Business Leaders and Montessori

Business Leaders and Montessori

We recently came across a Wall Street Journal article from 2011 about business leaders who credit their Montessori educations for giving them a business advantage. These leaders include the founders of both Google and Amazon, who were both interviewed for the piece. The Wall Street Journal gave a tongue-in-cheek title to the story, “The Montessori Mafia.” Around the same time, the Harvard Business Review published “Montessori Builds Innovators,” a reflection on the WSJ article written by Andrew McAfee, a professor at MIT.  McAfee’s recollections of the Montessori math materials are especially interesting to read. Happy reading!  ...

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Honor the Birds

Honor the Birds

In our Montessori program, finding ways to honor the Earth and the life upon it are part of our Peace Curriculum. This year, we’ve chosen to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at Winfield Children’s House. This day was designated as the second weekend in May and is celebrated worldwide. Many birds visit our school’s campus. During the winter we fill bird feeders. We eagerly await the return of the migratory robins and phoebes that nest on our grounds each year. To celebrate this international event, we’ve invited a children’s naturalist from the Maine Audubon to present a program to the children. Individual classrooms are celebrating with different activities and materials. We were excited to add some new book titles to our school library, as well. Feather Not Just for Flying and A Nest Is Noisy are a few of new picture books we’ve order. How is your family celebrating birds this May?      ...

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Celebrate Earth Day Outdoors

Celebrate Earth Day Outdoors

Winfield Children’s House is fortunate to have a beautiful wooded campus and playgrounds with mature shade trees and plenty of room to run and play. Across the street, we can access a beautiful loop trail in the Falmouth Town Forrest with hills, streams, rock formations, bridges and vernal pools. As we approach school vacation week and the holidays of Earth Day and Arbor Day, let’s reflect on deepening the connection of children to the natural world. One way teachers from the Maine Montessori Institute connect with this issue is through the work of author Richard Louv. His influential book Last Child in the Woods is required reading for the Montessori teacher training. From his website: Last Child in the Woods is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond—and many are right in our own backyard. Here is video of an interview with author Richard Louv: What are some of the ways your family chooses to connect with nature? What are some of the benefits it brings to your child? Here are some local resources that provide ways for families to spend time in nature, grow their knowledge of the natural world and have fun: Falmouth Land Trust – a listing of trails in Falmouth for walking, biking and exploring Royal River Conservation Trust – list of preserve land in Yarmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth and New Gloucester Portland Trails – guide to Portland’s urban scenic and wooded trails, search option for stroller friendly trails Gilsland Farm Audubon Center – a gem of a community resource right here in Falmouth! Beautiful, easy trails, great education center with restrooms. Offers preschool programs and summer programs for children and...

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How the Young Child Masters Executive Function

How the Young Child Masters Executive Function

The staff who were able to attend the American Montessori Society Annual Conference in Philadelphia this past weekend are returning to school with a wealth of resources about teaching and learning. One term that was popular in workshops and keynotes was “executive function.” The latest research in neuroscience is giving educators a lot of insight into how the brain learns. A metaphor for executive function is the “air-traffic control” of the brain. In other words, the mechanisms that allow concentration, organization, flexibility and the ability to filter distractions. Research is showing these abilities are teachable. Montessori programs are able to provide an environment to let these skills unfold with the long, uninterrupted work time and age-appropriate materials that isolate skills and allow for independent discovery. Twin Parks Montessori in New York City shared this excellent video explaining more about executive function in young children. If you would like to learn more about how to support your child in developing executive function, you may wish to mark your calendar for an upcoming lecture sponsored by the Maine Montessori Association and North Yarmouth Academy. It’s offered by psychologist Stephen Hughes and entitled, “Building Better Brains.” The event will take place Friday, March 26, from 6:30-8pm at the North Yarmouth Academy Savage Middle School Gymnasium. The event is free and open to the public. If you aren’t able to make it to the lecture, you may wish to bookmark this video from Dr. Hughes website. Building Better Brains from Steve Hughes on...

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School Accreditation News

School Accreditation News

Winfield Children’s House is seeking re-accreditation this year from the American Montessori Society (AMS). We are on-track towards that goal, having recently submitted our self-study report to the school accreditation program at AMS. Thus, we are delighted that the AMS accreditation program was just re-accredited by the National Council for Private School Accreditation, a national organization that serves as a review panel for the standards and review procedures of private school accrediting agencies. Because AMS is member of NCPSA, schools that are accredited by AMS are also accredited by NCPSA. We look forward to completing the re-accreditation process this year. To view a press release about the National Council for Private School Accreditation news, please visit the AMS website.  ...

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Setting Limits Podcast

Setting Limits Podcast

  It’s that time of the year where children are becoming more active and energized. With that comes testing the boundaries of appropriate behavior. Parents ask us a lot of questions about how to approach setting limits with toddlers and preschoolers. A popular phrase in the Montessori world is “follow the child.” This may give the impression that “anything goes,” which is far from the reality. In the classroom, we are regularly setting limits and following through to help children understand and respect limits around safety, gentleness and kindness. Last year, we posted a link to Elevating Child Care, a blog about caring for young children with respect. The blog is written by Janet Lansbury, a parenting educator in California. A frequent topic on the blog is setting limits. Ms. Lansbury has a new podcast where you can here more about the topic of setting limits and hear some examples of using this approach this with young children. Here is the link to the podcast: http://www.janetlansbury.com/2014/04/setting-limits-with-respect-what-it-sounds-like-podcast/ Happy listening and Happy Mother’s...

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