Monday, May 16, 2022

3 Examples of Preparing Your Child for a New Baby's Arrival

As soon as you find out that your family is expecting a new addition, you should take steps to prepare your daycare children for the new arrival. You can do this in a number of ways, and the underlying goal is to make sure your son understands that he is not being replaced as the favored child, but is instead being given the gift of a new playmate and a chance to show his love and affection for others,

The Stress of a New Sibling

A popular song in the late 70s was about a boy of daycare age who was devastated by the arrival of a baby sister after he had become accustomed to being the only child of the family. This is a very real situation for first-born children, but parents can sideline the emotional trauma by acclimating the older child early and making him part of the arrival of a new family member.


  1. Talk About What's Happening

Talk to your son about the expected baby. Appropriately explain what pregnancy is, and help your child learn about the beauty of birth and the miracle of new life. Young children love to learn about new things, and preparing for a new brother or sister is a learning experience that can help them develop strong emotional and critical thinking skills.

  1. Inclusion Over Exclusion

A very big mistake that parents sometimes make is to put too much focus on the new baby's arrival. Your older child has been the only child for as long as he can remember, and suddenly feeling like he has been pushed aside can lead to unwanted behavior such as sullenness, unruliness, and unexpected anger or aggression. Remember that this can be a very stressful time for your older child and be patient with him as he adjusts to life as part of a family team instead of being the sole center of attention.

  1. Little Kids Become Big Helpers

A new baby in the family is a great time for your small son to transition into being the big boy of the family. This can be done by encouraging him to help his mom during the pregnancy and to learn how to do little things that help care for the new child after it arrives. Since learning to be an important part of the family and community is an important part of the Montessori Method, providing opportunities that teach important practical life experiences is actually a boon to the development of his physical, social, and even academic skills.


The worst mistake parents can make in regards to preparing a child for a new baby in the household is to pretend it isn't happening or to neglect the feelings and assumptions the older child has to deal with as the big day gets closer. Start early and stay patient, and your daycare son will quickly become your preschool helper.


Tools to Reduce Stress and Help Your Child Focus in School

When children graduate from the preschool class to private kindergarten, they will sometimes feel a bit stressed out. More is expected of them at this stage in life, and coping with expectations and trying to meet expected timeframes may seem like a daunting task, leading to less productive studies or even unwanted behavior patterns. To help alleviate the stress in your child's life, try these established tools that reduce stress and impress focus in children.

One Thing Then Another

Overloading Montessori kindergarten children with a list of things that need to be done overwhelms them, and that often leads to reduced performance. A better approach is to show what needs to be done, and then help your kids prioritize the schedule so that they can focus on a single thing at a time. There may be a lot to do, but accomplishing the list in single-task increments reduces the stress of expectations.

Physical Activity 

Research shows that physical activity helps reduce stress. The Montessori Method already puts a lot of emphasis on physical activity because it is beneficial for childhood development. At school and at home, giving children plenty of opportunities to get outside and be active will always be a great approach to better physical, mental, and emotional health.

Communication

Just like their adult counterparts, kindergarten children excel when they feel as though their concerns and needs are being addressed. Communication allows them to voice their wants and needs, express their problems, and work out appropriate solutions. Inclusion is an important part of the Montessori Method, and communication is a big step toward making young kids feel like part of the family and the community at large.

Established Routines

Setting up and sticking to regular routines is a great stress reliever for everyone, including school children. For kindergartners, things like a regular sleep schedule, helping prepare and clean up after dinner, and playing a leading role in caring for the family pet are all ways that children can establish reliable routines that make them feel more comfortable. Additionally, getting enough sleep at night and preparing for school efficiently every morning means they will be in a more relaxed frame of mind, and that allows them to focus on the tasks at hand instead of feeling like the things that are expected of them are one big jumble of "do this and do that."


The important thing to remember is that children are really just small versions of adults that have less real-world experience to draw from. They tend to model their behavior after what they observe in the adults around them, so practicing good emotional behavior at home encourages children to do the same. A good rule of thumb is that worrying about things does not accomplish much and that everything will happen in due time if we slow down and focus on what is important.


Friday, April 29, 2022

4 Examples of Using Coloring to Promote Early Childhood Development


Far from a way to keep Montessori daycare children busy, coloring activities promote a range of developmental traits that will benefit children as they grow. This is where kids learn the foundations of holding a writing implement and making controlled lines, a skill that will morph into writing in a few more years. To illustrate the importance of coloring in a Montessori classroom, consider these 4 areas of development derived from coloring activities.

  1. Fine Motor Skills

Learning to grip a cylindrical object and manipulate the tip of it to make lines or just coloring within lines is a major developmental achievement in daycare. Coloring is one of many ways your Montessori daycare will help develop fine motor skills, often in conjunction with other learning activities. 

  1. Critical Thinking

Coloring helps kids learn to stay within the lines of an image, but it also promotes critical thinking skills and creativity when children are given the freedom to color what and how they please. Coloring is also useful in learning to count, sort, and other activities, or even embedded into science activities.

  1. Self-Expression

Learning to think creatively bolsters self-expression, encourages a healthy sense of personal value, and opens the door for a whole new way that children can communicate with others. This helps children think more independently, and act on their conclusions in a positive manner. The psychology behind coloring is even more in-depth than you might think, making it an excellent tool for child development.

  1. Preparation for Writing

Even before they learn to draw letters, children are ready to learn how to make lines and curves using a marker or crayon. Picking up these skills as early as possible provides the child with the necessary developmental tools she needs to transition from one educational phase to the next.


Coloring is a great way for young children to develop important skills like gripping, moving objects, creative thinking, and much more. Whether they are enjoying a favorite coloring book at home or working in the classroom, children are unknowingly teaching themselves as they play.


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

4 Exciting Ways that Montessori Preschool Kids Will Learn With Butterfly Habitats

Butterfly habitats are a useful way to introduce preschool children to insect biology, help them develop language skills, teach math, and encourage learning. Through Montessori's hands-on approach to academic activity, butterfly habitats can be used for multiple types of instruction, including the ones we've listed here.

Build a Stronger Vocabulary

The Montessori preschool biology of butterflies has a terminology of its own, with magical words like larvae, and chrysalis to be uttered and listened to. But there are also different species of butterfly, like the monarchs and swallowtails, and an entire vocabulary revolving around the habitats themselves. Language and vocabulary are a big part of Montessori education, and this hands-on activity is ideal for promoting a more robust internal dictionary.

Become Engaged in Science

Butterflies are beautiful and amazing, and that keeps children engaged and interested as butterflies live through entire life cycles before their eyes. Children are curious about the world they live in, and giving them the tools to explore it-- including developing their critical thinking skills-- fosters an interest in science and how it works.

Hands-On Biology

Children may require a little adult assistance to build a butterfly habitat, but giving them the freedom to design and build for themselves will help them master a few practical life skills like measuring, and instills a strong sense of personal ability and self-esteem. These traits are the driving force behind intrinsic motivation, and that is at the heart of showing children that they can be the masters of their own education.

The Relationship Between Math and Science

Math may not be the first thing you think of when you consider a butterfly habitat, but children benefit a great deal from discovering that math is a major factor in almost everything they do in science-- and in the greater world at large. From counting wings, eyes, and legs to marking away the days until a butterfly emerges from its cocoon, this surprising trove of information offers a wealth of math instruction.


As an easy and multi-faceted learning tool, a butterfly habitat is wonderful for children in preschool and kindergarten. They promote the development of unexpected skills, including fine motor skills and critical thinking skills, and set the groundwork for exploring a variety of math, language, and science exploration.


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Is Montessori the Right Daycare Environment to Help Your Child Develop?

All parents want their children to be part of a daycare environment that helps their children develop appropriately. For many, the whole-child approach of Montessori is the ideal type of daycare, including parents of children with learning challenges such as autism. The reason for the success of Montessori is multi-faceted, and the traits mentioned here are only a brief glance, not the entire list.

Ordered Environment

In Montessori, daycare children find themselves in an ordered room that has been tailored specifically for the use of kids. Tables, chairs, and furniture are child-sized, and workstations are always kept in their designated location. The prepared environment of a Montessori daycare is carefully laid out to provide children with the incentive to become engaged, and that helps their development.

Freedom of Movement

Montessori does not confine children to a generic desk all day. Instead, children are able to move freely between workstations as they engage in learning different things. In some cases, children are quietly alone,  and other times they work together in teams or as a group. And while there are class activities where everyone participates together, most of the day is tailored toward freedom of choice and movement.

Play-Based Learning

Hands-on, play-based learning is perhaps the best-known premise of Montessori schools. What is important in this is that Montessori activities are not idle toys, but carefully selected activities that provide different types of instruction under the guise of children playing with something they enjoy. As they play, kids learn about a wide range of topics, including language, reading and writing, and mathematics.

Whole-Child Development

Traditional schools are focused almost entirely on the academic side of education with a little physical activity thrown in for a small portion of the day. By contrast, Montessori is all-0in on early development. Everything from developing vital motor skills to learning how to do math or building a vocabulary is part of the Montessori Method. Montessori even helps children develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and imparts the importance of teamwork and taking an active role in one's environment.


For more than a century, the Montessori Method has been gaining awareness and popularity, almost entirely because of what it has to offer early childhood development. For parents, Montessori is a way to help their child develop fully, including social, physical, and academic skills. Montessori may not appeal to every parent, but it has a wealth of benefits to offer most of them.


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

5 Exciting Summer Activities That Appeal to Preschool Children

One way to think of the minds of preschool children is to compare them to a blank easel that wants to be filled with information. The world around them is huge, but their experience is very limited, and there are new things to be known around every corner and under every rock. Here are 5 STEM-related activity ideas that will occupy preschool children and keep them engaged in the learning process.

  1. Language and Culture

No matter where you look, preschool kids will find an opportunity to learn new vocabulary and discover new things about this diverse world. Kids love to find out where their favorite food, fruit, or musical instrument originated and discovering how much our lives are influenced by other cultures helps them understand the importance of diversity in our world.

  1. Science

Every day is a great day for science, and science is surprisingly easy to do. Shine a bright light through a clear glass of water and see how light bends and divides into the colors of the spectrum. Play with magnets or catalog the birds living in your yard. Teaching children the foundations of science helps them gain a better understanding of the world and teaches relationships between cause and effect.

  1. Technology

Life in the 21st Century is going to be all about technology and children who learn to effectively use technology in preschool will be better prepared for the future. One Montessori-style app for kids is CodeSpark. It's an interactive and adaptive app that teaches the basics of coding in the process of playing exciting games. This app is an excellent example of how children can use technology that feeds their minds instead of hampering their progress.

  1. Engineering

Use building blocks to design towers and buildings. Lego-style blocks are especially great because they not only impart good engineering concepts, but different styles of math are inherent in their design. This type of building block teaches multiplication, division, fractions, and more in the course of playing.

  1. Math

Math is going to be part of everything your child does, without exception. Math is needed to learn how to shop, to learn how to measure or pour, even to learn how to know when it is time to feed the family pet. The easiest way to learn about math in an engaging manner is by talking about it every time you use it. This teaches children that math is an important tool, encouraging children to apply math to other activities.


STEM education is important and continuing the learning process over the summer break helps children retain the information they have learned and keeps them engaged in the learning process. Combining the two into enjoyable games and activities turns boring summer days into adventures of discovery. 



Thursday, March 24, 2022

6 Ways Montessori Elementary School Excels Over Traditional Schools

An authentic Montessori elementary school is quite a bit different than traditional public schools. Where traditional schools rely on memorization and a generic lecture-based teaching system, Montessori schools use hands-on tools to reinforce the retention of information and a self-paced teaching system that encourages children to want to learn.

  1. Self-Paced Learning

Montessori school students are not forced to be on the same page at the same time as the rest of the class. Instead, children work independently at their own projects, learning at a pace that fits them rather than trying to keep up-- or losing interest by not being allowed to move forward. Montessori promotes an interest in learning that is central to Montessori theory.

  1. Intrinsic Motivation

Montessori is designed around the observation of children, offering them encouragement and guidance only as they require it. This helps build self-esteem, leading to children who take a more active role in their own goals. Children who feel good about themselves are more likely to help others, another key component of Montessori.

  1. Developmental Age Groups

Montessori uses a 3-year age group, with new children entering the class each year and others "graduating" out of it. The age grouping corresponds to developmental stages observed by Maria Montessori, but they also allow all children to be among both the youngest and the oldest students in the class.

  1. Guided Instruction

Montessori teachers are called guides, and that is their primary function in a Montessori classroom. Children learn to select their own activities and strive for their own developmental goals as the guides observe their progress and offer gentle guidance to help them stay focused and engaged. 

  1. Whole-Child Development

The Montessori Method is a whole-child developmental approach. Children learn by doing things instead of sitting idly at generic desks and learning from identical textbooks. They develop fine motor skills needed for manipulating objects and gross motor skills that improve running, jumping, and climbing abilities. They develop strong social skills that include diplomacy, empathy, and social etiquette. Children who spend their developmental years in a Montessori environment make great leaders, take part in their communities, and have respect for the environment and their fellow human beings.

  1. Discipline and Motivation

Montessori children learn to regulate themselves and develop an internal motivation that gives them the incentive to try new things and tackle new skills without the need for external rewards or punishments. The idea is that children who feel good about themselves and their environment will motivate themselves to learn and apply their learning to real-world applications.


Beginning with an assignment to educate children who were considered by experts of the time to be unteachable, Maria Montessori recognized that hands-on learning provided concrete examples and more closely resembled how children behaved in unstructured environments. The difference is that every aspect of the Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment.