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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Teachers Attend AMS Conference: In-Service Friday

Teachers Attend AMS Conference: In-Service Friday

There will be no school for children on Friday, March 13, at Winfield Children’s House. A team of teachers and administrators will be traveling to Philadelphia for the American Montessori Society Annual Conference. There will be teachers from the infant, toddler, preschool and Kindergarten programs attended. This year’s conference theme is “Life, Liberty, Montessori” in honor of the history of Philadelphia. The conference is expected to draw 2,000+ Montessori educators from around the USA and internationally. Keynote speakers include author Jennifer Senior. Her recent book All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood has earned acclaim for its unique perspective on the challenges American parents face in the 21st century.  Julian Bond will give the Nancy McCormick Rambusch Lecture on Friday. He has been a leader in the Civil Rights movement for many years, including positions of political office in the state of Georgia and President Emeritus of the Southern Poverty Law Center. In addition, workshops, networking events and an exhibit hall will help teachers to gather new ideas and return to school full of inspiration.  ...

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Parenting Resource: Simplicity Parenting

Parenting Resource: Simplicity Parenting

  A Winfield teacher and parent shared an article about creating balance for your child at home. It’s called the “The Four Pillars of Simplicity” from the Simplicity Parenting blog. Many of the ideas suggested in the article are similar to the philosophy Montessori teachers utilize to prepare the classroom and curriculum for your child.   Simplicity Parenting is a resource created by Massachusetts educator and family counselor Kim John Payne. If you and your family are feeling overwhelmed by all there is to do in this busy world, this might be of interest.   Feel free to share your favorite parent resources with your child’s teacher.   The photo above is a public domain image “A family having fun” by Hillebrand Steve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife...

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Infant Program Enrolling for June 2015

Infant Program Enrolling for June 2015

Winfield Children’s House is proud of the success of our newest program, the Bambini classroom for children ages 6 months to 16 months. Limited space is available now and we are enrolling families to start the program in June when older children transition into the Toddler House programs. Please call to learn more about our specific infant program options and to arrange for a personal tour of the classroom and our school. You can reach us during regular business hours at...

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