Happy Sunday San Tan Montessori Parents,
Attached are the September Snack Calendars-I apologize for the delay and thank you for your teamwork in providing snack and other important items each day for our classrooms!
I also attached a few parenting gems from Wednesday’s Love and Logic Intro in addition to a Montessori parent education spotlight below. Enjoy and please email me with any questions. Mr FernandoSeptemberSnack Ms TeresaSeptemberSnack
Thank you for faithfully remembering to sign your child in and out each day using your full signatures-not initials. I look forward to meeting the grandparents coming to visit for lunch on the playground this week. Please send your child with a blanket that can be laid in the shade outside for our picnic lunch time with grandparents and families Monday and Tuesday from 11:30-12:00 each day.
We had a wonderful Montessori staff meeting yesterday accomplishing one of our main goals-collaboration and communication to serve our families well with integrity through proactive planning. Due to this our schedule will be changing a bit over the next few weeks as we strive to preserve as much teaching and learning time each day as possible. I will send out a new formalized schedule as I did at the beginning of the year next week after we work out all our scheduling kinks in the next few weeks. A few important changes to note for this week are:
If your child dismisses before lunch please pick up your child from the playground between 11:30-11:45. If your child dismisses after lunch please pick your child up from the playground between 12:00-12:15.
Mr. Fernando’s Class…
Go straight to the gym in the morning to sign in at 8:15 on Tuesday and Wednesday’s each week.
Ms. Teresa’s class…
Go straight to the gym to sign in at 8:15 on Thursday and Friday’s each week.
Preschool children who are participating in the Amazing Athletes preschool club on Monday’s from 3:15 to 3:45 will be walked to the club and signed in by a preschool staff member and signed into aftercare at 3:45 by the Amazing Athletes staff member who for the fall is one of the founders-Coach Diana-she is super with the children! If you have not signed up yet there is still time-it starts tomorrow. I have attached sign up information.
Montessori Parent Education Spotlight-Your Investment in Montessori
Congratulations! You have chosen to make the most important financial
investment in your child’s life – and you have chosen the best. This
investment -better than stocks, real estate or gold – will pay
dividends for years. Its value will become incalculable to the success and
happiness of your child and his future.
To make this investment even more valuable there are three things you
1. Understand what you are paying for.
2. Be involved in the investment.
3. Recognize the benefits you didn’t pay for.
Understand What You Are Paying For
You are investing in one of the finest educations available for your
child. It is an education that meets the intellectual, physical, and
emotional needs of your child. Your child will receive an educational
foundation that will provide for academic success. This foundation is based
on four things:
1. Your child will learn to write
2. Your child will learn to read
3. Your child will learn mathematics
4. Your child will understand the “why” behind his learning
In a Montessori classroom your child will learn to read. But learning
to read is not enough. You have to learn to read well. When you learn to
read well you will enjoy reading. When you enjoy reading, you will learn.
The rest of your child’s education will be spent reading.
Give the teachers time to get this foundation right. In construction,
every foundation is unique to both the building and to the underlying
strata on which it’s constructed. Your child is unique and this education
is designed to build on his uniqueness.
Almost everything in Montessori leads to reading. But you don’t
start with reading. All of those “cute” exercises and wonderful
materials you see on the shelves have one major purpose – they will lead
to reading. However, to get there successfully you start with exercises
that lead to writing.
The exercises on the shelves are designed to develop small motor and
large motor skills. These skills lead to writing. When your child sorts,
when he picks, when he pours he is developing the small muscles that lead
to successfully holding a pencil. When he washes dishes, scrubs tables,
sweeps the floor he is developing the large muscles that control the
movements that move the pencil. Everything has a purpose on the road to
reading. A prime example is table washing. When a child washes a table he
is not only developing large motor skills, he is developing order and
thoroughness. When you wash a table, you always begin in the top left
corner of the table – left to right, top to bottom – because you are
building memory patterns for reading and writing. There are no
“frivolous” exercises in a Montessori classroom. Each exercise
ultimately leads to reading.
A significant point to remember: You can learn to read without
learning to write but you cannot learn to write without learning to read at
the same time. Allow your child the time to build this foundation as he or
she enjoys the journey through writing all the way to reading.
In similar fashion, the math materials are brilliantly designed to
make math not only accessible but more importantly understandable. Your
child’s concepts of math will also have this strong foundation as they
work through red and blue rods, spindle boxes and the golden beads. Each
exercise leads to the next level of competency and understanding.
Ultimately, what sets Montessori children apart is not their
brilliance (after all they have bright parents who chose this education)
but their understanding of what they’ve learned, the joy in which they
learn it and the ability to tackle future challenges.
Be involved in the Investment
You pay good money for this education. You have picked the best
school. You have done your homework. It is not time to walk away from your
investment. To get the most for your child out of his school experience you
need to be involved and learn as much as you can. Parent-teacher
conferences are not for the teacher’s benefit – they are for your
child’s benefit. The more you know about your child, the better parent
you can be. Teachers, because of their experience, have insights into
children’s development. Because the teacher has spent quality time with
your child -observing, interacting, and teaching – they have insights that
will help you to nurture your child even more effectively.
A Montessori education is not only for children but for parents as
well. Take every advantage of Montessori parent training so your child can
reap every benefit from his experience.
Benefits You Do Not Pay For
You are making a significant investment in your child’s education.
In life, you do not get something for nothing. However, in a Montessori
education, you (and your child) will receive far more than you pay for.
Montessori teacher training sets up every exercise with a “direct
aim” and an “indirect aim.” In our example of table washing, the
direct aim is to clean the table. The indirect aim leads to reading and
writing. The indirect aims (the ones that are not readily obvious) are
often of greater lasting significance and importance.
It is wonderful that you want the finest education for your child -
and you will receive it in Montessori – but what your child will receive
is far greater than just “learning.” They will receive an education for
The benefits your child receives in the preschool gives him a
tremendous foundation. This foundation enhances the life skills needed for all future
success. Your child gains not only a wider breadth of
knowledge but a deeper understanding of what he has learned. Most
importantly, he learns how to use this knowledge to prepare to meet the
challenges of tomorrow.
A Montessori education is not just cumulative in its learning; it is
exponential in its understanding. Your child’s mind and character will be
trained to look at problems and see challenges instead of obstacles. With
that kind of attitude and training there is nothing your child will not be
able to achieve.
Described below are some of the amazing benefits your child will also
receive from his or her Montessori experience in addition to the wonderful
education. We all want the best for our children and working together, we
can achieve that.
The Life Benefits of a Montessori Education
Accepting accountability is an age-old problem. Who was the first one
to blame somebody else for his own actions? Adam in the garden of Eden. Not
much has changed in the millenniums that have passed. We still look to
blame others for our faults and actions. That is why the old joke says:
“Every man should be married because there are just some things you
can’t blame on the government.” Some things never change.
That is why true accountability must start with accepting
responsibility. One of the strengths of Montessori instruction is that each
child is personally accountable for his own learning. In Montessori, we do
not learn as a class but as individuals. This is a major difference in the
systems of learning. In a traditional school, the class has a lesson, the
class takes a test, and the class moves on. If students have not learned
the material because of difficulty or complexity, they move on with the
group anyway. The accountability for that lesson is lost because that test
score is mixed into an average. Then the learning of that lesson is also
There is a big difference in accountability when you demand mastery
rather than passing or average. Accountability is squarely placed in front
of the child. This kind of direct accountability fosters a lifetime of
There is nothing more important in education than character building
- not reading, not writing, not math – but character building.
Character is the ability to do what is right whether I want to or not or
whether anyone is watching or not. Character is trained. It is an education
all of its own. When you help establish character in your child’s life he
will be able to accomplish all the wonderful things you hope for him.
Character is the engine that joyously pulls the train of life and gives him
the inner motivation to achieve his goals.
When a child builds character into his own life he becomes the steward
of his own learning. You no longer have to frighten him into learning. You
no longer have to punish him to learn. He learns because it is built into
There are two main things in a Montessori environment that enhance
character building – learning to make wise choices and finishing what you
I am sure you are familiar with the classic interview of the
successful executive when asked about his success.
“I owe it all to making wise choices.”
“How did you learn to make wise choices?”
“And how did you get your experience?”
“From making poor choices.”
The only way to train children to make wise choices is to allow them
the freedom to make choices. Most of us had a traditional education where
we were not accorded the opportunity to make choices. The problem with
allowing children (and people in general) to make choices is that they
might make the wrong choice. What many educators and parents do not
understand is that making wrong choices is an education in itself if you
allow the child to deal with the consequences of choice.
Unfortunately, many parents don’t want their children to have to
face the consequences of their poor choices. Where Montessori classrooms
excel is in the ability safely to make wrong choices. You are not allowing
children to put themselves or others in danger but you are allowing
children the ability to learn what a good choice is from their own
The second strength of a Montessori environment is letting children
finish what they start. In traditional classrooms, we were not allowed to
finish what we started. If we ran out of time or messed up the first time,
we were not allowed to finish. Both of those are hindrances to developing
character. Character is exemplified by finishing what we start. Because we
both allow and expect the child to finish what he starts, we help to
A significant educational difference of the Montessori philosophy is -
Learning is the constant and time is the variable. Most of us grew up in
systems where time was the constant – we had a week to learn something
and then we took the test. No matter what our level of accomplishment was
- a hundred percent, or eighty or sixty, we moved on. Some things we
never got to learn; some things we never had to learn because we moved on.
The weakness in the traditional system is that we never had to
confront the consequences of our actions – poor choices, failure to
achieve, failure to finish. The only consequence we had to deal with was
the large consequence of failing the year. Ultimately, character is made up
of the small consequences and how we deal with them.
Learning to finish is learning to handle all the small details of
life. When you are in an environment where you are expected (and checked
on) to finish what you start you begin to develop the foundation of real
You can learn math, science or language without building character,
but you cannot build character in school without also accomplishing all the
challenges of learning.