Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Teaching your Preschooler Great Dental Habits

Good dental habits are important for both children and adults, and helping your preschooler establish a routine early on can make a huge difference in their oral health for the rest of their lives. Often kids resist simple hygiene efforts such as brushing their teeth, so how can you set your child on the right path? Here are a few tips for creating lifelong dental habits.


Start Early

The key to lasting habits is starting as early as possible. Even before your baby's first tooth appears, you can gently clean his gums with a soft cloth or a piece of soft gauze. Once the first tooth appears, generally around six months, you can start brushing with a small, soft toothbrush and non-fluoride toothpaste.

Speaking of the first tooth appearing, this is also a great time to take your child to the dentist for the first time. Many children are anxious about visiting the dentist, so starting before your child's first birthday can help get him used to it early.


Make It Fun

As your child gets a little older, finding ways to make dental care fun can go a long way toward helping to create lasting habits. Themed toothbrushes, flavored toothpastes, and fun handheld flossers can all help, and you can also create rituals of brushing your teeth together with your child. Be creative and think of some fun games to play, such as seeing who can spit closest to the drain.


Reward Good Habits

It's important to also reinforce good habits with praise and rewards. One way is to have your child show you their clean teeth so that you can tell them they've done a good job. If you want more of a reward system in place, create a chart to hang on the bathroom wall and dole out stickers or gold stars for brushing and flossing on a regular schedule.


Encourage Age-Appropriate Independence

Of course, one of the hallmarks of the Montessori method is encouraging independence in children, so we'd be remiss if we didn't mention how you can encourage children to manage their own dental care. Many preschoolers love to attempt to brush their own teeth, even if you have to finish up the job. Set a timer or buy a lighted toothbrush to help kids know how long they need to brush. Electric toothbrushes and handheld flossers can make the job easier as well. Once kids get old enough to spit, they can graduate to fluoride toothpaste.


How Montessori Teaches Good Habits


Because the Montessori method values children's independence and promotes self-directed behaviors, it provides an excellent framework for learning all kinds of habits, including dental habits. The Montessori School of Flagstaff Sunnyside Campus works with students to encourage hands-on learning, including those skills that are learned both at home and at school.  For more information on our program, please contact us today for a tour of our school.

Monday, September 11, 2017

What is Required to become a Montessori Preschool Teacher?

The Montessori educational model was developed in the hopes of creating a functional and innovative learning process for kids of all ages. Because of its success, many would-be traditional school teachers are flocking to Montessori jobs because of the diversity, freedom, and flexibility they provide to both students and teachers. Here's an overview what is required to become a Montessori preschool teacher.


No. 1 – Earn a College Degree (if possible)

While there are sometimes associate level certificates available in Early Childhood education for people without a college degree, holding a Bachelor's degree (or higher) will allow one to be eligible for a wide variety of Montessori training programs at centers across the country.

The good news is that one does not necessarily need to major in education or any related field. Montessori teachers come from diverse educational backgrounds such as the social sciences, engineering, art and design, the humanities, and more.


No. 2 – Find and Complete the Right Training Program

The first step to finding a suitable training program is knowing which certification one eventually wants to earn. One could specialize in Infant & Toddler education (0 – 3 years old) or Early Childhood (2.5 – 6 years old). The skills and techniques acquired will vary greatly depending on which certificate is pursued.

Also, it's important to budget for the training program one is interested in. Montessori training can vary in final costs with the more expensive programs costing a small fortune. However, the more affordable programs typically cost about $2,000 in total.


No. 3 – Find a Teaching Position in Your Area

Once one has completed a Montessori training program, they will be fully certified and ready to lead your students toward success. While on the job search, they should make sure to utilize any and all tools available.

However, using an online Montessori job finder tends to be the most effective solution these days. New teachers are still encouraged to hit the ground running and exhausting other options such as contacting local schools about possible openings.


No. 4 – Adapt to the Montessori Method

Since most of us grew up attending traditional schools, it might be a bit of a shock to an individual coming into a Montessori teaching position. Luckily, their training will provide a solid foundation to build on while the teacher becomes adjusted to giving children freedom in their learning experience.


A Bright Future


Becoming a preschool teacher in a Montessori program is rewarding, fulfilling, and gives individuals the opportunity to help shape many generations to come. While it might take a lot of hard work and dedication, it will be well worth it to become part of the Montessori teaching family!

At the Montessori Children's House in Fremont, California, our school is an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) with an AMI Director, in additional to all of our head teachers being AMI trained. Contact us today to schedule a meeting with our teachers to discuss the Montessori teaching model and how it can benefit your child.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Montessori Elementary Education: The Valued Difference

A Montessori elementary education is one of the most valuable types of education you can give a child. Many people are unaware of Montessori education being offered beyond preschool and are pleased to know this is an option. There are some great benefits to Montessori schools that include:
  • A style that encourages active learning experiences
  • A flexible curriculum suited to what each child is ready to learn
  • Projects perfect for the self-paced approach used
  • Group activities and schoolwork


Active Learning Experiences

Most classroom settings involve children learning in a more passive manner. Usually, they are listening while the teacher talks. Student contributions are usually guided by the teacher's approach.

A Montessori classroom involves active discovery that is both self-motivated and hands-on. Because kids take a lead role in discovering the information they're learning, the lessons and activities are more relevant. The overemphasis on testing and memorization that happens in a traditional school is absent from a Montessori setting.


Flexible Curriculum Options

Montessori teachers have more of a coaching or guiding role, as opposed to teaching at an established pace that uses a one-size-fits all approach. Children are able to escape both being left behind by lessons and having lessons they can't keep up with.

In Montessori classrooms, students learn in smaller groups, with lessons guided by the observable needs of the class. The child can learn at his or her pace. Students have both the option of taking as long as they need on a lesson and advancing sooner.


Project-Based Approaches

Because traditional elementary schools focus on benchmarks, many of the lessons are not as intensive as children would prefer. The teachers are also expected to exclusively measure their students' progress. Kids have less involvement in tracking their progress.

In a Montessori setting, students have easy access to hands-on materials. There are also textbooks and other supplemental reading material designed to help increase their understanding of the subject. Children can take a lead in tracking their progress with a form tailored to their individual learning plan.


Group Activities and Schoolwork

Students in a Montessori classroom will perform more of their schoolwork as part of a group than their peers in many traditional school classrooms. Working in groups is the norm, rather than an exception. However, kids can work individually if they prefer, making the experience easily adaptable.

When students are in a Montessori classroom, they learn in a setting that actively encourages learning and caters to individual needs. For many children, this approach is their path to success throughout life.  The Montessori Elementary Program at the Montessori School of Pleasanton is designed for students to work together, being guided by teachers throughout their day and journey of learning as a whole.  Contact us today to schedule a tour and see the Montessori difference first hand.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Which is Right for your Child: Time-Ins or Time-Outs?

Time-out is an approach that has been used for decades, but discipline can be fairly controversial with all of the research and ever-changing attitudes toward child-rearing. If you like some of the ideas behind time-out but want an approach that improves upon the concept, "time-in" might be worth looking into.


Time-Out and Its Flaws

In the classic idea of time-out, children who misbehave are removed from the situation, usually to a corner, a chair, or a "naughty step" to cool down and think about what they've done. Modifications have been made over the years to make time-out more effective, such as the rule of limiting it to one minute per year of the child's age.

But even with those modifications, time-out has its flaws. Instead of giving children time to cool down and reflect upon their mistakes, time-out can make them feel resentful, confused, and abandoned. They may need help understanding what they did wrong, why it was wrong, and what they can do differently next time. Most importantly, they may need help calming down, rather than sitting by themselves and feeling upset.


What Is "Time-In" and How Can It Help?

"Time-in" has developed as an alternative to a disciplinary method that has good intentions, but not always the best practice. Yes, it's important for children to have an opportunity to calm down, understand what they did wrong, and figure out how to do it differently next time. Time-out just doesn't always achieve those things.

Think of time-in as a guided version of time-out. You still want the child to calm down, understand what they did wrong, and realize how to prevent it next time, but with time-in you help the child achieve these goals.
  • Instead of simply banishing the child to a time-out spot, go with them so the two of you can talk.
  • Discuss what happened and why. If the child is younger, you might tell them what was unacceptable and why. An older child might already know this and be able to tell you with some prompting.
  • Talk about how to prevent it next time. This is the most important part, because it promotes better awareness of their behavior, and helps them to understand how to make changes in a way that sitting on a "naughty step" can't do.
  • Determine whether they need additional time to cool down. Again, younger children might not know the signs that they need some time away, whereas older, more experienced kids will be able to tell you. You might choose to sit with them a little longer, or explain to them that they need to do a quiet activity for a little while.


Finding the Right Approach


Every child is different, and what works well for one might not for another. Likewise, as a parent or a caregiver, it's important to use an approach that feels right to you. Whether you choose time-outs, time-ins, or some combination of both, what's most important is that you are raising a happy, well-adjusted child.

At the Montessori School of Flagstaff Sunnyside Campus, our teachers and parents work together to determine the best disciplinary approach for your child.  Montessori education involves the teacher guiding the student, which aligns with the idea of time-ins.  Contact us today to schedule a tour and the Montessori method first hand.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tips for Preparing your Shy Child for Kindergarten

Kindergarten is the state of a fun time for your child. He or she will make friends and get into the school experience quickly. However, if your child is shy, you might need to do a bit of planning to better prepare them for the experience.


Set Up Play Dates

There's a good chance there may be at least one other child nearby headed to the same school. Getting a chance to play with soon-to-be classmates helps alleviate many of the jitters children might feel. If your child has a friend in the class, they are more likely to be willing participants in classroom fun.


Read Books About Kindergarten Together

Searching the children's section at your library will likely yield some fun books about kindergarten. While reading them with your child, talk about the activities depicted. Kids will gain perspectives on everything from finding new friends to learning what may go on during the school day.


Do Some Role Playing

Playing school can be a good way to help introduce your child to what kindergarten is like. You can use this as a way to introduce your child to the school environment, such as working from a table area and interacting with the teacher. You can also practice introductions to other children.


Be Reassuring

Your child should accept their own personality traits and realize it's okay if they aren't as outspoken as their classmates. This can also be a good way to teach tolerance of differences. One takeaway could be your child accepting their more extroverted friends' differences and treasuring them.


Get Involved

Set aside some time after school each day to ask your child about what he or she learned and a little about their friends. Show genuine interest in any classroom activities your child gets excited about. If the activity is something that fascinates him or her, you may want to try to bring the activity home by getting books or toys that relate to your child's new fascination.


Give Your Child Some Quiet Time

The first few days or even months of school might be overwhelming for an introverted child. Allowing some quiet time after school is a good way to help your child make the transition from school life back to home life. Let him or her talk about what they did at school when they're ready, and don't push before they're ready to talk. You want to make sure you hear about your child's actual day, not what they might think you want to hear.


A shy child will succeed as much as an extroverted child in school if allowed to adjust in a way that meets their needs. Given time, they will come to enjoy school and eagerly await their next school day.  At Montessori Children's House, we understand the challenges students face when attending school for the first time. Our teachers work with both students and parents to ensure the transition is smooth and enjoyable for all parties.  With the start of school approaching, contact us today to learn how to prepare your child for kindergarten.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Why is Preschool Important

Preschool isn’t mandatory, but that doesn't mean younger children should be left out of structured learning. While many assume that the “real” learning begins in kindergarten, early childhood education could actually be one of the most important parts of your child’s academic journey. Here are three of the most important reasons to consider preschool for your kids.


Preschool Prepares Kids for Classroom Settings

This benefit is pretty simple, but it’s important. When young kids spend time in a structured academic environment, they learn how to operate as students. They get experience with everything from following classroom rules and verbal instructions to ignoring distractions and paying attention. If some skills or rules don’t come easily, they deserve time to work on it before they’re expected to sit down and learn math or science. After all, children adapt to new routines and settings at their own pace. Early childhood education helps lay a foundation for a smoother transition to elementary school.


Preschool is the First Step toward Self-Sufficiency

Your preschool-age kids are probably “growing up too fast” already, and it’s natural to bristle at the thought of sending them off to school for the first time. However, your ultimate goal as parents is to prepare them for the real world, and it’s never too early to start learning independence and self-sufficiency. In preschool, kids are expected to contribute and engage in basic tasks for the first time, teaching them self-care and giving them a sense of accomplishment and independence. They must wash their hands, keep their stuff in their cubbies, contribute to classroom chores, and listen to their peers. These skills will make it easier for them to make independent decisions and take care of themselves later.


Preschool Exposes Kids to Language at a Crucial Time

Whether or not a young child is ready for reading lessons, they are constantly absorbing the linguistic cues around them. Vocal development begins before their first birthday, when they start producing and repeating syllables, and by age five, most children have learned thousands of words and mastered their language’s sound system. These early years provide the foundation for your child’s literacy skills later on, and preschool programs expose them to new letter and word patterns to encourage vocal development. As teachers read books aloud and kids sing or chant rhyming phrases together, their young minds begin recognizing crucial patterns and sounds, which could boost their reading comprehension and expressive language skills later.

At the Montessori School of Flagstaff Sunnsyide Campus, we understand the significance of early childhood education. We believe that all children, especially our youngest and most “absorbent” students, thrive when they have the opportunity to learn at their own pace in a stimulating environment. That’s why we offer five different preschool and kindergarten programs for ages three to six, all emphasizing lessons and sensory experiences that enrich your young children's lives while developing a strong foundation for their future.  Contact us today to schedule a tour!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Teaching your Preschooler Responsibility through Age Appropriate Chores

One of the hallmarks of a Montessori preschool program is that children are expected to do many things for themselves, such as cleaning, pouring, and serving food. Older or more proficient children help the younger children or those who are new to the program. To an outside observer, the classroom at clean-up time or lunch time might look like a community of tiny adults, all doing their part to achieve a common goal.


The Benefits of Chores

Maria Montessori's philosophy was that children learn and thrive when given age-appropriate responsibilities and independence. Children can learn a sense of responsibility - to their duties as well as to others - from an early age.

You can bring her approach home by assigning age-appropriate chores, and helping your children learn to perform them independently. Assigning chores at home will allow you to:
  • Make your child feel like a functional part of the household. Children love knowing they help the household run smoothly. It can make them feel especially good to do chores such as helping to take care of household pets.
  • Help your child develop self-confidence. Accomplishing something makes you feel good, right? Children are no different. Doing a job well and receiving recognition for it will help your child develop self-esteem and a sense of pride in their work.
  • Teach your child life skills. Work is an important part of life. We all have "chores" we do on a daily basis, from necessary household tasks to our careers. Encouraging children to help out around the house and to take pride in their accomplishments will help instill a strong work ethic at an early age.


Age Appropriate Chores for Preschoolers

Many preschoolers want to do things themselves and assigning chores gives you an opportunity to take advantage of that natural eagerness to help. If your child has never done chores before, start with small chores, adding one at a time. Take the time to teach your child how to do things that are difficult for them at first, as it'll pay off in the long run.
Here are a few responsibilities that are age-appropriate for preschoolers:
  • Cleaning up toys
  • Feeding pets
  • Making their bed
  • Getting dressed in the morning
  • Getting ready for bed at night
  • Putting away folded clothes
  • Folding easy-to-fold clothes
  • Wiping up spills
  • Watering plants
  • Helping with cooking
  • Measuring ingredients for baking
  • Washing produce
  • Setting the table
  • Serving, pouring, etc.


Teaching Responsibility at Home and at School

Teaching your child to do chores at home will help teach responsibility, but it's only half the story. As much as we as parents like to think we control everything about our children's upbringings, don't forget that they spend at least half their day at school. The right school will reinforce the same values you emphasize at home.

At Montessori Children's House, students are encouraged to work together throughout their day, thereby showing them that each person is equally responsible in their own learning.  For more information on how our Montessori programs encourage responsibility, a love of learning, and other important life skills, contact us today to take a tour of our school.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Influence of the Montessori Elementary School

The Montessori classroom is a truly unique learning environment where children are encouraged to think outside of the box. Approaching the learning process with enthusiasm and providing real-life activities to supplement the classroom, children tend to thrive and reach new levels of understanding when attending a Montessori school. But that's just the beginning of the differences and influences found in a Montessori elementary school.


The Montessori Influence

Learning isn't something you do for good grades - it is a way of life at Montessori schools. With many students going on to become life long seekers of knowledge, this educational system proudly provides students with the learning abilities they need to be successful in their adult life.

Students are encouraged to learn at their own pace and style, which is what gives them the time to discover their own interests while still being guided by an instructor. It also gives the student a sense of autonomy that eventually translates into valuable time management skills, accountability, and so much more. Here are some ways Montessori elementary schools influence students, parents, and the community as a whole.

Respect and Understanding: Every student is treated like the unique individual they are at a Montessori school. And at the same time, they are taught – through a variety of activities – how to respect and value other people's differences.

Increased Creativity: When children are given free-access to explore the limits of their learning potential, they start to understand how beneficial and fun learning can be. This opens up their minds to new ideas and possibilities on a daily basis which nourishes both the intellectual and creative side of their personality.

Freedom within Limits: With classrooms, curriculum, and daily routines all built to support the emergence of self-discipline, restraint, and independence, Montessori students are taught to think for themselves and regulate their own time, with some guidance along the way.


The Montessori Difference

Montessori elementary schools help children develop skills that last a life time. Through independent learning, flexible schedules, and self-discipline, the child learns how to adapt and grow in response to a wide variety of real-life situations.


Social Development

Montessori schools also go to great lengths to build strong, small communities in every classroom. Social development is just as important as any other skill in life, but the student cannot explore this aspect of themselves unless they have an environment where they feel comfortable and welcome at all times. This kind of support increases a child's self esteem and builds the confidence they need to face the world as an adult.


Every moment in a child's life is precious. Montessori recognizes this by creating learning programs that focus on the big picture of life, rather than simply memorizing facts from a textbook. The goal is to help children become self-sufficient and self-actualized in all areas of their life.

The elementary school program at the Montessori School of Pleasanton embraces students' individuality and encourages them to work at their own pace, while being guided by teachers and peers.  Our students learn independence as they freely move about the classroom and explore on their own.  Contact us today to meet our teachers and schedule a tour.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Change and your Preschooler: How to Transition from a Daycare to a Montessori Environment

Enrolling your child in a Montessori preschool program is exciting, but it could be quite a change. Here are a few ways to prepare your preschooler for their new environment.


Foster Independence

Montessori programs encourage independence. Children choose their projects, work, and clean up independently.

If your child is used to instruction in preschool or at home, you can help him prepare by encouraging independence at home as much as possible. Here are a few ways to encourage independence:
  • Easy & Accessible - Keep shelves and bits at child height and have step stools to make things like bathroom sinks and kitchens accessible.
  • Self Sufficiency - Encourage your child to do things for themselves, from getting dressed in the morning to getting ready for bed at night.
  • Big Helper - Ask your child for help with things such as cooking and cleaning. This teaches them valuable skills and provides a sense of ownership over their world.


Encourage Motor Skills

The emphasis on independence in the Montessori classroom also promotes strong motor skills. Through drawing, writing, cooking, and cleaning, children have a chance to practice their fine motor skills.

Here are a couple of suggestions to help your child practice their fine motor skills:
  • Cooking and Serving - Cooking and self serving foods offers another opportunity to practice fine motor skills such as spooning, pouring, and stirring.
  • Tracing, writing, drawing, and coloring - Drawing, coloring and tracing promote creativity and fine motor skills.


Set Up a Work Area at Home

A crucial part of the Montessori program is the prepared work environment, where children have everything they need to explore, create, and learn. You can set up a similar area at home.

Your child's work area can be anything from a corner of the bedroom to a designated craft room, but should include:
  • A child-sized table and chairs.
  • A rug for working on the floor and spreading out.
  • Supplies such as pencils, crayons, paints, lined and unlined paper, and scissors.


Follow the Child

One of the most fundamental principles of Montessori is that the lessons plans "follow the child." This means that kids learn by choosing their own projects and exploring their interests, under the guidance of the teacher. This principle of choice encourages a love of learning.
Here are a few ways that you can "follow the child" at home too.
  • Give your child plenty of unstructured time - Avoid the temptation to over schedule your child. Instead, allow him plenty of time to create and learn in his work area.
  • Explore the world together - Take trips together to parks, zoos, museums, and anything else that captures your child's interest.

Changing to a Montessori program can be an adjustment, but by making a few easy changes in your home, you can smooth the transition for your preschooler.  The Montessori School of Flagstaff Sunnyside Campus works with parents and guardians to ensure the transition is a smooth one for everyone involved.  For more information on how Montessori's emphasis on independent learning can benefit your child, contact us today and request a tour of our school.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Incorporating the Montessori Method at Home

Walking into a Montessori classroom surprises many parents and caregivers - the environment is clean, calm, completely organized, and promotes child-centered learning. The Montessori Method encourages independent learning through a well-maintained, prepared environment. Incorporating the basic principles of the Montessori Method at home will provide you and your child with numerous benefits for learning.

At Home: Parents using the Montessori Method in daily life

Use Child-Friendly Furniture

Creating a child-friendly space allows your child to be responsible. Promoting accessibility, age-appropriate furniture and storage areas will create an order to your child's room and other areas of the home.
  • Low shelving, drawers, and closet rods with child size hangers provides the perfect opportunity for your child to put away clothes.
  • Low shelves with storage baskets for toys, educational materials, trays, and other essentials promote cleanliness in your child’s bedroom or play area.
  • Use small chairs and a table. Encourage your child to sit the trays or baskets on the table for play. When finished, remind your child to place items back in the proper space. After some time, the ritual will be part of the daily routine.
  • Use step stools with one or two steps in the bathroom area. By using the steps, your child may use the sink for handwashing.
  • In the kitchen, place healthy snacks, waters, and juices at your child’s level.


Promote Independence

Allow your child plenty of time to accomplish different tasks without interruption. After completing the task, your child will gain a sense of independence, accomplishment, and confidence. As time progresses, the completion of basic tasks will enhance further learning.


Teach Basic Skills

In the Montessori learning environment, children learn basic life skills. Implementing organization techniques, assisting younger children, and participating in everyday cleaning rituals are part of the daily routine. At home, use the learning techniques to help build your child’s self-esteem and confidence
  • Allow your child to wash up prior to a meal or snack.
  • Encourage your child to put away clothes, toys, and other materials after use.
  • Allow your child to wash off the table before and after use.
  • Place dishes in the sink.
  • Help with basic household chores.
  • Encourage your child to discard items in the proper place. Discarding trash and recyclable materials into proper bins provides your child a sense of accomplishment.


Incorporate Nature

Montessori teaching believes nature plays a major role in learning. Spending time outdoors promotes curiosity, imagination, and desire to learn about the immediate surroundings. When at home, create a nature space.
  • Set up different nature items for exploration.
  • Go for walks.
  • Allow your child to explore the outdoors without interruption.
  • Provide nature books.
  • Plant flowers.
  • Search for nature materials including acorns and rocks.

Incorporating different aspects of the Montessori Method at home provides your child with a chance to learn and explore. The small changes in your child’s environment provide a larger impact. As your child learns, a basic foundation develops for further exploration.

At our private elementary school in Pleasanton, CA, Montessori School of Pleasanton works with its parents to incorporate the Montessori Method at home, in order to supplement the learning environment their child is experiencing at school.  Contact us today to see our elementary school students working together as they learn through exploration and hands-on activities.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Preschool and Storytelling: Expanding Your Child's Imagination

Storytelling is the oldest form of instruction known to mankind. Through stories, prehistoric people passed down family histories, learned what to eat and what to be afraid of, and then the art of storytelling progressed into learning how to write down letters and leave a legacy for the future. For the preschooler, stories still fulfill all of those functions, and Montessori learning embraces storytelling as a vital tool in a young child’s education.
Using Storytelling to increase your Preschooler's Imagination


Building Language Skills

For small children, storytelling is an important step in building vocabulary and language skills. Simple stories using basic phrases and building on them with more colorful adjectives and adverbs teach the art of language and speech. Storytelling also helps children build a robust vocabulary, introducing them to novel words that they may not be exposed to on a regular basis. Encouraging preschoolers to assist in creating an exciting adventure prompts them to think-- and express themselves-- in new ways.


Every Picture Tells a Story

Giving a child an object and asking him to make up a story about it does more than build creativity. It also teaches him that everything has its own story, and that more goes into that story than may first be apparent. The object can be anything from a colorful picture to a leaf or pebble. And the story can be a fanciful history or imagining what will happen after the moment the object has been introduced. The important thing is to imagine and create, not to arrive at a predetermined outcome.


Tales of Long Ago and Far Away

Fairy tales and history lessons share a common trait: They both introduce a young child to something from the distant past and show them how it relates to a moral or physical understanding. Knights taming dragons may not seem to have any historical importance, but exposure to such stories may encourage a boy to learn more about feudal systems, ancient castles, or the ethics involved in honesty or personal virtue.


Imagination and Invention

All of the great inventions started out as imagination. Storytelling encourages children to imagine what could be, and that prepares them for a future where they may build the next great tool for modern living. Historical stories for preschoolers can be about all kinds of things, including the solar system, life beneath the seas, or how building dams creates electricity to power homes. Tickling the imagination to fuel the possibility of creating something new and wonderful will encourage the little ones to learn more, think more, and to use their own minds for things no one else has ever thought of.


The Montessori method uses tried and true educational tools to assist children in their development. For preschoolers, this includes the age-old method of storytelling, both creatively and historically. The idea is to use the best tools to garner the most progress, and this is one tool that has a long history of success. At Montessori Children's House, a private day care in Fremont, CA, our teachers encourage students to embrace their creativity and use their imagination throughout their learning. Contact us today to schedule a tour!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Self Esteem and Your Toddler: How to Instill Confidence from an Early Age

Children begin to build on an awareness of “self” from the moment they are born. Enabling a child to feel confident and successful will stick with them for as long as they live. In a million little ways, parents and teachers can foster self-esteem in toddlers, and help them become productive students and successful adults.


Avoid Comparisons

Every child is different, and rightly so. One child may immediately grasp a complex concept while another struggles with it for longer periods. For the teacher, trying to match developmental milestones with specific individuals is far more important than attempting to impose those milestones on all children equally.


Children Imitate Authority

Parents and instructors are vital to a child’s self-esteem. When a parent shows an interest in the projects or playtime fun of a child, it encourages them to do more. In contrast, a child that is told how their time is not being used wisely is more likely to be insecure and introverted. For those in a position of authority over a child, encouraging that child to shine is one of the best gifts that can be given.


Confidence and Motivation

If a child believes that they can accomplish a goal, they are more likely to actually do so. Little encouragements, even something as simple as saying, “You can do it!,” give a toddler the confidence to try. And when that child has tried, confirming their attempt, whether it was successful or not, is critical in building self-esteem and future attempts at the same or other goals. If a child believes they can, they will, and the opposite is also true.


Confidence and STEM

It is never too early for a child to begin learning about science, technology, math and engineering (STEM). A common problem in American education education is that children, especially girls, are taught that “math is hard.” In reality, the only real barrier comes from a falsely reinforced inability. Instead of reinforcing the misconception that math or science are too hard, spend more time encouraging those subjects as fun ways to understand the world and tools for accomplishing goals.


Build on Uniqueness

Every child can learn to play the piano, but there has only been one Beethoven. Helping children focus on the things they have a natural ability for will instill confidence. Trying to force them to become something they are not will cause them to lose faith in their ability to grow and learn. Recognizing the differences in aptitude and focusing on building those strengths is a large part of Montessori education, and should be practiced at home as well.


Children do not start out with insecurities, they learn them from people in positions of authority, and adopt them as facts of life. The best way to teach a toddler confidence is to offer praise and encouragement every time an opportunity presents itself, both at home and in the classroom.  The Montessori Method encourages and supports children to learn through self exploration at their own pace.  The teachers at Montessori Childrens House work with children from an early age, teaching them to be confident in who they are as individuals. Contact us today to schedule a tour.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Apps for your Toddler: Fun and Age Appropriate

When choosing an app for your toddler, you need to keep in mind how they learn at this age. Choose ones that focus on open-ended play and exploration. Extend your toddler's knowledge through digital media that helps them grow by learning about matters that relate to real life. Playing with your child through these apps will increase their desire to learn and make an enjoyable time for both of you.


Fun and Age Appropriate Apps for your Toddler

Computer time doesn't have to be a waste of time. Many worry our young are spending too much time with computers; however, many educational apps are fun while helping your toddler to learn. A great feature with the educational apps is they are often free, so you don't have to worry about spending a lot of money. If you are not sure which apps are appropriate and fun, check out our list to help you choose.


Baby's Musical Hands

Baby's Musical Hands is designed for toddlers two years of age and older. This app is a music-making app designed to be navigated easily by your toddler. Your child will love the musical sounds and the colorful starbursts that display each time they touch the screen. There are 15 squares producing piano, guitar, and percussion sounds with the iPad version. The iPhone and iPod Touch will provide your child with ten instruments as these versions exclude the percussion sounds.


Busy Shapes

Busy Shapes is an exploring-to-learn activity based on a theory of cognitive development. It will give your child a digital playground to explore with many features that will make it easy for even young users to navigate. It uses artificial intelligence, so your toddler will continue to be challenged and will keep a record for you to check on the concepts they've explored. This app is designed to teach how objects relate to one another and their impact on each other versus a name learning activity.


One Touch Reveal

The One Touch Reveal App is designed for your preschooler as an educational tool to teach them words and concepts all in a fun learning environment. Your child will be able to practice and learn about time, shapes, and have two different games to play. The material in this app will keep your child busy for hours. It is loaded with educational value with a touch of fun to make learning exciting for your toddler.


Montessori Approach to Technology and Apps

Montessori's approach to teaching is the philosophy that young children's education should be aimed at recreating their natural observations. It is believed they should be encouraged to self-direct their learning experiences, so developers are using this aspect by creating apps for toddlers to use both in and out of the classroom.


These apps and others are excellent educational tools that will give your child a wealth of information as they practice and learn their shapes, numbers, colors, and more. These apps are both fun and appropriate to make learning enjoyable.  While the Montessori School of Flagstaff Sunnyside Campus focuses on teaching the child through hands-on learning, they encourage parents to incorporate a variety of learning tools, such as apps, into their child's at-home environment.  Contact us today to see how the Montessori method encourages children to learn through various forms of exploration.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Appropriate, Interactive, and Educational Websites for Preschoolers

Kids all want one thing from their educational experiences, and that is to have fun while learning. When you present your preschooler with an interactive exercise, you'll be able to capture their curious mind and help them learn with enjoyment. These are appropriate and interactive websites your preschooler will enjoy that have educational value.


Educational Websites for Preschoolers that are Appropriate and Interactive

Many worry about children having too much access to computers. When the time is limited and spent on material with an educational purpose, computer time can be beneficial. Choosing a website with high educational content that is both age appropriate and interactive is often offered for free or a small subscription fee. These are some that you and your preschooler can interact with to make learning fun for both of you.


National Geographic for Kids

National Geographic for Kids has the answer to all those questions your preschooler has about animals. On this website, you and your child can watch videos, learn about nature and the animal world, and play games. This site will increase your child's knowledge about their world.


Agnitus.com

Agnitus.com is designed for use on a tablet or other touch-screen device. This website gives your child an actual learning experience as it asks them to "touch" objects. Your child will be invited to trace numbers and letters, learn about colors, consonants, and explore size relationships. There is a reading section included to expand your child's reading interests. Agnitus.com offers a free trial for you to explore its benefits.


PBS Kids

If you remember characters from your early years such as Elmo, Curious George, and others who appeared on PBS TV, you'll appreciate how your preschooler can now interact with these same friends online. A great feature on this website is how you can customize flashcards to your child's age and interest area. Pull down menus make it easy for you to select which subjects you want to explore with your child and includes fun activities you can complete anytime and anywhere.


ABCmouse.com

ABCmouse.com is an ideal site for children 2 to 7 years of age. This website is one of the most comprehensive learning sites on the web today. You and your preschooler can listen to books, music, color, and play games. It will even allow you to keep track of your child's progress. There is a free month trial after which you pay less than $8 a month to continue.


Montessori Schools and the Internet


Montessori School of Pleasanton teaches the student as a whole.  While the Montessori Method focuses on hands-on and interactive learning, we still believe that technology, and specifically, the internet can be used in a educational way.  Websites are are age appropriate, interactive, and educational, such as PBS Kids and ABC Mouse, are great supplements to a student's classroom learning.  Contact us today to schedule a visit in our Montessori classrooms.