Hello Fox Tail families!!
Welcome to the first installment of the Fox Tail Cottage newsletter for the 2016/2017 school year! We are already off to an active, productive and fun start to our exciting journey! The returning children are settling into their known routines, ready and willing to take on new challenges and share their skills, knowledge, and loving care with their younger peers. They are so happy to see their old friends and to meet new ones! The newest members of our Fox Tail Community are swiftly learning the processes and procedures that make our day run smoothly, while they make friends and connect with their new environment. Everyone is thrilled to be here - including Miss Toni and me! :D
Some things the children have been practicing include these lessons in Grace and Courtesy:
- remembering to wash hands before eating and after using the bathroom
- how to sit attentively at circle so that everyone can listen and focus without distraction
- letting another finish a thought, and waiting our turn to speak
- using words to express our thoughts and feelings
- pushing in chairs
- making work ready for the next person, then putting it back in its place on the shelf
- using the help chair to talk with a teacher, so as not to interrupt someone's lesson, as well as to have her full attention (face-to-face conversations are key to clear and respectful communication!)
Wow! That's already a lot - and there's so much more!
"The little child’s need for order is one of the most powerful incentives to dominate his early life." - Maria Montessori
Some of these things may sound pretty mundane to us grown folk, but they are vital to keeping a neat and tidy environment so everyone can work, function and focus effectively. Furthermore, children of this age group are in their Sensitive Period for Order. Their brains are at a stage of development when they're keen to categorization and identifying things "in their places." This is based in what Maria Montessori deemed the Mathematical Mind of the human being. This particular Sensitive Period is the stage when the human mind is seeking ways to feed its innate need for order, symmetry and beauty. Meeting the Sensitive Period for Order at this time of the children's life, through activities such as sorting, cleaning, and practicing systems through routine and consistency, supports their ability to make sense of the world around them. When their Sensitive Period for Order is met through the work they do in the Montessori classroom, their brains become well-developed for the more abstract information they'll be processing as they grow into their future stages of development. Cool, right?!
Parents will often tell me that they just can't get any information out of their child as to how his or her day at school went. Here's a link to a cute article that can help with that. Some of the suggestions may be more for slightly older children, but they can inspire you to come up with some amusing and insightful questions of your own, which may help to get your children talking about their school-day experiences. Remember, Social & Emotional development is a fundamental part of our early childhood Montessori curriculum, so conversations about their social interactions and observations can reveal some deep and profound learning that they are doing...
Thanks for reading! Check back for some photos next week!