Twin Parks Montessori - Largest Accredited Montessori Program in Manhattan

Kathy’s Insights

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

Helicopter Parents? Not at Twin Parks Montessori Schools!

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Long before we heard about “Tiger Moms”, the term “Helicopter Parent” was used to describe parents who literally hover over their child, doing everything for the child, even though the child can do things for himself.  These parents are rarely out of reach, whether their child needs them or not.

Why do parents hover?  Sometimes parents are in a hurry and children take more time than the amount allotted  for the activity.  Sometimes parents want to avoid frustrating situations for their child and/or potential temper tantrums.  Sometimes parents do not realize that the child, if given enough time, can actually do many things independently.  Take a look at a recent news segment that was filmed at one of our schools.  Look at what our students can do!  Listen to what Twin Parks Montessori School parents are observing and saying!

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Gentle Sleep Coaching

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This week, Twin Parks Montessori School parents had the opportunity to learn how to gently coach their children to have healthy sleep manners.  Christina Gantcher, shared the basics of sleep rhythm and cycles, the quality and quantity of sleep and very effective tips for establishing consistency for sleep schedules.

Peaceful baby sleeping.

Often parents ask our teachers and me why children sleep at school, that it interferes with nighttime sleep.  Some parents do not understand that daytime sleep is essential for children to get a good night’s sleep. Children who do not nap and then stay up late are sleep deprived and are unable to work at their best throughout the day.



The following chart provides a guide for the appropriate sleep time per age.

Age          Night Sleep (hrs)      Daytime Sleep (hrs)   Total (hrs)

3 months                10                              5 (3 naps)                                15

12 months             11.25                       2.5 (2 naps)                             13.75

18 months             11.25                       2.25 (1 nap)                              13.5

2 years                     11                              2 hours                                      13

3 years                     10.5                          1.5                                               12

4 years                     10.5                          1                                                  11.5

Let’s start a conversation about sleep.  If you have any questions, post in the comment section.

A 4-year old napping.


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Inspiration, Innovation and Improvisation

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Tonight I attended a concert at Columbia University’s Miller Theater.  A former parent at Park West, George Lewis, composer and musician was portrayed through his compositions.  As the program states, “he is a musician unlimited by boundaries between jazz and classical, or between improvised and notated music, or between performance and electronics, or even between music and other art forms.”

George Lewis Park West Montessori School Parent

Montessori Dad, George Lewis

Parts of the program included poet Quincy Troupe reading his poems, Following the North Star Boogaloo and Collage.

One of the featured compositions, Artificial Life 2007, had no prescribed musical material.  George created two pages of instructions, sometimes just words to indicate the kinds of sounds, or to repeat another musician’s notes.  The musicians followed the instructions separately or together and the results depended on the performers taking part. It culminated in a period of collective silence.  It was extremely creative and profound.  This type of innovative exercise would be interesting for Montessori students to participate in.  We all look forward to more compositions from George Lewis!

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Quiet, Slow to Warm Children

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Last week I attended a seminar presented by the ISAAGNY group hosted by the Churchill School on East 29th Street.  Susan Cain, author of the upcoming book, Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, spoke to a packed audience of school heads and admissions directors.

“Many of the achievements that have propelled society, from the theory of evolution to the invention of the PC, from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the Cat in the Hat, came from people who were quiet, cerebral, and sensitive.  Even in less obviously introverted occupations, like finance, politics, and activism, some of the greatest leaps forward were made by introverts: Eleanor Roosevelt. Al Gore. Warren Buffett. Gandhi”.  (Cain, 2011)

Susan, a self prescribed introvert, told true stories about quiet children who are often overlooked during the admissions process for private elementary schools.  She relayed that the quiet children are often very thoughtful in their approach to new situations and need more time to warm up.  Cain also shared that many introverted people are comfortable working independently and they are creative.

In addition to the time spend working towards a discovery, most creative work is done by people working independently, by people who are comfortable working alone (Cain, New York, 2011).

In her article in the New York Times Sunday Review, Susan tells of another advantage to being a “sitter” or those who are watchful, slow-to-warm-up types who stick to the sidelines.  It is a willingness to listen and to carry out other people’s ideas.  Introverted leaders practice their communication skills more and smile more.

Cain’s advice to the private school head’s and admissions staff was to give the quiet children more time to warm up, listen to what people who have a long relationship with the child say about him/her, and consider the benefits of having quiet children in the mix during enrollment time.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Gandhi


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Kathy’s Insights