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Children`s House 1 Updates and Highlights

February 2019 Highlights  

Children’s House 1 and 2

A Montessori Children's House is a developmentally appropriate environment for children aged three to six. Children learn through play, through their hands, and through manipulating materials. Together, we refer to this as work. When Dr. Maria Montessori began studying children, she honored their way of interacting with their environment with the word "work" because it better described the child's process of developing herself. Your child is working on their development each day! Of course, we don't ask them, "so how was your development today?" so how can you talk to your child about their work?

Much of the work your child engages with inside the children's house is not product oriented and therefore can't be brought home. They can't take home the discovery they made about length with the red rods or the clean dishes they washed independently after preparing a snack for themselves. When things do come home, it is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and share in the child's work. A common and natural reaction is to praise the child on their work. What is more beneficial is a conversation around their work. As an alternative to praise, you may ask your child how they feel about their work. This promotes self-drive and validation. It also gives the child the chance to build their spoken language skills. You may also invite your child to discuss their work without making assumptions. For example, "Tell me about your picture. What have you created?" can open up a conversation. 

Sometimes we hear from parents that children have a hard time remembering what they did during the day. This is natural as children are building their short term memory. 

If this is your experience sometimes, consider promoting your child with one of these questions:

  • What work are you excited about? What presentation are you looking forward to?
  • How were you a helper today?
  • Did something unexpected happen today? 

Remember, that even as adults we don't always want to talk about our days when we leave work. Children are not so very different in this regard. A great way to experience the kinds of things your child could be engaging with each day is through observations. Our Children's Houses are a living community and are best understood through direct experience.

January 2019 Highlights  

Language comes alive in a myriad of ways in Children's House 1. Indeed, Maria Montessori herself referred to language as an instrument of collective thought. While the younger members of our community are focusing on developing their spoken language that will act as a building block for writing and reading, the elders of our community are discovering new ways to express themselves through language.

In addition to standard English, many of the children in our community have been inspired to learn sign language, as a form of language and communication.

In our philosophy 50% of a child's first year in the Children's House should be in spoken language. The children of Children's House 1 love to discover and create jokes, riddles, stories, and songs. Currently, a large group of children has begun its journey into cursive writing on paper. Not only is this a great skill for elementary and beyond, it opens the possibility for the children to put their wonderful imaginations onto paper through expression of Language.

Language is everywhere in the Children's House, from Birthday celebrations to math presentations!

December 2018 Highlights  

Independence is something that all Montessori environments hope to inspire in its community members. Every aspect of the Children’s House is designed to foster independence in even the youngest of its inhabitants. While we most often think of children working independently, there are endless opportunities to develop this asset. 

In Children’s House 1, the community is perhaps most independent during times of transition. Moments such as lunch set-up, clean-up, and end of the day care of environment are perfect opportunities for the individual independence of children to produce beautiful community moments, anchored in joy.

November 2018 Highlights  

Children’s House has always enjoyed caring for our environment. Some of the opportunities include dusting, washing cloths, and caring for plants.

Now that it is Fall many children have chosen to extend that care to our outdoor environment. The benefits of caring for the environment are not just in keeping a space tidy. It helps to build attention to detail as well as community. Plus, we get to play in a leaf pile after raking it!

October 2018 Highlights  

As the weather cools, Children’s House 1 has begun delving into more work in our cozy environment. However, we’re not afraid to go outside. So long as everyone is properly attired, we will brave the elements as long as we can! 

Inside, the children and adults have been inspiring each other to great heights. We now have more than one child taking all pieces out of some of our lager puzzle maps and putting them back without assistance. All children who write with instruments have taken joy in practicing cursive letters on our chalkboards. Outside of what is being presented, many children have found ways to extend their work with some materials in an explorative fashion. 

September 2018 Highlights  

We are having an exciting first month of school. Returning children have been welcoming and helpful to all of the new children. We have spent a lot of time getting to know each other and enjoying the last weeks of warm weather. Most children seem to really love the end of the day in which we all work together to prepare the environment for the next day!