Twin Parks Montessori Schools - Preschool Manhattan, Upper West Side, New York City (NYC)

Kathy’s Insights

Insights on the Montessori method and Early Childhood Education from Dr. Kathy Roemer

Kathy’s Insights

Mid Summer’s Eve

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While I contemplated the title for this post, I was reluctant to use the words “end of” indicating that summer is soon behind us. This is the time of August when many people enjoy time away from work, whether it is for a vacation or stay-cation. Summer camps are ending and we have a few more weeks before school begins. This is one of the few time of the year that I can leave the city and not worry about Twin Parks Montessori Schools in my absence. I am looking forward to the biggest decision to be which book I am going to read during my time off!

For parents, you may be deciding which books to take along to read to your children. Maybe a choice will be a story about starting school like, I Am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child, The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, Little School by Beth Norling, or for those going on to kindergarten, Sam and Gram and the First Day of School by Dianne Blomberg.

Our current newsletter offers some helpful information about preparing for those first few weeks back to school. To quote education director, Candace LaDouceur, :

It is important to remain positive when speaking about school with your child. Even if you are feeling nervous, look to convey a happy and optimistic feeling during this new experience. Your words, tone a facial expressions can influence your child’s attitude and confidence about school

But surely there is plenty of time to get ready for the new school year. On this Mid-Summer’s Eve, I want to be content to relax in the beautiful weather and go where my feet take me. No big plans, no worries, to live for the moment.

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet, make you want to move your dancing feet.
from the song, Sun is Shining by Bob Marley

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How do you encourage your toddler to talk?

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Toddlers enrolled at Twin Parks Montessori Schools learn new words everyday. It is not because the adults are talking all the time, it is because they engage in shared conversations, read to and observed. Observation enables the adult to see and interpret subtle non-verbal cues from the child and respond appropriately. Teachers also use pictures and objects to teach new vocabulary.

Read this interesting passage by Janet Lansbury, REI Associate and Parent/Infant Class instructor to learn more.

Montessori Infant Toddler

Pictures help build vocabulary!

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We are thankful for our Twin Parks Montessori School Teachers!

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During the summer months Twin Parks Montessori School administrators prepare for the next school year. Today I was writing my back to school letter to our teachers, searching for inspiration and words of wisdom to help fire the passions in them. I feel so fortunate to work with such a dedicated, special group of adults whose personal goal is to guide the education and development of young children. I found this TED video about Rita Pierson, a 40 year veteran teacher who says every child needs a champion. We definitely have champions at Twin Parks!

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Love languages of children

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A colleague of mine share a book titled, The 5 Love Languages of Children.  It is part of a series written by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.  The book has family stories about parents and children.  It describes the 5 love languages that helps children understand parents’ love.  They are:  physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts and acts of service.

images 3 Love languages of children

Touch is one of the 5 Languages of Love

“Love looks out for the interests of another; so does discipline.  So discipline is certainly an act of love.  And the more a child feels loved, the easier it is to discipline that child.” (page 127)

images 1 Love languages of children

Working together demonstrates an act of service.

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Beatrice from Heifer visits Twin Parks Montessori Schools

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On Wednesday, June 11, The Beatrice Biira of Uganda, from Beatrice’s Goat came to visit Twin Parks Montessori Schools to accept the donations our schools made to Heifer International. At the age of nine, Beatrice achieved her childhood dream of attending school thanks to a goat, a gift from Heifer International.

Our students are very familiar with Beatrice’s true story. They read her book in preparation for choosing an animal they wanted to give to a family. Philanthropy, shared as a family tradition, is the gift of a lifetime for young children.

Beatrice gifted a signed copy of her book to the schools

Preschool phanthropy nursery Montessori

Beatrice sharing her book with the Yellow Room at Park West Montessori School

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The Importance of Talking to Our Children

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“If everyone talked to their young children the same amount, there would be no racial or socioeconomic gap at all.” This controversial claim was made in a New York Times article, “The Power of Talking to Your Baby,” by Tina Rosenberg. Some excerpts from this article based on the research of Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley at the University of Kansas:

“Children whose families were on welfare heard about 600 words per hour. Working-class children heard 1,200 words per hour, and children from professional families heard 2,100 words. By age 3, a poor child would have heard 30 million fewer words in his home environment than a child from a professional family…. Hart and Risley… found that parents talk much more to girls than to boys (perhaps because girls are more sociable, or because it is Mom who does most of the care, and parents talk more to children of their gender). This might explain why young, poor boys have particular trouble in school.

And the disparity mattered: the greater the number of words children heard from their parents or caregivers before they were 3, the higher their IQ and the better they did in school. TV talk not only didn’t help, it was detrimental.”

Children need to hear an abundance of a varied vocabulary.

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Sticks and Stones

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Today started with me accomplishing a major goal – by cleaning the 55 gallon fish tank at Park West Montessori School.  I inherited the fish tank from my son who was tired of moving it up and down apartment stairs when he moved.  We take care of some of his original cichlids, a plecostomus and a speckled cat fish.  We also have several generations of cichlids because they have live births fairly often. Cleaning the tank also means catching some mid-sized, “teenager” fish to donate to the fish store.  After all, we have to make room for the new babies!

After I finished this arduous task, feeling good, I sat at my computer with the clean tank in the background, reading email.  I opened this TED video and wanted to share it with you (note: not for children).

It made me laugh and cry. I also want to apologize to the teenager fish and let them know that even though they were singled out to weed from the tank, it is truly not personal.  With their youth and size, they have the best chance to flourish in another tank in another school or home.

 

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