Lilac Room is a Little House classroom on the Toledo Campus. Janell Butts and Bridgett Miller are the classroom’s co-teachers.
Posted by Iris
It’s hard to believe it’s the middle of December already! At this time of year the children have really settled in and the classroom runs quite smoothly. Their growing independence is amazing to see, from hanging up their own coats and backpacks, to putting their work away when they are finished.
One of the most frequently asked question’s is “What can we do at home to help our child?” The answer includes some surprisingly simple things to complement what is done at school. One of our primary goals is the education and nurturing of the whole child. We do not place more emphasis on social development versus academic or vice versa. We begin by reinforcing a child’s natural sense of order and encouraging independence.
At home, there are also many opportunities to nurture and encourage your child’s independence. Children love to dust tables, water the plants and sweep the floors. Choosing her own clothing and dressing herself can also be an exciting event for a child. Children are proud of their accomplishments, and dressing themselves is quite an achievement.
The winter break may seem long to children used to coming to school on a daily basis and even longer for those who only come two or three days a week. Sometimes the winter break seems even longer for the parents than the children. If it is impossible to develop a routine during these times, try a simple, special and familiar activity.
Keep in mind your child’s temperament when making plans. What is fun for one child may be overwhelming for another. For example, when traveling, on shopping trips, or at family gatherings, your child may show signs of stress by becoming clingy, whiny, resistant, or by throwing tantrums. When these behaviors begin to occur, step back and take a look at what is going on in your child’s life right now. Have nap or bed times been off schedule? Is your child receiving to much adult attention? (Relatives love to shower children with attention.) What about you? Are you feeling stressed? Children are very good at picking up non-verbal clues and may become distressed because they feel your tension.
Now that you know what some of the stress producers can be, you can take steps to minimize the effects. Keep the child’s daily routine as much the same as possible, especially eating and sleeping. For big family dinners away from home, very young children may feel more comfortable eating from their own dishes. If your child balks at the introduction of new foods, make sure some familiar foods are available. This is not the time to pick a battle over food.
When children are feeling overwhelmed, fussy, silly, or overactive, take the time for a quiet break. Go for a walk, find a quiet place to watch a calm video or take a nap. This will give your child a chance to regroup and may lower everyone’s stress level. To keep this time enjoyable, simple is better!
Our children can spend quite a long time using our special homemade playdough. Not only does it strengthen developing muscles, but it also allows for creative play. The receipe follows and the children LOVE helping to make it as well!
PLAY DOUGH RECIPE
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 cup water
(you may add food coloring if desired)
Mix all of the above ingredients in a pan and cook for approx. 3-5 min, stirring consistently
Remove from pan while still a little “wet” and knead with your hands
First Thursday: Handwriting Without Tears
Posted by West Side Montessori
West Side Montessori
Children’s House Teachers present
Thursday, Dec. 4
Perrysburg & Toledo Campus
Children’s House teachers are introducing a new handwriting curriculum to students this year called Handwriting Without Tears. At this month’s First Thursday program, parents have an opportunity to learn more about the program and how to support your child in learning about handwriting.
Throughout the year, First Thursday is a chance for parents and friends of our community to learn more about Montessori through the eyes of children, teachers, and other Montessori parents.
Feel free to bring siblings not in school to the program. This is a family-friendly event! There is free child care at the Toledo Campus for the afternoon presentation.
Posted by Lilac
Lilac friends are thankful for music that gets our feet dancing. The Little House Sing-A-Long, held in the library, was very much enjoyed by all as we sang some favorites including: “Down by the Bay”, “Wheels on the Bus”, and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” with new verses.
We also have tried several traditional Thanksgiving recipes at snack time. Our try-it-you-might-like-it recipes included: sautéed green beans, cornbread muffins, butternut squash, pumpkin fluff, and cranberry pineapple relish. Please enjoy these favorites with your family!
1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin
1 box sugar free vanilla pudding
8 oz cool whip
pumpkin pie spices
Mix all ingredients together. Chill covered. Serve with graham crackers or gingersnaps. Also tastes great with apple slices!
Cranberry Pineapple Relish
1 box sugar free black cherry jello
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple
1 can whole cranberry sauce
Drain pineapple and reserve juice. Use juice, plus add water for 1 cup to dissolve jello. Add cranberry sauce and pineapples. Mix well. Chill covered.
Posted by Lilac
Practical Life is the backbone of the Montessori classroom. It isolates skills which lead to concentration, coordination, confidence,independence, and a sense of order. The refinement of movement and attention to detail within the activities prepare the child for a lifetime of learning.
Practical Life exercises are clear, simple, and have a concrete purpose. Many of the skills the child acquires through practical life exercises are applied to the other work he will do in the Montessori classroom.
Posted by Lilac
Sensitive Periods, a term used by Dr. Maria Montessori, is defined as a period of time in which the child concentrates on one specific aspect of the environment to the exclusion of everything else.
Sensitive Periods vary from child to child. Each Sensitive Period may last a week, a month or up to a year, depending on the child and his needs. As the child becomes intensely focused on one aspect of his environment, interest in others may wane. This is only temporary. Once the child has fulfilled his need and satisfied his interest for what he is seeking, the Sensitive Period will end just as quickly as it began.
As teachers, we observe each child daily. We note when a child repeats one type of activity with intensity and focus. We notice that nothing seems to deter him from this inner drive to accomplish his task until the desire is satisfied.
A child’s strong desire to explore the environment through all of his senses occurs from birth to age six. Through this sensory learning, he absorbs the qualities of the objects in his environment and seeks to act upon them. It is critical to the child’s development that he is exposed to language as he explores the world around him. He must have objects to freely explore and be surrounded by a plethora of sounds in order to develop his language.
A child’s need for movement is the most readily apparent Sensitive Period to adults. This need to move starts at birth and continues through six years of age. Children are very capable of and enjoy going for long walks. Regardless of the weather, our Lilac Room children are ready to go out for a walk!
Grace and Courtesy are important elements of both the prepared environment and community building. The environment is prepared in such a manner that promotes grace and courtesy from the moment the child crosses the threshold. Each child is greeted individually, by name, upon arrival. Teachers get down to the child’s level and speak in a respectful quiet voice. The child is encouraged to ask for, receive and provide assistance to his classmates. Snack preparation, table setting, folding laundry and washing dishes are all community building activities that naturally occur as the child interacts freely in his environment. Grace and courtesy are modeled for the younger child (birth to three years old) while the older child (three to six years) often gives lessons on using polite manners and being courteous.
“The small child walks to develop his powers, he is building up his being. He goes slowly. He has neither rhythmic step nor goal. But things around him allure him and urge him forward. “– Maria Montessori.