Recognizing Developmental Milestones

No one knows a child better than his parent. How your child behaves and the manner in which he communicates offer important information regarding your child’s development.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends develomental screenings at 9, 18, 24 and/or 30 months. They recommend autism screenings at 18 and 24 months. If you have a concern it is your right to ask for a screening or further evaluation.

Child Find is a free evaluation offered at the state level for early childhood students. This evaluation does not require a doctor or specialist referral. Contact your child’s teacher if you feel further evaluation may be needed. Early intervention leads to better developmental results.

To assist you in assessing your child’s development, please refer to the CDC’s guidelines on milestones at 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, and 5 years.

Enjoying the Moment

In this first full week back to school and back to routine, many of us may have already begun to fall into a pattern of rushing our children along to stay on time. This article, from Hands Free Mama via Huffington Post, reminds us why it is so important to remove the pressure to hurry from our behavior and our vocabulary with our children. This week, we hope you all take the time to stop and enjoy each moment.

What Are the Five Great Lessons?

“Let us give the child a vision of the whole universe…for all things are part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.”

– Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential

Maria Montessori strongly emphasized the importance of Cosmic Education for the elementary age child. She began with the miracle of the cosmos and the sense of awe that proceeds as the world filled with life. The Great Lessons are important to awaken a child’s imagination and curiosity while helping them realize the important place they have in the world. Elementary children are introduced to the largest of all concepts – the beginning of the universe – and then smaller ideas so they can see how all the concepts fit together to form a whole.

This presentation by Ansley Brown, a Montessori teacher in Columbia, South Carolina, was designed to walk parents through the philosophy of the Great Lessons in the elementary level classroom.

What Is Education For?

Montessori parents and friends Vina Kay (a racial justice activist, writer, and filmmaker) and Jan Selby (an Emmy award-winning documentary producer and director), explore this question in their documentary, Building the Pink Tower. From her own children’s Montessori experiences, Kay remembered the beauty, peacefulness and purpose of everything in the Montessori environment. As she writes in a recent article:

I am a parent who learned from my own children what education can be.

Kay and Selby see Montessori as the vehicle to independence, allowing each person to reach their potential by following their personal passions. Their goal in making the documentary is to share with the world the potential of Montessori to change the conversation and start a movement toward truly meaningful education. Montessori is a buzzword in today’s talk about education reform – peaceful education based on respect and kindness. Couldn’t we all use a little more kindness in this world?

Please enjoy the trailer. We hope to show the documentary at our school in the future.

Preparing for a New School Year

As summer draws to a close, it can be difficult for parents to know how to go about re-establishing or creating new routines for the coming school year. Debbie Vale, a Montessori guide and author of the blog Help From Debbie, offers a practical timeline for getting children and parents ready to start the year off smoothly.

We are looking forward to seeing all of our families next week as we begin a wonderful new year!