Sunday, June 23, 2019

Water Safety Tips for your Little Swimmer

Water is fascinating for children who may not be aware of the dangers it poses. Your private elementary school children will benefit from observing some simple safety tips designed both for parents and children. These tips will help you and your children enjoy safe outings this summer.

The Buddy System

It is a great idea for anyone who gets in the water to be accompanied by someone else. Having a buddy along will reduce the dangers of drowning and provide faster attention is something goes wrong. At home, parents should observe the Buddy System as a matter of example, and always have the child or others along during pool time. For Montessori preschool students, the buddy system can be thought of as an extension of sharing and interacting in the classroom.

Avoid Temptation from Toys

Toys left in the pool after playtime is over can be dangerous. A small child may notice a floating toy or object and get into trouble while innocently trying to recover it. To avoid this, always make sure the pool is free of floating devices and tempting toys when the pool is not in use.

Supervise Constantly

There is no substitute for supervision at the poolside. Dire situations can pop up at a moment’s notice, and only a responsible adult at the scene will make things turn out happily. It is better to pause the water play when you have to walk away or use the phone and could make all the difference in the world. There will be plenty of opportunities to play when you are present and alert.

Fences and Locks

Many locations have community laws and regulations in place to help protect children. A suitable fence around the pool area is always a good idea, for example. Additionally, install child-proof locks and other hardware to prevent entry when no one is around. Because most clasps and catches can be logically deduced, the best option is to always use a locking mechanism which requires a key or combination to open.

 The American Red Cross has put together a detailed list of water safety tips with more advice regarding children and how to prevent drowning. Don’t overlook the value of professional swimming lessons, either, especially with little ones who are just getting acquainted with the pool.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A Typical Day at Montessori School

The important thing to remember about Montessori daycare and preschool is that the teacher’s role is to guide and assist, not direct and focus. Aside from the times when the class participates as a group, the teacher may be assisting one child on her project while observing the other students. Having multi-age classrooms helps in this respect by allowing older, more experienced children to assist their younger classmates when the student guide is occupied with another task.

Morning Work Schedule

Montessori daycare sessions begin with welcomes and greetings between the student guides, students, and parents. This is typically followed by a group session as the students begin choosing their morning activities, followed by an extended period of individual and partnered work while the student guides provide more in-depth instruction to students who require it. Midmorning Gatherings After the morning work schedule, most Montessori classrooms hold a gathering where the class interacts, sharing their work, discussing upcoming events, or participating in storytelling or music/singalong activities.

Lunch and Outdoor Time

As the midmorning gathering draws to a close, the class prepares to either go home (half day students), or prepare and eat lunch. This part of the day includes recess or outdoor time where the children are allowed to play or explore individually or in groups. Student guides may define small groups for some activities, but children are given the freedom to choose when and how they will participate.

Afternoon Work Schedule

The final portion of the day is another self-study period. Children will return to previous projects or take up new ones, guided by the teacher but given the freedom to choose what to do and how long they wish to do it. The day ends with hearty farewells and short discussions between guides, parents, and students. You can adopt a schedule at home which is similar to the Montessori day. In place of self-study, your little ones may assist you in daily chores, enjoy any manner of play-based learning activities, or learn about the world at large through visits to local crafts, trade, and science institutions.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Early Summer Activities to do with Your Preschooler

Montessori preschool puts a lot of emphasis on doing things. During the summer break, it is important to keep up the discovery process by introducing your children to new things and concepts, and practicing concepts that have already been learned. These basic outdoor ideas make a great starting point for organizing early summer activities.

Backyard Discovery

Your yard contains a plethora of things to be experienced. Children will enjoy finding new insects and then learning about their finds, or finding out about the different kinds of plants and where they grow. Because there is so much to discover, you can enjoy multiple days of outdoor fun by choosing different subjects to learn about such as insects, birds, trees, and flowers.

Random Activity Selection

Carefully write a single activity on each of a dozen or more popsicle sticks. When your little one begins to show boredom, allow him to randomly select an activity stick and perform that project. Mix up the activities, including new concepts with performing daily activities like organizing their room or helping prepare a meal.

Shapes of Sand

A sandbox and some cookie cutters make the start of an enjoyable day outside. Children can use damp sand and the cookie cutters to create basic shapes, and you can help them learn about shape recognition by discussing the descriptive aspects of every shape she creates. Advanced sandbox play might include a game of making different shapes by hand and comparing them to the cookie cutter versions.

Picnic Lunch

Let your little one help you put together a picnic lunch. He can help spread peanut butter and jelly, put apple or carrot slices in a container, or pack the lunch before you leave home. After the picnic, consider visiting a library or museum and learn about favorite finger foods from around the world or other information related to picnicking. If you provide your little children with a broad assortment of summer activities you can prevent the summer doldrums and promote the concept of life as a learning experience. It is okay to do the same activities more than once, but try to come up with enough different projects to keep preschoolers interested and looking forward to each day’s activities.

Monday, May 20, 2019

How to Handle a Picky Eater

Your Montessori preschool encourages serving well rounded meals to assist with concentration, provide better sleep and help children grow up strong and healthy. But there are times when children balk at eating the healthiest foods, so your job as a parent is to find a way to keep them chowing down even when they aren’t thrilled with the menu.

Enlist Assistance with Cooking

Helping with the measuring, stirring and cooking provides excellent practical life lessons, and he will be more interested in tasting the fruits of his labor. You can also try letting him help with a sauce he likes, but the sauce must be eaten with food he has been resisting. Cheese and Broccoli are a good example of this, but there are dozens of similar combinations which may help.

One Bite Tonight

Forcing your child to eat a full serving of something he is resisting could drive him farther away from that particular item. Instead, establish a “One bite tonight” rule where she has to eat a least one bite of everything on her plate, but will not be forced to eat more than that if she doesn’t want to.

No Compromise

When you are preparing foods that your son has rejected in the past, make something he is especially fond of as well. When he dives into the food he likes and then asks for more, adhere to a rule that he can only have a second helping if he has eaten everything else on his plate as well.

Spice It Up

Cook those “yucky” tasting foods with other ingredients that alter or enhance their flavor. A pinch of table sugar in the peas, a lump of butter in the corn, or the addition of sauces and cheese are all great ways to help your child get past the idea that he doesn’t like vegetables of all types. For salads, add chunks of pineapple, apple or cut grapes to give the salad a sweeter flavor.
Avoid the temptation to encourage eating unwanted foods by threats, punishments, nor bribery. These tactics may reinforce your child’s dislike, and bribery even gives him a tool to use against you as he grows. Prepare a healthy meal for the whole family and stand by it, requiring everyone to eat some of everything, especially the role models of the household.

Friday, May 10, 2019

How Do I Reinforce the Montessori Method at Home?

Just as we strive to put forth a good example in the Montessori preschool, you should make it a practice to be your child’s role model at home. She is going to to look up to you regardless of how you behave, so making sure she sees you doing positive things and working out problems in a considerate manner reinforces her desire to get along with others.

Preparing an Environment

Maria Montessori believed that one of the most important aspects in assisting child development was the environment. The child’s designated domain should be designed to the scale of the child’s view and reach, and distractions for the child in that space should be kept to a minimum. At home, this generally translates into scaling the furniture and decorations in your daughter’s room, even pictures on the wall, down to her level and helping her make sure that the area is tidy and organized.

Keep It Simple

Make sure that your child understands what is expected, but be gentle and encouraging in doing so. In Montessori preschool, we avoid presenting her with too many projects, and talk with her often about tasks which seem to be causing difficulty. Your child is discovering an entire world, and piling too many mundane things on her plate at once may be detrimental to development and curiosity.

Praise Over Punishment

Children thrive on praise and rebel against ridicule, so look for the positive aspects of her daily tasks and work out the things which need work in a positive way. Instead of dictating how things must be, talk about issues calmly and in an encouraging manner. When you build her self-esteem, you are promoting open investigation and diligence.


Children put more effort into their actions when they feel appreciated. Include your child in daily tasks such as helping in the kitchen, feeding the pet, or picking up in the yard. Not only does this help her learn to work with others, the various tasks in your home routine will be educational, such as learning measurements and understanding the passage of time.
At home and in school the key elements of the Montessori method remain the same. Whether you are reading a book to her or preparing dinner with her assistance, the most important thing you can do is to include her by asking questions, requesting assistance, or praising her for her efforts.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Is my Child Ready for Kindergarten?

It can be a big step going from preschool into Montessori kindergarten. The curriculum is more structured, and children are expected to apply more of their time to learning activities, something which is less distinctive in Montessori classrooms where play-based learning is the rule. To help you decide whether your child is ready to take that step, we have compiled some helpful information for you to consider.

Talk to the Staff

Your child’s preschool teacher can be a big help in making the decision to move up to Montessori kindergarten. She has been monitoring his progress since he joined the class and can offer advice on his progress. Keep in mind that preschool and kindergarten blend together in the Montessori environment, so the change is not very dramatic.

Necessary Achievements

There are some things a child needs to master before moving up to kindergarten. This includes such things as:

  • Able to accurately write her first and last name
  • Can identify basic shapes, colors, letters, and numbers up to 10
  • Is able to tell simple stories and recognize rhyming sounds
  • Can put on outer clothing and use the restroom independently
  • Listen to storytime quietly for 10-15 minutes
  • Can solve simple problems calmly
  • Is able to follow simple instructions

Social Interaction

Being able to interact with teachers and other students is critical for entry into kindergarten. This includes the ability to take turns, share items with other students, and listen to other children speaking without interrupting or causing a disturbance. Kindergarten encourages more independence than preschool and he needs to be self-sufficient and patient enough to handle the responsibility.

Cut-Off Ages

September 1st is the cutoff date for children to turn 5 and enter kindergarten. If your child does not turn 5 until after that date, then he won’t be allowed to move up to kindergarten until the following school year. Additionally, some research has shown that boys mature a little more slowly and may need extra time to achieve the goals required for kindergarten. Your preschool teacher can help determine where he stands in this regard.

Kindergarten is the first step into “big kids school.” Making sure your child is ready will benefit him by ensuring that he has mastered basic skills and developmental goals. Keep in mind that all children mature at different speeds, and refrain from pushing your child to be more than he is socially or mentally prepared to be.,

Sunday, April 21, 2019

5 Toddler Friendly Apps for your Preschooler

One way to supplement your child’s preschool education is to provide him with a few toddler-friendly apps that will make good use of his online play. Simple activities like alphabet games, beginner’s math, and learning social skills are all excellent examples of apps suitable for preschoolers, and we have selected a handful of popular apps to help your child get started.

1.     Montessorium: Intro to Math
This entertaining app was built with the Montessori preschool student in mind. It provides a set of activities which teach children their basic numbers and simple math concepts. If your child enjoys this play-based app, Montessorium has an assortment of other learning games available as well.

2.     Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
This app contains a collection of 6 games designed especially for preschoolers. There are no menus for your little one to navigate, and lots of colorful shapes, sounds and more to keep her entertained as she learns. Kids learn about colors, counting, letters, and much more.

3.     Metamorphabet
This colorful game teaches children letters by learning which animal names begin with different ones. The teaching process is disguised as a playful game which kids of all ages will enjoy. Best of all, Metamorphabet is available for most platforms, including your home PC or Mac.

4.     Originator - Endless Alphabet
Children will not be hampered by high scores, time limits, or losses when they play this exciting game of letters and words. In the process of endless hours of fun, your preschooler will learn her letters and build her vocabulary. The game contains more than 70 words for your little one to start learning right away.

5.     Breathe, Think, Do
Available for Apple and Android devices, this game teaches small children how to deal with potentially uncomfortable social situations by taking a breath, thinking of the appropriate response, and then following through with decisive action.

The apps presented here are a great place to start teaching your preschooler important educational skills as well as becoming familiar with using a smartphone. Mobile communications are changing the world we live in, and teaching your children how to use interactive media today will prepare them for the world of tomorrow.