Interacting With Your Child in a Montessori Way – Part 1

As discussed in previous posts, following Montessori principles lays much of the foundation for discipline. Using practical life activities helps children learn to care for themselves and their environment, and exhibit grace and courtesy to others. Children that are given opportunities to control their movements will automatically develop concentration and self-discipline. In the same way, foundations are laid for your child’s future development based upon your interaction with your child.

Today, we begin exploring the benefits of interacting with your child in a Montessori way by looking at a core activity we engage in as parents: Teaching Values.


Teaching Values

As parents, you are your child’s first teacher. From the moment you first met your child, you yearned to nurture your child’s sense of goodness for life. Sharing with your child what is truly amazing about your culture and others; that peace is attainable once fear is placed aside. As parents and educators we teach values, ethics, love, kindness, and confidence. We help children to see and respect the differences in people. We want to help them see they can be the change in the world; celebrating differences in each other. In order to celebrated differences, children need to establish and identity separate from their parents yet part of a larger community. Our obligation is to guide the child. We should show them through our actions our values and present the world and it’s problems honestly. Each child, equipped to make his or her own choices, will form opinions. We need to ensure that as they mature into adulthood, they are surrounded by trusted morally competent adults.

Join us next Monday as we explore our next opportunity to interact with your child in a Montessori way, through Structure and Stability.

The Holiday Spirit

Now and throughout the year, Foothills Montessori students learn about a variety of holiday traditions celebrated by FMS families and people around the world.

“FMS is incredibly fortunate to have a diversified community lending to the enhancement of our cultural curriculum,” says Karen Kolb, Executive Director. “The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity for students and their families to share traditions and customs with their classmates.”

In P2, they learn about Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration which originated in Spain, and Diwali, a five-day “Festival of Lights,” in addition to family and cultural traditions surrounding Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Christmas and Hanukkah. E3 also learned about Diwali as well as another Hindu holiday called Raksha Bandhan, which commemorates the bond between brothers and sisters.

“At the end of our continental units, we like to celebrate the culture of the region we have just studied,” says Marian Rusche, Support Teacher in E1. “After sharing our projects on South America in early November, we had a feast for Dia de los Muertos. One of our moms made authentic Pan de Muerto (a delicious sweetbread), and we tried different drinks and cookies made in Mexico while listening to Latin music. We are studying Africa now and will have an African holiday celebration when we complete the unit just before winter break.”

April Dane, E4 Head Teacher, says: “In December we traditionally ask the parents to come in and share their family traditions. They may share the symbolism of lighting the Menorah or of decorating a Christmas tree. We may eat latkes, read books, or sing songs. During the year we celebrate traditions of the children in our class.  When we studied India this year we had our parents from India share traditional songs, religious traditions, food, history and culture. We usually  have quite a variety of cultural traditions and the children learn a lot.”

E6 enjoys similar activities. Says Head Teacher Amy Nhaisi: “Before Thanksgiving, parents make berry tarts and the students write letters of thanks. During Hannukkah, parents come in to share traditions and make latkes. Before Christmas, we discuss family traditions and parents come in to make gingerbread houses. We participate in a gift-giving collection for the needy and students make holiday gifts for parents.”

Ms. Danna, Head Teacher in E5, remarks: “These past two weeks have been pretty amazing! In observation of Thanksgiving we have conducted two service projects, one that is still in progress. Students went to Cashman Center and gave out clothes to the homeless community of Southern Nevada. It was an all-day event and they served thousands of people. Additionally we have been raising money for Bead For Life and had a booth set up during our PTO Holiday Bazaar. We raised over $500 for the women of Uganda and their families. We will be selling our beads until winter break.”

Whatever your holiday traditions now and throughout the year, Foothills Montessori wishes you health, happiness and lots of good cheer.

Learn more about holidays around the world.

Photo Credit: (“Diwali: One festival, many customs“)/AFP/Getty Images

Living the Writerly Life

Let’s take a peek inside E5 this week, where students are learning about tectonic plates, metacognition, and living a writerly life:

“Our first week was amazing, and filled with some exciting community building activities! From post-it note competitions, to ‘Saving Fred!’, our students have started to build a solid foundation of working together to solve problems and using different strategies to brainstorm creative solutions. We are thrilled with our intelligent, kind and thoughtful class and can’t wait to see them thrive this year.

Our 6th years taught our First Great lesson this week, starting with the birth of our universe and spanning to the formation of planets. Concepts such as the Big Bang theory, centrifugal force, gravity and tectonic plates were covered. We are so proud of our 6th years hard work and preparation.

Elder Mary assisted in teaching the first great reading lesson on Metacogniton. We modeled the importance of thinking while we read, truly enjoying our literature!  As the year continues we will touch upon more great lessons in both Cultural and Reading. We have also launched our Writers Workshop. During our ‘Sacred Writing Time’, the children have been exploring various collection strategies. These strategies will help them when they feel like they feel like they have writers block. Ask your child today about any ‘seeds’ they may have written in their notebooks.  Often time conversations about their writing in school will help them remember a great story for their notebooks. We encourage the children to live a writerly life, observing, taking notice of the small things, and pausing to capture a seed and record it in their notebooks.

We will keep you posted on the happenings of our E5 community. Our blog is a great place to see reminders of important dates and events that are coming. Thank you all for your continued support at home!”

–E5 Teachers

Visit the E5 Blog for pictures (FMS Parents only)

Foothills Montessori School is a private Montessori school serving families in Henderson, Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.

Into the Rainforest

This month, primary and lower elementary students have been exploring South American geography and culture and learning all about the amazing biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest.

Many had the chance to meet two capybaras (the largest rodent in the world, indigenous to South America) and a grey parrot named Buckley. Students sampled delicious tropical fruits such as papaya, pineapple, mango and coconut. We danced the tango and played native instruments such as the zampona, jira, jicara and maracas. Many parents and students shared items from their journeys through these beautiful countries, and we thank you for your participation!


Students are also learning about the importance of “reduce, reuse, recycle” and how vital the rainforest and indeed all of nature is to our collective well being. P2 sewed reusable napkins so they wouldn’t have to throw away so many paper napkins and paper towels! We are enjoying learning about all the amazing plants, animals and ecosystems of South America and what we can do to preserve them for future generations.

Right now, primary and kindergarten students are enjoying a rainforest assembly to complement their studies of South America. We can’t wait to hear all about it!

Click the links below for more pictures!

[button url=”” target=”_blank” size=”small” style=”cherry” ]Primary 1[/button]

[button url=”” target=”_blank” size=”small” style=”cherry” ]Primary 2[/button]

[button url=”” target=”_blank” size=”small” style=”cherry” ]Primary 3[/button]

[button url=”” target=”_blank” size=”small” style=”cherry” ]Primary 4[/button]