Peace? In Our World? by Wendy Calise

2018-06-21T09:26:37-05:00December 10th, 2015|Categories: Current|Tags: , |

Let me start this with a true confession. I have worked in a Montessori school for more than 25 years, was a Montessori student myself, but really have not spent much time reflecting on the notion of education and peace. But recent events and the opportunity to speak to the Grandparents of our students changed that. As we drift into the season of giving thanks, it is clear that we have so much to be thankful for here in America. Such great abundance. We live [...]

Nine Qualities of an Authentic Montessori School

2016-11-01T15:28:37-05:00November 17th, 2015|Categories: Raintree|Tags: |

1.  Teacher Training Authentic high quality Montessori schools have teachers who were trained by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) or the American Montessori Society (AMS). Do not be confused by other acronyms when looking at a teacher’s diploma.  2.  Teacher Tenure Montessori teachers who have found an authentic Montessori school to work in do not leave. Ask how long the teachers have taught in the school. A long tenure speaks to the school’s authenticity 3.  Length of class time Authentic Montessori schools have a long uninterrupted work [...]

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About a Montessori School…But Were Afraid to Ask

2018-06-21T09:27:40-05:00November 17th, 2015|Categories: Montessori|

“Aunt Martha says Montessori is a cult? Is that true?” “Does Montessori allow kids to do anything they want? A laissez-faire approach?” “I’ve heard Montessori classrooms are so rigid and strict you can hear a pin drop. Is that true?” “My friend sends her child to a Montessori school and loves it, but she has warned me that not all Montessori schools are the same. How will I know if a school is an authentic Montessori school?” The answers to the questions respectively are no, [...]

The Story of the Magic Eraser

2018-06-21T09:27:56-05:00September 16th, 2015|Categories: Parenting|Tags: , |

Optimism and Grit in the Face of Adversity About a month ago, we experienced another round of vandalism as did our neighbors to the east and the public school behind us.  Black enamel spray paint was used to deface the Gaga Ball pit the students built, the east waiting station, and the school’s pickup truck.  The Gaga Ball pit was repaired, thanks to Jim, and this weekend, Gibson and I sanded off the graffiti from the cedar post in the waiting station, but we knew [...]

Finn’s Lesson: Becoming A Classroom Leader

2016-11-01T15:28:37-05:00August 20th, 2015|Categories: Primary|Tags: |

As I have said in almost every newsletter at the start of a school term, it is hard being a parent and leaving your little child in the arms of a stranger. We know exactly how you feel because we’ve been there, most of us personally, and all of us professionally. So if you are still worried when you get home, or to work, please call. 99.9% of the time your child is fine, and you are the one who is still crying. To assure [...]

Montessori: A Leap of Faith

2016-11-01T15:28:37-05:00June 30th, 2015|Categories: Elementary, Raintree|Tags: |

Being the parent of a Montessori child takes a leap of faith. Most of us, and this includes Montessori teachers, were educated in traditional classrooms. When we started our elementary program, we thought, “We have to test these kids. We can’t be having this much fun, and the kids are learning, too,” so we invested in a norm-referenced assessment, the Kaufman, testing the students at the end of third grade, and then again at sixth. But the tests didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already [...]

Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make

2016-11-01T15:28:37-05:00May 2nd, 2015|Categories: Primary|Tags: |

Young children of preschool age derive their security from order, routine and the consistency of the adults in their lives. When a child starts attending a new school, it is common for him to react to the transition, often with tears. Some children cry right away while others wait for a few weeks. If you are a parent of a child who is crying when you leave, have faith. All will be well. Keep in mind that we adults are key to how our children [...]

No Helicopters Please

2015-05-02T03:44:37-05:00May 2nd, 2015|Categories: Raintree|Tags: |

When we first started Raintree, Montessori was relatively new to the Lawrence community. The Raintree campus of today bears little resemblance to the ramshackle building and grounds of yesteryear, but we have fond memories of that time, just as we will have fond memories of this time in our lives in years to come. As our physical environments improved (a real parking lot replaced the mud and gravel and windows brought natural light into what had been dimly lit classrooms) and our students achieved success [...]

A Letter to Elementary and Soon-To-Be Elementary Parents

2016-11-01T15:28:37-05:00May 2nd, 2015|Categories: Elementary|Tags: , |

Dear Parents, Welcome to our elementary community and to your new role as the parent of an elementary-age child. You did it! You successfully nurtured your child through the crucial first six years of life, giving them a solid Montessori foundation on which they will now begin to build a healthy childhood as the foundation for a healthy adolescence. It wasn’t easy at times, and there was so much to learn about your child and yourself as a parent, so many surprises, so much to [...]

Given The Right Conditions

2016-11-01T15:28:37-05:00May 1st, 2015|Categories: Raintree|Tags: |

“I never teacher my pupils; I only give them the optimum conditions in which to learn.” —Einstein This simple statement by Einstein also applies to parenting; children are learning all the time, not just at school. Children literally construct themselves from the moment they enter this world. Throughout Montessori’s writings she uses the term “self-construction,” driving home the point that it is the raw material they are exposed to which shapes the adult they will become. Some people, mostly men, don’t finish this process until [...]