trails.

The urge for adventure, exploring outdoors, is one of the joys of childhood. This summer, in addition to the zoo and our 12 amazing Metroparks of the Toledo Area, take your children for a walk on the wild side to one of the more isolated nature preserves in the area. One of my favorites is Irwin Prairie located on West Bancroft Street just west of Irwin Road. A boardwalk winds through the wet woods to Irwin Rd. and then crosses the wet prairie to an isolated observation deck.  There you feel like you are in a remote location. There are no crowds, no thrilling rides, but if you stay very still and listen very carefully a blue damselfly might land nearby or a frog dive into the water.

Traveling farther west and north of Airport Highway, at 10420 Old State Line Rd, west of Eber Rd., Kitty Todd Preserve has one of the highest concentrations of rare species of any nature preserve in the state. Explore the low lying wetlands and sand dunes any day between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and you may see wild lupine in bloom and glimpse an endangered karner blue butterfly. Have you ever seen an earth star? Before you go, have your school-age children use their Internet savvy to research some of the plants and animals found in the Oak Openings area of northwest Ohio. Or take a side trip to your local library to discover what awaits you.

Travel doesn’t have to be at a great distance to open children’s minds and hearts. What matters is leaving the comfort of the familiar and introducing them to a world apart from their own. Cultivate a sense of wonder in your children by stepping out and into the natural world where their senses will be reawakened and mysteries revealed.

Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray!

Lynn Fisher, Head of School

Lynn Fisher, Head of School

How will your children spend their time this summer? Riding bikes? Swimming? Playing with friends? Attending summer camps or classes? Relaxing and reading?

What about screen-time, the amount of time watching TV, playing video games or using mobile devices? We are in an era of accelerating screen-time for children of all ages. Current research shows an average of 7+ hours per day of screen-time for young children and as screen-time increases the amount of sleep-time decreases.

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) the use of media is the leading activity for children and teenagers other than sleeping and there is considerable evidence that a bedroom TV increases the risk for obesity, substance use, and exposure to sexual content. The AAP now recommends limiting screen time for children to 1-2 hours per day and discourages exposure to all screen media for children under age two.

Many child development experts are concerned. When children are physically engaged in a challenging activity, like learning to walk or ride a bike or skate, their brains are stretched; muscles are strengthened; coordination improves. Children’s brains are elastic and grow the most during the first 10 years of life through lots of physical and mental exercise.

Social and emotional development is equally important and is dependent on human interactions. Children learn to read body language and appropriate behavior from experience, trial and error. The less time children interact with peers and nurturing adults, the less time to develop life skills that determine success.

How are your children spending their time this summer? Encourage them to get outside and move, stretch their bodies and minds, develop friendships through play and shared experience, and savor summer with time to relax and rejuvenate. Come to think of it, we could all benefit from more outdoor play.

Fisher_picHow do you nurture a child to become his or her best self? Lovingly, tenderly, slowly, just like in nature. The transformation from baby to adult human being takes a full 24 years from birth to maturity. West Side Montessori capitalizes on the critical early childhood period of development through the tween years with insight and expertise by providing enriched learning opportunities as well as the time and opportunity for children to investigate their world so they develop the confidence to reach for the stars.

While exploring West Side’s 37 acres of woods, meadows, pond and swales tiny children may discover skunk cabbage or feel the velvety leaves of marsh mullein while older children collect and learn the parts of native prairie plants, classify those plants by phylum, study the ecology of the Oak Openings and plant reproduction, and tend their own gardens. By middle school the pond becomes their classroom again when students collect and analyze water samples in preparation for community involvement in our local Maumee River Watershed Watch program.

Our highly-trained and experienced Montessori certified teachers create enticing indoor and outdoor classroom environments full of abundant learning materials where children challenge themselves and ask for more. An atmosphere of shared learning creates a peaceful and purposeful learning community. At each age and stage of growth West Side Montessori students cultivate high level skills and develop creativity and leadership. Each child gains independence as natural curiosity blossoms into a love of learning at West Side.

Montessori students develop a high degree of self-knowledge and grow up to be creative problem solvers and leaders who face the challenges of the future with grace, confidence, and tenacity.

Come and see for yourself how your child can grow with Montessori.

Warm regards,

Lynn Fisher
Head of School

 

Fisher_pic

Cultivating the spirit of giving in children at an early age is important because it fosters a sense of belonging and self-worth. Very young children want to help. Encouraging them in simple acts of kindness such as bringing mommy a diaper for the new baby or helping daddy wash the car validates their place in the family. So what if their actions are incomplete or imprecise?

Your appreciation for their efforts makes their hearts sing.

Encouraging young children to reach beyond themselves and care for others is essential for healthy social development. Parents want their children to have friends, to learn give and take, to reach beyond themselves. This takes practice. It’s not easy for young children to put others first.

The situations you create for your child to care for others should be real. From little ones carrying a box of tissues to a sick sibling to big kids unloading groceries from the car, each act of kindness should be rewarded with genuine affection.

It’s important to explain to pre-school children why you go to visit a grandparent, or give money to a cause you value. The impression you make on tender young minds is validated by the actions that support your words.

When I hear of a 10 year-old forgoing birthday party presents and requesting contributions for a food bank instead, I know that the parents have thoughtfully developed a caring child who takes real pride in being a contributing member of society. The internal rewards are sustainable and help to develop social beings that can create a better world.