Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Is Preschool the Right Time to Enroll My Child in Montessori Education?

The Montessori Method works best when children begin in preschool. It is possible to bring children into Montessori as late as kindergarten, but kids are far more successful when Montessori is introduced as early in preschool as possible. Adapting from traditional classrooms to Montessori is more challenging for the child because it requires her to adopt a completely different approach to learning.

Early Development

Maria Montessori believed that early development was a crucial part of education because that is when children's minds and muscles are being nurtured. She called the period between daycare and kindergarten the Absorbent Mind in acknowledgment of the way children are eager to learn more about themselves and the world they live in. For small children, everything is new and interesting, and Montessori preschool can maximize that by encouraging curiosity and performance.

A Consistent Environment

A Montessori preschool tends to be quieter and more focused, and much of that owes to the prepared environment of Montessori. By keeping everything in the same place and teaching children to put items away when they are not in use, the classroom never becomes cluttered, and after a few days children learn that their favorite activities will always be in the same place.

Discipline is handled in much the same way, with classroom rules and etiquette clearly defined and always expected. Montessori avoids rewards and punishments, instilling children with internal motivation to do the right thing, whether that means participating in group activities, controlling emotional outbursts, or sharing a favorite toy with a classmate.

Montessori and Learning Challenges

Children with learning challenges such as ADHD or autism often respond to Montessori education positively. Because it is structured and consistent, children adapt readily to the Montessori Method. Additionally, the ability to move freely between activities means that children can move on to other activities rather than being forced to continue using one that no longer interests them.

The earlier a child begins learning with the Montessori Method, the better it will be for the child. If possible, children should begin in daycare, but the nature of Montessori makes it easier for children to begin when they are a few years older. In fact, it is typically more difficult for a child to adapt to more traditional educational systems from a Montessori beginning, than the other way around.

What Are The Philosophies Behind the Success of Montessori Daycare?

During the first decade of the 20th century, Maria Montessori developed the educational method that bears her name. Built from careful observation of children learning and playing, today's Montessori daycare centers are found around the world. Much of that popularity is related to the underlying principles of Montessori, including these important aspects.

1. The Absorbent Mind

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Montessori daycare is that it recognizes the importance of early development and the hunger of young minds to absorb new information. The idea is that children enter the world with an absorbent mind that is eager to discover this strange new world they have only inhabited for a short period of time. This eagerness is why the first 6 years are the ideal time to help children develop into dynamic individuals.

2. Auto education

Maria Montessori observed that children at play are working out new ideas and learning valuable skills. She made play-based learning the core of the Montessori Method, allowing children to play freely with activities that indicate whether it is performed correctly. This self-correcting mechanism feeds back into positive reinforcement for children and helps to create intrinsic motivation.

3. Respect for the Child

An important tenet of Montessori is that children are not lesser individuals based on their age or lack of physical experience in the world. Montessori children are treated with the same respect due to equals. In fact, Montessori education revolves around a contract between children and their instructors that is intended to encourage self-esteem and a positive outlook.

4. Sensitive Periods

Montessori early education focuses on the sensitive periods of education, including order, speech, movement, and sensory comprehension. Montessori daycares engage children through group activities like sing-alongs and physical games imparting vital sensitive learning, vocabulary, and perfecting fine and gross motor skills performance.

5. The Prepared Environment

A Montessori classroom is kept orderly as a matter of course. Children always know where to find materials appropriate to different skills, and are taught to return materials when they are no longer in use. But the prepared environment is more than orderly; it is also designed to match the viewpoint of children, providing them with a place that is scaled to children and adults seem oversized for the environment-- a place respectfully known as the Children's House.

The Montessori Method is a carefully laid out educational system that revolves around the development of many early skills. It uses unique activities and specially trained instructors who are experienced in social and emotional education to guide children into appropriate development..

Friday, December 30, 2022

5 Play-Based Ideas to Help Daycare Kids Learn Basic Math Concepts

Ordinary activities during the course of the day cab include simple math concepts for daycare children to pick up on. Adding and subtracting are concepts that solidify early, but even division and multiplication are possible with a little practice.

  1. Apples and Oranges

Fruits are excellent tools for teaching math to Montessori daycare students. Different fruits can be used for sorting and shapes, and you can also use things like grapes to learn about sets, multiplication, and subtraction. Fruit is more than an aid for teaching math, it is also an excellent sensory activity, combining math skills with scents and tastes.

  1. Lego-Style Learning

Pegged building blocks are perfect math accessories. In the guise of play-based building, children are learning to count, sort, and perform multiplication, division, and more. While lego-style blocks are not technically a Montessori activity, they have the ability to be used for a wide range of subjects from arithmetic to vocabulary. As an engaging activity, pegged blocks are fun to use and children will play with them for hours on end.

  1. Painter's Tape Shapes

Painter's tape is available in several colors straight off the shelf and makes a perfect medium for colorful shapes or numbers of many sizes-- even super large. Pointer's tape is similar to masking tape with less powerful adhesives. Painter's tape can be easily peeled off, and will not damage paint, wallpaper, or furniture. It is a fun way for children to build familiarity with numbers, make shapes of different colors, and count the shapes they've made.

  1. Daily Numbers

Use a paperclip on a piece of twine thrown into a plastic pail of magnetic numbers and then look for that number throughout the day. This helps young children discover how prevalent numbers are in our lives, and helps them become more engaged in learning to count or perform simple math. 

  1. Animals and Cars

Favorite toys like wooden farm animals or toy cars are often the first objects that children use to perform basic math functions like addition and subtraction. If you observe children at play with their like-sized toys, it is very common to see them sorting and counting, even if they aren't yet fully aware of what the order of the numbers may be. Counting cars develops relatively naturally and makes a great place to encourage the use of counting and math.

Daycare children are just beginning to learn about counting, so daycare math is typically very simple tasks using familiar objects. However, children learn basic math very quickly, and providing an increasingly challenging goal will help maintain interest over an extended period of time.

3 Important Types of Childhood Development Taking Place in Private Kindergarten

Private kindergarten is a middle-ground between preschool and "big kid" schools. As such, it is important that kindergarten help children complete any developmental goals necessary for them to participate fully. From learning to talk and communicate to learning basic math and science, children will be presented with many types of activities to help them learn. These skills are all considered vital goals, and include these 3 types of early childhood development.

1. Motor Skills

Montessori kindergarten kids need to develop a full spectrum of motor skills. Running, jumping, climbing, and jumping help them build stronger bones and muscles while building strong gross motor skills. For fine motor skills, activities can be anything that involves gripping, grasping, or moving objects. Activities such as playing tag or hopscotch are good for gross motor skill development, while drawing, painting and stacking blocks improve fine motor skills. The key to motor skill development is physical activity, and that means keeping children engaged in doing things enhances physical performance.

2. Social Interaction

Socially interacting with peers and teachers requires language, communication, and the development of social skills such as taking turns or being polite. In Montessori kindergarten, children are taught grace and courtesy as part of the everyday curriculum so that children absorb these social rules as a facet of living rather than a special category of learning. The idea is that everyone deserves respect equally, whether you are interacting with another child, a parent or teacher, or even a stranger at the supermarket.

3. Language and Communication

Developing strong language skills makes it easier for children to express ideas, understand concepts, and interact with their peers. Learning new words is a critical part of kindergarten, including how to say them, use them in a sentence, and how each word is spelled. In kindergarten, spelling will begin to take on more importance as children are becoming ready to expand their language skills to include writing. Language is at the very foundation of society, and every activity is an opportunity to expand vocabularies.

An authentic Montessori kindergarten is working toward total child development. They put an emphasis on physical skills, mental skills, emotional skills, academic skills, and social skills. In many cases, one activity provides an opportunity to practice using multiple skills, but the goal is a responsible, capable person when their education is complete. Montessori even plays a part in life after education by encouraging children to learn a variety of practical skills starting as early as daycare.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

How to Encourage Your Preschool Child Read More at Home

Reading is one of the most valuable skills your preschool daughter will have. Her teachers are helping her read at school, but it is also important for you to encourage reading at home as well. Kids spend more time at home than at school, and opportunities to read can be found almost anywhere you look. Here are some great ideas you can use to assist your daughter in developing a love for words and reading.

Be A Good Example

One very effective way to get Montessori preschool children to read is to let them see-- and hear-- you reading. Make it a habit to read books and magazines, read recipes aloud as you prepare them, and use every opportunity to demonstrate to your daughter that words are important. 

Read  Along

Read with your children, taking the time to examine each page, and talking about the action depicted. This helps children develop critical thinking, builds a strong vocabulary, and helps small kids learn more about themselves and the world. Reading aloud to children is beneficial for kids with verbal challenges as well, because it allows the child to see up close how the mouth moves when words are pronounced.

Provide A Variety

Reading preferences are different from one child to another and children will learn at different paces. Fill the lower bookcase shelves with a variety of age-appropriate books and give your daughter the freedom to choose which ones she likes best. Don't hesitate to go a couple of years older with the material, but concentrate on books with short words, rhymes, and exciting subjects. In addition to children's books, try including a couple of pictorial tomes on nature, animals, and the like.


Make a game out of learning a new word every day. You can do this by setting up an erasable whiteboard and using appropriate markers. Choosing the word can be done any way you wish, or simply open a dictionary with your eyes closed and place your finger on the page. With your daughter, practice saying the word, then write it in her journal and talk about what it means and how it should be used in conversation. This provides an important link between printed words and spoken language.

Printed writing has been the way people have kept records for thousands of years, and was done using pictures instead of words even before that. The art of writing is even more important today, and the success of every school student relies on developing strong reading skills and comprehension. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

5 Fun Christmas Party Food Ideas for Daycare

Every Christmas event is a great reason for tasty snacks, and daycare children enjoy helping prepare holiday dishes. These 5 ideas are easy to make, delicious to eat, and excellent ideas for Montessori-styled practical life experiences.

  1. Appetizing Ambrosia

Fruity ambrosia is fun to make, and easy enough that Montessori daycare children can put the recipe together. The 2 basic ingredients are a can of mixed fruit and a tub of whipped cream. Just pour the ingredients into a bowl and stir until they are well-mixed. You can make the recipe more expansive-- and help children develop practical experience-- by adding fresh sliced bananas, apples, and segmented citrus fruits. To give the mixture a tropical feel, add shredded coconut and a little pineapple.

  1. Popcorn Garlands

Heavy thread, a small crochet needle, and bowls of multicolored popcorn are all you need to create decorative garlands with snack appeal. There are a couple of ways to dye the corn while cooking it, but you can simply spray popped kernels with a water bottle if the garland is strictly decorative. Crochet needles are large enough for the older preschool students to grasp, making it simple to thread the kernels into a ropelike garland.

  1. Daycare Hors D'oeuvres

This tasty treat is simple. Arrange crackers on a platter-- or individual dishes-- and stack cut meats, cheeses, and vegetables to suit. A sliced boiled egg or tomato slices can really liven up the appearance. Another fun finger food is to fill segments of celery with peanut butter, cream cheese, onion dip, or other tasty fillings.

  1. No-Bake Cookies

No-bake peanut butter and oatmeal cookies make a simple sweet treat. An adult needs to handle the stovetop cooking, but the kids can still help with measuring and then spooning out the cookie dough. You can also add things like chopped nuts or butterscotch morsels for a little extra indulgence.

  1. Veggie Trays

Veggie trays are exactly what they sound like. Sliced carrots, green peppers, cucumbers, and steamed vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli make a colorful, nutritious snack that children can wash, cut, and lay out. Small cups with "sauces" like ranch dressing or honey mustard-- or even honey by itself-- are great to add a little spark to each slice.

Holiday food activities offer children a wide assortment of developmental opportunities. Counting and sorting, language and vocabulary, and practical skills like measuring and cutting are all common tasks in the kitchen. Every dish is a classroom adventure and the resulting snacks and treats are a wonderful incentive to keep children engaged.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Does a Montessori Infant Care Program Benefit My Child's Development?

It is not unusual to enter an average daycare and witness a certain amount of pandemonium, but that is rarely a situation in Montessori schools. Montessori was expressly created in a way that allows children more freedom of movement, interaction with older and younger peers, and a sense of self-value to make them confident students. Unlike traditional schools that are only interested in teaching a limited and rigorously enforced set of information, Montessori schools provide a whole-child developmental process that produces a well-rounded education and the social and emotional skills needed for everyday life.

Motor Skills

Children are encouraged to work on their fine and gross motor skills in Montessori daycare. Each day is spent on various authentic activities that require children to use their fingers for detailed work like lifting, touching, gripping, and more. The muscle tone and physical coordination they build at this age will be immensely valuable when they begin using pencils, crayons, scissors, and other small educational tools.

Academic Skills

Academic studies combine with physical activities to teach children a variety of useful concepts while they play. Montessori schools have been teaching STEM subjects to small children for over a hundred years-- long before such a term even existed. In fact, Maria Montessori considered interacting with nature to be a vital aspect of early development, to the point that it became one of the fundamental aspects of authentic Montessori education.  

Social Skills

Because children aren't restricted to a single location in the classroom, Montessori children are able to work on important social skills throughout the day. As they freely move between activities, children learn to take turns, work in pairs and groups, and develop the critical thinking skills to negotiate outcomes rather than displaying emotional outbursts.

Emotional Development

Emotional development is important in an environment where children are able to make their own choices and take responsibility for their own actions. To guide emotional development, Montessori guides help children become more empathetic, considering the reactions of others, and making decisions based on avoiding infringing on the feelings of others.

Montessori is a different sort of education because it is focused on more than academic instruction. Without external rewards or punishments, the Montessori environment is focused on providing real development in areas that make children stronger, help them communicate better, and leave them more accepting of the differences-- physical, emotional, academic, racial, and cultural-- of the world they live in.