Montessori Happenings

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Montessori School of Flagstaff middle-schoolers take educational camping trip

Photo by Jake Bacon, Arizona Daily Sun

The Montessori School of Flagstaff’s Cedar Campus recently took their middle schoolers on an educational camping trip as part of the school’s curriculum. The purpose of the trip was to help the students connect with nature and learn about the area’s plants and animals. Please check out the Arizona Daily Sun feature!

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How Are Practical Life Skills Incorporated into Montessori Kindergarten?

Every day at a Montessori kindergarten is a new opportunity for children to practice practical life skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. 

Skills like taking care of themselves and taking care of their environment are building blocks for success, but they can’t be memorized with a set of flash cards. They must be learned by doing, through real-life application. 

These are some of the basic life skills your child will acquire at Montessori kindergarten.

Read more: How Are Practical Life Skills Incorporated into Montessori Kindergarten?

4 Early Math Concepts Appropriate for Montessori Preschool

If you have a child of preschool age, it might be difficult to imagine them someday doing complicated math homework that might leave you frazzled when they ask for a little help. That day will come, though, and they are at the age when their journey there is ready to begin. 

But that journey doesn’t start with long division. They’ll first need your help to work on these basic mathematical concepts.

Read more: 4 Early Math Concepts Appropriate for Montessori Preschool

Are Preschool Expenses Tax Deductible?

Saving money wherever possible is just part of being responsible, but sometimes necessary expenses, even large ones, come along. A preschool or Montessori preschool can certainly qualify, costing anywhere from several hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars per month. 

The expense is certainly worth it for a child’s development, as preschool improves language use, emotional skills, social development, and self-confidence. Still, many parents wonder if they can write off their child’s preschool expenses at tax time. The answer is “possibly.”

Read more: Are Preschool Expenses Tax Deductible?

Building an At-Home Library for Your Kindergartner

There are so many great reasons to read aloud to your children. Reading not only offers bonding time for you and your child, but it also teaches your child new words and concepts and stimulates their imagination. In the process, they become better listeners and communicators, too. 

Building an at-home library for a child in kindergarten can be an excellent way to foster your child’s love of reading. However, with an endless number of books to choose from, you may be unsure which books would be best for your Montessori kindergartner and how carefully you should curate your collection.

Choosing books for your at-home library can seem overwhelming, but by keeping a few simple tips in mind, you can make the process fun and easy for both you and your child.

Read more: Building an At-Home Library for Your Kindergartner

Difference Between AMS and AMI Montessori

Montessori schools are academies that follow the academic philosophy and methodology developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. Today, Montessori middle schools are sprinkled across the globe and are incredibly influential in the world of education. Dr. Montessori, who was the first female doctor in Italy, opened the first Children's House in Rome to provide quality education to low-income children in her own country. Rather than employing traditional teaching methods, Dr. Montessori began building and testing her educational theories focused on educating the whole child.

Most if not all Montessori schools fall under two categories: AMS or AMI. AMS and AMI are two separate organizations that give accreditation to schools and educators. AMS, or American Montessori Society, promotes its approach as the most authentic form of Montessori education. AMI, or Association Montessori Internationale, does not require certification, nor do they claim any differences in philosophy or practice among its members. When choosing a Montessori school for your child, it is important to know what your options are. Here are the major differences between an AMS and an AMI Montessori school.

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What Does it Mean to Educate the Whole Child?

 Dr. Maria Montessori said, "Mind and movements are part of the same entity". Dr. Montessori understood that wisdom, education, and movement were interconnected. Because of this, she set out to create a curriculum that addressed children as whole beings instead of numbers. The Montessori method means taking a holistic approach to education or educating the whole child.

Educating the whole child means thinking about each student as a human being with complexities and depth, moving away from the limiting scope of traditional education, which has a narrow focus on core subject areas. The whole-child approach to teaching backs and encourages all areas of children’s development and learning, from social-emotional and cognitive skills to math, science, and literacy. The philosophy of educating the whole child begins in kindergarten, and it promotes children’s education by being responsive to children’s experiences, interests, skills, and abilities, allowing them to explore their curious nature and their drive to uncover and understand more.

So, what does educating the whole child look like in Montessori programs?

Read more: What Does it Mean to Educate the Whole Child?

4 STEM Activities for Middle School Students

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics activities play a major role in the Montessori learning method because STEM encourages more capable learners, promotes the importance of the sciences, and ultimately places your middle school student in a position where they are able to work in the field, increasing the growth and stability of our economy. 

Montessori programs believe that STEM education creates critical thinkers, expands students’ science literacy, and encourages the next generation of innovators. You can help your middle school student by feeding their natural curiosity about the sciences by engaging in these fun, educational STEM activities with them.

Read more: 4 STEM Activities for Middle School Students

The Influences of an Elementary Montessori Education

Dr. Maria Montessori developed a philosophy that embraces the whole child and children's natural curiosity and passion for learning. She believed that, when provided the space to work with concrete materials in an intentionally prepared environment with an open-ended curriculum, children can reach their highest possibility, academically and socially. The Montessori program for students ages six to twelve, the elementary years, is an individually paced curriculum designed to challenge children academically while developing and protecting their wellness and sense of self.

At this level, elementary school students are engaged members of a respectful community, learning to ask questions, consider critically, and take their learning into their own hands. The Montessori Elementary program aims to provide academic, cognitive, and social support to help young learners reach their full potential.

Read more: The Influences of an Elementary Montessori Education

What Children Learn in Kindergarten

In Montessori education, the culmination of early childhood learning is the kindergarten stage, and later, a successful transition into the elementary program. Dr. Maria Montessori designed the primary program this way, creating a three-year process where children ages three to six stay with the same teacher in the same classroom. The third year, the kindergarten year, becomes a vital period when all of the past year's experiences reach fruition, and a student's deeper learning begins to come together.

So, what can students expect to learn when entering a Montessori school at the kindergarten age? When they reach this stage, the expectations and privileges in the classroom increase, and kindergarteners are encouraged to take on more complicated work. As with the Montessori curricula, the kindergarten stage is designed to develop the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of the child.

Read more: What Children Learn in Kindergarten

Montessori Philosophy

Montessori PhilosophyThe Montessori Philosophy encourages children to develop their observation skills through activities that use the five senses, kinetic movement, spatial refinement, small and gross motor skill coordination, and concrete knowledge that leads to later abstraction.

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Arizona School Tax Credit

Arizona School Tax CreditThe 2015 Arizona School Tax Credit lets your donation go directly to a public school of your choice! A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax liability. Any Arizona taxpayer may contribute, regardless of whether your child is attending school.

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Enrichment Programs

Montessori Schools of Flagstaff Enrichment ProgramsTo meet the needs of working parents, we offer a before- and after-school program designed for children 18 months–12 years. The older children can sign up for the many special classes offered after school such as drama, art classes, and music lessons.

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