Posts Categorized: General

Why Follow a Phase-In Schedule?

Every August brings the beginning of a new school year. It is a fresh start. Children return to the classrooms. Some of them are veterans of the class, having been in the room for one or two years already, and some of them are entering a new environment for the first time. Whether returning or new, each one of these children will be phased into the classroom.

Over my many years as a toddler teacher I have had a few parents ask why we follow this “phasing-in schedule.” It is true that slowly bringing the children into the new school year can cause a bit of a juggling act for parents. Work schedules may need to be altered for the week. Childcare may need to be arranged. In the end, all of that teeter tottering about is worth it. The children are the most important work, and their most important work is starting a new school year off successfully.

In every one of my first emails to our toddler parents, I give them their child’s phasing-in schedule. I also write that this schedule is the key to success. Children need a gentle introduction. They need time to adjust to new things, new places, and new people. It is through this process that they gain trust in everything and everyone around them. Their brains are allowed to assimilate what is new and what is old in a seemingly unrushed manner.

Have you ever noticed how your child is more tired at the beginning of the school year? I have. My son is fifteen years old and still took a nap every day he came home during the first week of school. School is a child’s work. It is serious business for them. When you allow a child to move at their pace you are listening to them and their needs. You are helping them to succeed. So, why do we phase our children in instead of putting them directly in the classrooms for full school days? My answer is, why not?

Rebekah Spooner
Toddler 1 Co-Lead Teacher
South Huntsville Campus

August 18, 2016 2:26 pm  |   Category: , , ,   |   Comments Off on Why Follow a Phase-In Schedule?

Stay Just A Little Bit Longer

We know the options some of you are weighing this time of year.  You hear the Siren’s call of public school or you want an option that’s more convenient and requires less driving time.  And the hardest for us to hear is that you want to stay, but you are worried about transition.  If you have to go eventually, you think you might as well go now.  While all of these reasons have their logic, we hope you will consider why you chose MSH in the first place.

Montessori education fosters a love of learning.  Our students are presented with a myriad of lesson options everyday, and they can experience new concepts through all of their senses.  Teachers guide students through learning instead of marching them through a curriculum at a pre-determined pace that may be too fast or too slow for a student’s specific needs.  Lessons here are individualized, and your child is able to realize his/her full potential.

Our program educates your whole child.  While math and reading are at the heart of our learning, our students also are learning how to resolve conflicts, tend a garden, care for a pet, console a friend, understanding where his or her food comes from, managing a grocery budget and so many other lessons that prepare your child for life, not just a multitude of mandated standardized test.

We hope you choose to stay with Montessori because when you look at current trends in education, the latest research really is not all new.  Brain-based learning, the maker movement, inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, motivation theory, the importance of movement, green education, and the list goes on, is inherent in Dr. Maria Montessori’s work.  The common core curriculum does not strike fear in the heart of Montessori teachers because they have been teaching children to look at problems from different perspectives for more than one hundred years.

However, the main reason we think you should stay with MSH just a little bit longer is because we work everyday to ensure that your child becomes a capable, confident, compassionate and creative thinker.  All the teachers and staff are here because they believe so deeply in the need to nurture future leaders of the world.  It is no longer enough to learn for the sake of knowledge.  We are here to teach children to create, reason, problem-solve and most of all, lead.  We hope you will decide in the weeks to come that you would like to stay on the journey with us…just a little bit longer.

 

 

February 6, 2015 10:23 pm  |   Category: ,   |   Comments Off on Stay Just A Little Bit Longer

Parent Observation Month- Toddler 1 Ms. Becky and Ms. Lacey

February is Parent Observation Month here at MSH.  Our toddler parents will be observing through the videos the teachers have recorded, while parents at other levels will be observing by sitting in the classrooms.  While observing try asking yourself these questions:

                     How do the children relate and communicate with each other and the teachers?
                    What kind of mood do you feel the classroom has?
                    Would you enjoy being a child in this classroom?
Take notes while you are observing.  Write down any questions, concerns, or comments you may have on the paper provided by your child’s teacher.  When you’re done observing stop by the office and have a copy of your notes made.  The office staff will give the copy to your child’s teacher.  You may take the other home with you.  Having a copy of your notes is a great tool for your child’s teacher to reference to while preparing for spring conferences.
We would also like to encourage our toddler parents to observe some of the primary classes in preparation for the next school year.  All sign up sheets for observation times are posted outside of the classroom doors.  We love sharing our classrooms with you and look forward to reading your comments.
Becky and Lacey
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January 30, 2015 7:59 pm  |   Category: ,   |   Comments Off on Parent Observation Month- Toddler 1 Ms. Becky and Ms. Lacey

The Journey All Parents Should Take

We all want what is best for our children.  We work hard to prepare them for a successful future by providing the best education possible.  The environment we inhabit is dynamic, and learning to learn is the most valuable skill we can give our kids to ensure their future success.

At MSH, we believe that the very best method for teaching children is one that began 107 years ago.  The Montessori curriculum followed here at MSH is comprehensive, individualized and delivered in a beautiful, organized way.  The materials and methods are incredibly specific, and the training required by our teachers to implement these methods and materials is very detailed.

However, you don’t have to take our word for it.  You can experience it for yourself and you should.  When you hear about the pink tower, stamp game, or checkerboard you should know the myriad of skills that align to each material. When your 3 year old comes home with red and blue letters on his arm, you can understand why they are presented in a particular order.  When your daughter mentions that she held the peace rose today, you will know how this item is used on a regular basis for resolving conflict and teaching self-advocacy.

On January 24 from 8am-12pm, we hope you will join us to experience your child’s school day firsthand, by participating in the Montessori Journey. Our teachers will guide you through the highlights of the curriculum and answer your questions about our materials and our methods. Get answers to all your questions and learn so much more about the Montessori Method by experiencing it for yourself. It’s a journey every parent needs to take.

 

January 13, 2015 6:24 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on The Journey All Parents Should Take

Alabama Accountability Act

Dear MSH Families,
You may have heard that MSH is a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) and can receive donations to fund school tuition for eligible students zoned for failing schools in our community. The Alabama Accountability Act allows taxpayers to donate a portion of their Alabama state income taxes to qualified SGOs so that economically disadvantaged children and those zoned for failing schools can have an opportunity to receive a quality education to prepare them for a life of success and empowerment. As parents and families invested and steeped in Maria Montessori’s philosophy, you understand that not all children can reach their full potential in the same environment. You may recall that Maria Montessori herself first pioneered her philosophy and method working with economically disadvantaged children in the slums of Rome in 1907. She understood then that in the right environment, all children could surpass the challenges they face whether from poverty or limited physical or mental capacity. The Alabama Accountability Act gives eligible parents and students a choice when it comes to education. Alabama is now one of 16 states in addition to the District of Columbia to offer a school choice program.

If you have questions regarding the Alabama Accountability Act, you can visit the Alabama Department of Revenue’s website.

If you are interested in reserving a portion of your Alabama state income taxes as donation to a qualifying SGO, please see the information below.

Individuals and corporations may receive an Alabama income tax credit equal to 100% of their donation, up to 50% of their tax liability. Corporate donations made by pass-through entities or by financial institutions or insurance companies do not qualify. The cap on individual and corporate donations combined is 25 million annually.

Reserving Tax Credits by Indicating Donations to Scholarship Granting Organizations

  • Reserving a tax credit requires the use of the Department’s online portal for taxpayers, My Alabama Taxes. Taxpayers who have not previously set up an account will need to Sign Up for My Alabama Taxes.

When signing up for MAT, individual taxpayers will need to select Individual Income Tax as their account type and then enter their Social Security number along with their Adjusted Gross Income from the prior year’s tax return in order to set up a My Alabama Taxes account.
OR
Taxpayers may use their existing My Alabama Taxes Account to reserve a portion of the available tax credit.

  • Once logged into MAT, a taxpayer will need to select SGO Donation from the menu on the left margin of the page and follow a short series of instructions/steps to record their donation and reserve their portion of the credit.
  • Individual taxpayers needing assistance with signing up for My Alabama Taxes Account or with reserving a tax credit may call (334) 242-1099 or (334) 353-9770.
  • Corporate taxpayers needing assistance with signing up for My Alabama Taxes Account or with reserving a tax credit may call (334) 242-1200.
December 15, 2014 6:54 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on Alabama Accountability Act