Why Mixed-Age Classrooms Build Character

Nov 22, 2014 10:00:00 AM / by Tiffany Cavegn posted in Montessori Method, Children's House, Parent Education

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This summer I enrolled my son in a mixed-age outdoor play session for Kindergarten through 5th grade, organized and supervised by the local parks and rec association. He loves being outside and is an on-the-go kid so I figured it would be good for him while also giving me a few hours to run errands or do stuff around the house. For the first few weeks, things were great. He was excited to go and it was difficult to pry him away from the playground and his new friends when I came to pick him up.

But after a few weeks, something changed. He started putting up a fuss when it was time to go and not wanting to get out of the car once we got there. He also started being very bossy and directive with his younger sister and neighborhood friends.

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Transition from Montessori to Traditional Public Schools: How will my child adjust?

Apr 29, 2014 4:30:00 PM / by Tiffany Cavegn posted in Children's House, Transition

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Is it hard for kids to transition from a Montessori to a public school? One of the biggest concerns we hear from parents is: How will my child do if she ends up having to move to a public school?  Since a complete PreK-12 Montessori program is not available in every neighborhood, transitioning is something the majority of Montessori kids will have to accomplish at some point in their school careers.

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What’s So Special About Montessori: An Education for Life

Mar 24, 2014 4:00:00 PM / by Tiffany Cavegn posted in Children's House, Curriculum

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I was making dinner last week and my five-year-old came in asking how much longer until dinner. I told him that I was going to start preparing our meal and that I could use his help. I gave him a choice of three vegetables to add to our meal: broccoli, frozen peas or green beans. He chose green beans. I reminded him, “the beans need to be washed and snapped before we eat them.” He agreed and walked over to the drawer to get the vegetable scrubber. He dragged his stepping stool over to the sink and began scrubbing. 

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What is Montessori Children’s House? The Preschool Classroom in a Nutshell

Dec 2, 2013 10:53:00 AM / by Tiffany Cavegn posted in Montessori Method, Children's House

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Montessori is the perfect place to send your child if you are looking for them to develop a lifelong love of learning. However, I didn’t truly understand the value of the Montessori method until I took a 4-week class from AMI.  Many Montessori books and websites use language that is difficult to understand, so, I thought I would write a basic introduction to the Montessori Children’s House environment from my perspective as a Mom, with a little knowledge from my class in words that make sense to those that have never experienced Montessori.  I’m hopeful this will shed a little light on how great the Montessori method is for preschoolers.

Children in their preschool years begin in the Children’s House at age 3 and usually stay for 3 years.  At this age, Dr. Montessori believed children have an “Absorbent Mind” – meaning they are able to effortlessly absorb everything in their environment without fatigue.  It is a mixed age classroom and their third year is the equivalent of Kindergarten.  To aid the children in developing their own self-construction, individual work is encouraged at this age, although as they get older, group activities become more attractive.  Learning is mostly grouped into four main categories: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language and Math. These areas allow the child to adapt to different situations, express themselves and think with clarity. I’ll describe each one below along with their benefits.   

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