Technology, What would Montessori say? Is it healthy for young children?

      With so much technology out there, one might  question it’s value for preschool age children. What would Maria Montessori have to say about young children spending so much time staring at a screen? More and more you ca witness young children staring at screens for long periods of time. Young children at the age of 2,  3 and 4 years old often talk  about video games and I pads, notebooks and other forms of technology. It appears that these things have become very important part of som  young children’s childhood. With so much technology out there, one might  question it’s value for young preschool age children. What would Maria Montessori have to say about young children spending so much time staring at a screen?  Young children at the age of 2,  3 and 4 years old, often talk  about video games and I pads, notebooks and other forms of technology. It appears that these things have become very important to some  young children’s childhood. As a Montessori teacher of 3-6 year old’s for 34 years, I’ve observed children spending quite a bit of  time staring at a screen. There is often  not much  interacting with people going on, when young children spend too much of their time with technology . It raises many questions regarding it’s value for young preschool children. Maria Montessori was a pioneer, years ahead of her time. Her method of education focuses on  the needs of the child. She felt  children were to be respected  as  human beings, capable of extraordinary levels of  learning. Her insight into child development led to  learning environments...

STOP! Let your Children Do That themselves

    “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” – Maria Montessori. It is always the goal  in a  Montessori classroom to encourage children to be independent and be able to do things for themselves. This happens when children are given opportunities to do tasks for themselves such as dressing themselves, cleaning up after themselves, choosing which works  they want to do, and to help the adults with tasks. When  children are able to do things for themselves, it  increases their  self belief, self confidence and self esteem. This will carry on throughout their lives. Maria Montessori understood that in order to be free, one needs to be independent.  Parents who are new to the Montessori Method can misunderstand this concept, and expect a child to become independent by granting her/him freedom of choice without limits. Instead, the Montessori classroom offers children freedom within limits. There are many rules in a Montessori classroom that aid in fostering independence. When children understand the rules,  they can independently work within  the structure of these rules. STOP! Let Your Children do that themselves! What does each of us want for our child? Do we want our children to become  adults who can make good decisions, who feels confident? Do want to raise children to be adults who can both accept their reality and work to make the world a better place? The foundation for this independence is laid in the early years of a child’s life. Most importantly between 2 years and 6 years of age. An aid to life. Maria Montessori had an innovative...

Is your child getting individual attention at his/her preschool? Consider Montessori

Do you feel like your child is not getting the attention needed at their pre-school or Kindergarten? Is your child one of many getting lost in  the crowd of children? Choosing a Montessori school will give your child the personal attention needed to feel safe and comfortable in a nurturing learning environment. When a child feels safe and secure at his/her school, true learning can then take place.  When  pre-school children are  valued as a unique individual,  they can feel good about themselves, gain confidence, tackle challenges and experience success in their educational experience. Montessori education recognizes that children learn in different ways, the method  works at accommodating all learning styles. Students are  free to learn at their own pace and level of development. Each child advances through the curriculum as he/she is ready, guided by the teacher and an individualized learning plan created through teacher observation. Observation is an integral and continual part of Montessori education The way that  children can be taught on an individual basis is through teacher observations. Observation is a tool that is used by the teacher to follow the child by assessing  their abilities and readiness. Montessori is a holistic approach that helps develop the child from within, as well as  the academic  skills needed for future education as well as for life! The Montessori teacher knows  to sit silently and motionless at times to observe children. In our fast paced world, and in the schools that are focused on the curriculum and testing, this is something that  rarely happens. Constant physical motion means teachers are missing out on  physical, verbal, and social cues from...

Why Montessori for Autistic Children?

Autism is on the rise at an alarming rate in the United States. It is estimated that there are approximately 259,425 children (ages 3-22) who have been diagnosed with autism. Autism is typically diagnosed during the first three years of life. It is the result of a neurological disorder that impairs the functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Children with autism have difficulty relating to and communicating with others and they have difficulty understanding emotional expression. The word “autism” is blanket term which includes  many disorders within the “autism spectrum.”  Sometimes called “Pervasive Developmental Disorders,” autism spectrum disorders include such diagnoses as: Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s  and Rett  Syndrome. Some characteristics of Autism are: – Communication- language impairments- speech, difficulty expressing language, relying on gestures instead of words. Also unresponsive to verbal cues and displaying Echolalia (echoing or repeating words or phrases) -Socialization – difficulties with social relationships, poor social timing, lack of social empathy, rejection of normal body contact, inappropriate eye contact -Imagination – rigidity and inflexibility of thought processes, resistance to change, obsessional and ritualistic behavior, lack of creative and imaginative play -Hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli (bright lights, loud sounds, unexpected touch, taste, smell)     May be Over- or under-sensitivity to pain alone -Uneven gross/motor skills, noticeable physical under- or over-activity, spinning objects or self, – Laughing/crying/showing distress for no apparent reason, While the causes of autism are still not known, research indicates there may be genetic factors as well as factors based on conditions affecting brain development before, during, and shortly after birth. The Montessori classroom is an environment...

ADHD Disorder and How to Work with Children Afflicted

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity  Disorder is a common issue facing many parents and children. Children with this disorder have trouble paying attention and controlling impulses by acting without thinking. They can also be overly active. There is no cure for this disorder however, it can be successfully managed and some symptoms may improve with maturity. It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends. A child with ADHD might: daydream a lot forget or lose things a lot squirm or fidget talk too much make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks have a hard time resisting temptation have trouble taking turns have difficulty getting along with others There are  different types of ADHD, depending on which types of symptoms are strongest in the individual:  Inattentive: It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The child is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.  Hyperactive-Impulsive: The child fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Younger children may run, jump or climb constantly.  He/she feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity.  A child who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from others, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for these children to wait their turn or listen to directions. A child  with impulsiveness...

Kindergarten: ready or not?

Here are some simple  guidelines to decide if your child is kindergarten-ready. Starting kindergarten is one of the biggest milestones in a child’s life. Here are some tips to help you decide whether your child will be socially, academically and physically prepared to start  school. School cut-off dates School districts around the country differ widely in their cut-off dates for students entering kindergarten, a factor that is certain to cause confusion for parents, especially those moving from one state to another, or considering private as well as public school. Your child may be deemed ready in one state or type of school but not in another. In most states, a child must reach the age of 5 for public school, but the birth date can range from June 1 to December 31. To find out the cut-off date in your state, visit this kindergarten cut-off dates by state website. Experts  suggest that parents look beyond their child’s chronological age when enrolling him/her in kindergarten. Development and maturity play a huge part in making a decision weather your child is ready for Kindergarten or not. If the cut off date is September, summer birthday children are advised by most districts, to “wait” before entering Kindergarten. Another year of development can make a huge difference in a child’s life and in his/her future education. The advantage to being the oldest in the class verses the youngest gives children the greatest advantage for success. How do I know if my child is ready? There isn’t just one indicator that determines whether your child is ready for kindergarten. Experts agree that a child’s...