Keeping organized and on track can be difficult for children attending Montessori primary school. From cleaning their rooms to remembering to put necessary items in their book bags, Montessori primary school students learn organization through daily activity.
Attending Montessori elementary school is the perfect time for students to begin learning about organization. One way to help is to separate different tasks and projects, working on them in a priority-based manner. By giving her one thing at a time to be completed, she is able to devote her attention to getting the job done and visualize her progress along the way. When there are multiple tasks to complete, separate them into specific folders or bins, and split the workload up to prevent becoming overwhelmed.
Write it Down
Try writing down the tasks in progress. Not only will this provide her with a way to remember what she is supposed to be working on, but the act of writing down notes is also often beneficial in committing things to memory. Even things like keeping her room tidier will improve if she has a checklist of things that need to be done so that she concentrate on each step of the process.
Follow a Routine
Repeating tasks during similar time periods each day can help with organization. When she learns that she needs to put her toys away after brushing her teeth, the pattern will become a normal process which helps her be more organized. Coupled with separating tasks and writing down the things she needs to accomplish, her day will quickly become organized and follow a regular progression.
Sticking to regular tasks can be helpful, but take care to leave the schedule open to interpretation and change. It won’t be possible to the same thing at the same time every day, but there can be tasks assigned to Monday and Wednesday that are not part of the Tuesday and Thursday routine. Effective scheduling can improve her organization by making it a facet of the normal course of events.
The tax season is upon us and a common question at Montessori preschools is whether preschool expenses can be used as a deduction. The question will have a different answer for many parents than it did in previous years, and some households will discover that they are no longer eligible for the tax credit they used in their 2018 filing.
Who Qualifies for the Tax Credit
In order to qualify for the tax credit, you must have reportable earned income. This applies to single parents as well as couples. In the case of couples, both parents are required to have reportable income. If either parent was able to work but did not, then the tax credit will not be available to you.
Childcare Tax Credit
Between 2019 and 2025, sweeping changes to the tax code are going into effect, including changes to how the child and dependent tax credit can be applied. While it is not a deduction, the tax credit can be applied to qualifying households and may cover up to $3000 of costs for one child or as much as $6000 for two or more children. Attending school or being unable to work may qualify in some cases.
Childcare Not Education
The IRS is very specific about what the tax credit is meant for, specifically to allow one or both parents to be employed and earn taxable income. The credit is not intended to pay preschool educational expenses, but to assist in child care costs while applicable parents work. Parents who are not employed while their children attend preschool are not allowed to claim any childcare expenses during periods of unemployment.
Employment is the Key
Once available for parents who were seeking employment, the new tax code is only for those who have earned income. If you were seeking employment while your child attended preschool but did not have any taxable income as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, you cannot use the credit.
Please study the changes in the U.S. tax code carefully. Many of the changes going into effect over the coming years will have an impact on what you can claim, including the costs associated with your child’s preschool attendance. Consult a professional accountant or tax service with any questions or concerns you may have before filing this year’s returns.
Breathing techniques work well for children and adults as well and have the power to reduce the effects of stressful situations. At the Montessori School of Pleasanton, we incorporate breathing techniques as a way of helping our elementary students get control of their emotions and deal with anxiety and unpleasant situations.
Pretend that you are holding a handful of fresh flowers in your hand. Inhale deeply and imagine the scent. Exhale slowly, and think about the smell of the flowers. Repeat this process a few times. This method is great for elementary children because it gives them something to focus on while using controlled breathing, which takes their mind off the causes of stress or anxiety.
Feathers and Ribbons
Choose a feather or short piece of ribbon and hold it in front of your face. Breathe in deeply and then exhale slowly, watching the way your breath moves the surface of the item you are holding. Make a game of this technique, where the goal is to breathe on the item with only slight movements of the item you are holding. This exercise works well and helps children see the results of controlled breathing as it affects the surface of an object.
Take a deep breath and hold it for a count of five. Exhale slowly, making a quiet humming or buzzing sound as you do so. Repeat as necessary to calm down. It may help to close your eyes and pretend that you are alone in a field of flowers. This breathing exercise works well for elementary children because it incorporates a type of play into the process and gives them an activity to go along with the breathing technique.
Lie down and breathe deeply and slowly. Feel the air filling your lungs and expanding your chest. Hold each breathe for a few seconds before exhaling, and exhale as much as possible before taking the next deep breath. Research has shown that this is an excellent way to offset the “fight or flight” syndrome related to high anxiety.
Breathing techniques play a central role in yoga and other self-control routines as well as a way to regain a normal rhythm after heavy exercise. If you would like more information about ways to help your children remain in control of their emotions, talk with one of the student guides at the Montessori School of Pleasanton.
Cultural diversity is fundamental to life in the United States, and the African American contribution to history is extensive and impressive. We encourage you to help your preschooler learn about it at home during Black History Month as well.
Prominent Black Americans
From Harriet Tubman to Barrack Obama, the history of our nation is laced with African Americans who have risen above challenges of their times to achieve great things. Create storybooks with your children that tell the stories of some of these famous people, and explain to them how those people had to face many obstacles in order to do the things they did.
It is important for children to understand the difficulties black Americans have had, and how those problems have changed our society. Teach your children how accepting the differences of others is vital to living in a free and prosperous country. The great achievements of black Americans are even more important because of what they had to endure to in order to accomplish their amazing feats.
Black Culture Activities
From soul food to making African replicas, there are many activities to illustrate the cultural uniqueness of African Americans. Your children will enjoy doing cultural crafts, and they are certain to discover new taste sensations when they cook the foods of African cultures. Even music such as jazz, the blues, and hip-hop have roots in African American culture.
African American Contributions
From the corn planter to the piano, African Americans have been making life better for everyone for hundreds of years. Spend a day learning about the inventions of these people and how they have changed everything about the world we live. For a real-world example, consider the bicycle frame, an African American invention that every kid loves to use.
Black history month is an excellent opportunity to teach children about the roots of cultural diversity in America. There is a lot more to discover than can be covered in the classroom at our campus, but we would be happy to offer you suggestions on how to add to the ground we are able to cover. For more information on using hands-on activities to teach your children about Black History Month, contact the Montessori School of Flagstaff Sunnyside Campus today.
Valentine’s Day projects are a great way for preschoolers to learn about crafting. Hearts are the order of the day, and decorating them in individual ways helps children build self-esteem as it enhances fine motor skills. At Mission Valley Montessori, we value the opportunity for children to learn and play at the same time, and these fun projects are great examples of how the two work in concert.
Valentine Yarn Hearts
Fold a sheet of construction paper in half and draw one side of a heart, with the center at the fold. Using scissors, cut along the drawn line and then unfold the paper to form a complete heart. Apply glue or paste to the paper and then cover it with but of colored yarn. Every child will have a slightly different heart shape and their individual creativity will guide them in choosing the pattern and color of the yarn they apply. This project is based on a much more generalized version you can refer to for an example.
This project is great for fine motor skill improvement. Fold several small pieces of paper in half and draw half a heart on them as in the previous project. Cut out the hearts and attach them together using glue and pieces of yarn. Your preschooler’s cutouts don’t have to be perfect, and there is plenty of room for creativity and personalization, including writing Valentine-related words on each heart.
We found an excellent idea on Amazon for creating a personalized mailbox for kids to collect valentines in. Cut a sheet of construction paper in half. Fold about an inch on each end of the paper to create tabs. Cut the unused piece of paper in half and glue the tabs to it, creating a flat bottom with a curved “box” on top. Use the final piece of construction paper to the back to close in the mailbox, and then let your child decorate it as they choose. Hint: Decorating the surface before gluing the tabs will make the project easier for small hands.
Doing projects with your preschooler encourages her to be more creative, and finishing a project will give her a sense of accomplishment she can show off to friends and family. For more suggestions of projects to do with your preschooler, ask your Mission Valley Montessori student guide for ideas you can do at home.
Having children spaced a year or two apart can be a huge benefit in the home. Siblings often form very close relationships - partnerships, if you will - which tie them together in complex ways. By encouraging the older child to participate in helping the younger one, your home resembles the mixed age method used in the Montessori classroom.
Friend and Protector
An older sibling can help the younger ones by providing moral support and bolstering self-esteem. Young children look up to older siblings in the same way they look up to their parents, and often form a closer bond. Nurturing this bond can be beneficial in developing social attitudes and response mechanisms.
Guide and Advisor
Older kids - even if they are only a year or so older - think they have experienced the world and are quick to share what they have learned with smaller children. Acting as a guide through the complexities of life, and a trusted advisor when new situations develop, the older children build confidence and self-esteem by helping their less experienced brothers and sisters.
A Trusted Confidant
Sometimes young children have trouble making their thoughts or feelings clear to parents but can talk freely to older siblings. Because understanding the underlying discontent is vital to help children overcome stressful situations, having a mediator makes it possible to address issues quickly and effectively.
A Tutor and Teacher
Younger children will often turn to an older sibling to gain insight or reconcile misunderstandings. Older kids are also able to help the young ones with understanding concepts or learning skills such as reading or arithmetic. In return for helping a little brother or sister learn to read, the older child gains a sense of accomplishment and responsibility.
Mixing children of different ages is an important part of the Montessori Method. Older children are able to help younger ones, which in turn allows the teacher to spend more time with students who are facing challenges. To find out more about mixed ages and educational benefits, contact the Montessori School of Flagstaff Sunnyside Campus today.
Next month is Black History Month in the United States, and Martin Luther King, Jr. always figures prominently when discussing African American achievements in history. His life was a lesson in standing up for what you believe in and equal treatment for all people. We have put together some suggestions for topics concerning Martin Luther King Jr. and you can add some ideas of your own when teaching elementary aged children. The Montessori Method puts emphasis on acceptance and diversity, and Martin Luther King, Jr. is an important person in history to learn about and celebrate.
Teaching Acceptance and DiversityAll human beings share certain traits which make us human, but we all have differences based on where our ancestors lived, our physical abilities, and more. Learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. offers some insight into why we have to look beyond skin color or other differences. A lot of senseless violence has been caused by people who couldn’t accept the differences of others, and people like Dr. King have given everything to make change happen.
Biography of Dr. KingMartin Luther King, Jr. experienced the things he stood against first-hand, and his goal was to bring about change by showing the world that the way things were done was unfair. He was born in Atlanta, attended Morehouse College, and later earned his doctorate at Boston University. Learning about the environment Mr. King grew up in helps children understand why everyone has basic human rights that deserve to be respected.
Actions of Martin Luther King Jr.After the Rosa Parks incident, Mr. King spearheaded the Montgomery Bus Boycott. His passive protests attracted global attention and a public outcry for decency and equality. His “I Have A Dream” speech is considered a cornerstone in Civil Rights and racial equality.
Teaching diversity and the acceptance of people who are different than ourselves is an important part of the Montessori Method. Learning about famous people who played a role in making diversity possible helps demonstrate why acceptance is so important. To learn more about the Montessori Method, contact the Montessori School of Pleasanton and schedule a tour.
Montessori education is an approach to life which continues when the school day is over. To get the best results, Montessori techniques should be incorporated into your home life as well. Not only will this encourage your children to be more active and inquisitive, but it will also help them learn and become more self-confident.
Children pay more attention to things which are at eye level and are more likely to use furniture that is a good fit for their small bodies. Dedicate a portion of the home to your children’s perspective, including things like photos hanging at their level, a small-sized bookcase, or at the very least, the lower shelves of a full sized one, and a table/chair combination.
You can make baskets with various themed learning activities to keep your child active. Simple motor skill toys, musical items, and cultural examples make excellent learning baskets, but you should tailor the ones you make to your child’s interests and preferences. Providing children with the freedom to move from one activity to another encourages independence and self-control.
Get outside. Go to parks, zoos, aquariums, or just the backyard. Discover the diversity of life which surrounds us and how each living thing plays a part in the circle of life. Learn about different kinds of plants, build an ant farm in a soda bottle, or grow a flower or vegetable garden. Most importantly, do it with your children, because you are the first place your child looks for examples and instruction.
If you have questions about incorporating the Montessori Method into your home routine, contact the teachers and staff at Mission Valley Montessori. We share a common goal of helping your children be the best that they can be, and working together, we can achieve wonderful things.
Since it was first practiced in 1907, the Montessori Method has helped children to thrive in their educational develop and transition into lifelong learners. Schools across the globe have adopted the Montessori philosophy and made it their own, allowing students reap the benefits of the legacy of Dr. Maria Montessori. This method of education focuses on cultivating independence and curiosity in order to facilitate learning and has a remarkable history that begins with singular passions of its namesake.
Dr. Maria Montessori
Born in 1870, Maria Montessori had a unique career path, defying gender stereotypes from the start by pursuing higher education and an eventual position in the sciences. While initially interested in a degree in engineering, Montessori instead chose to study medicine at the University of Rome. There, she was often met with resistance and harassment from her peers and instructors due to her gender, but nonetheless went on to publish her thesis and graduate as a doctor of medicine in 1896. From there, Dr. Montessori began her work with and advocacy for children at the Orthophrenic School of Rome which served children with intellectual disabilities. There, she conducted some of her initial observations into the behavior and cognition of children and developed some of the first learning tools of the Montessori Method.
Casa dei Bambini
Equipped with her experience and research from the Orthophrenic School, as well as further education at the University of Rome in pedagogy, in 1907, Dr. Montessori undertook the directorship of a new school for the children of working-class parents in the San Lorenzo district of Rome, which she called the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House. At the Casa dei Bambini, Dr. Montessori applied and honed the concepts and practices she’d initiated early in her career, and which are now key tenets of the Montessori Method and philosophy. She replaced the heavy furniture with lightweight, child-size tables and chairs that the students could move in order to better manage and care for their environment; initiated self-directed learning and play; incorporated open space into the classroom, thereby encouraging students to move freely; and continued to enhance the learning tools the children accessed throughout the room based on their interests. By 1909, four more Case dei Bambini were opened in Italy, and Dr. Montessori conducted her first training for other instructors in the new pedagogical method that was quickly gaining attention and accolades.
The Spread of Montessori
During the rest of her career, Dr. Montessori would go on to lecture and provide teacher training throughout Europe and southeast Asia, and by 1936, Montessori societies and schools were founded in France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, Serbia, Canada, India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand. Today, there are thousands of Montessori schools across the world, and thousands more students and parents who testify to their enthusiasm for the Montessori Method.
Hill Point Montessori is a preparatory school for ages 2-12 in West Hills, California. Using the principles and established by Dr. Montessori, our teachers and staff incorporate mixed age classrooms to encourage children to explore and develop at their own pace. Contact us today to schedule a tour.
A career change is exciting, but it can also cause a lot of stress. If you are looking for new opportunities in the higher education field, the Upper Midwest Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) is your one-stop to learn about available positions in the Upper Midwest and receive professional advice on your transition.
You can learn about the opportunities available to you encompassing a diversity of landscapes, lifestyles, and people. Through the resources provided by Upper Midwest HERC, you will discover career choices in higher education reaching from the Northwoods to St. Paul and every area in-between.
The resources through Upper Midwest HERC include a dual career search, that can help you and your partner or spouse locate new career opportunities. They also provide helpful tips and advice to make your career transition less stressful and more successful.
Learn How to Make it Through an Interview
The first question you may hear at your interview is why you are interested in the position. You don't want to answer that your reason for applying to the job is due to the employer’s reputation. While interviewers may like that you've researched their credentials, it is not what they want to hear during the interview process.
Your interviewers are expecting you to have personal reasons for applying to a specific higher education institution and for that particular job. They want to know why, for instance, you've chosen to apply for an open job in their finance department, admissions, or other areas. They are looking for someone who is passionate about their work and will be a responsible team member if chosen to work in their area.
An upcoming interview is one of the most stressful times during a career change. You have to remember that having an interview scheduled means the employer has reviewed your paperwork and are impressed enough to want to learn more about you.
During the interview, if you do not understand any information, you need to ask questions. The person or team conducting the interview will appreciate that you are willing to examine facts before making decisions.
While being interviewed, if you feel parts of your resume need further explanation, you should weave your experiences into the conversation. Don't short-sell yourself as this is the time for them to get to know you better and understand more about your skills and how they can be applied in a career in higher education.
If you are offered a break during the interview, you should take it, or if you feel one is needed before offered, you can ask for a break. A break can give you time to digest the questions asked, reflect on your answers, and make sure you've given enough or the right information. Breaks also help to reduce nerves and allow you to gather your breath to continue.
The Upper Midwest HERC has the career and community resources available to help you conduct a productive and informed search for a career in higher education. Check out our job board or contact us to get started on finding a career in higher education that fits your skill level.