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Montessori Philosophy

Shifting from “Stuff” to the Spirit of the Season

By FMS Values, Montessori Philosophy No Comments
All too often the holiday season becomes about “stuff”–presents, decorations, more presents. How do we wean our children away from their focus on getting gifts and instead shift attention to the spirit of togetherness, generosity, peace, and goodwill?  It can be helpful to hold a family meeting and talk about everyone’s feelings about the holidays. We can ask our children about what, besides the gifts, they really like about the...
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How Do Our Staff Address Avoidance?

By Montessori Educators, Montessori Philosophy No Comments
One of the top questions parents ask about Montessori is: How do teachers deal with children avoiding work they don’t want to do? This is a really important concern and becomes increasingly so as children get older. Most families know Montessori centers on student choice, and it can be hard to envision that value working in conjunction with accountability. The good news is it’s something we take very seriously. In...
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Focused on Friends (or Fenemies!)

By Montessori Educators, Montessori Learning, Montessori Philosophy No Comments
During their primary years, it can seem like our children are only focused on friends (and frenemies!). We hear about what happened at recess or who they sat with at lunch. They come home with elaborate accounts of being wronged. It’s easy to begin to wonder what they are really learning at school!  In Montessori we always try to understand what is happening developmentally, so we can address children’s needs...
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The Role of the Montessori Teacher?

By Montessori Educators, Montessori Learning, Montessori Philosophy No Comments
What, exactly, is the role of the Montessori teacher?  How is it so different from that of any other teacher? Sometimes it’s easiest to begin by explaining what a Montessori teacher isn’t. A Montessori teacher is less like the traditional idea of an instructor, and more like a gentle guide.  They don’t consider it their job to give a child information.  They rather lead children in the general direction and...
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Follow the Child

By Montessori Philosophy No Comments
Follow the child. It’s a beautiful, perfect, profound, and frequently used Montessori mantra. Our entire educational approach is built upon those three words. They are backed by science, proven by generations of children, and consistently revered by families around the world. It seems so simple, but the truth is, everyday life can make them seem so challenging. Today we break it down into five real, manageable ways to “follow the...
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A Note of Gratitude on Montessori’s Birthday

By Montessori Philosophy No Comments
Dear Dr. Montessori,  Wednesday, August 31, 2022, marked 152 years since you were born.   The world is a very different place today than it was then. I wonder if you ever contemplated your own early days and how your world shaped you. You once said: “The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.” Would anyone have guessed that baby Maria would eventually become one of the...
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From Independence to Interdependence

By FMS Values, Montessori Philosophy, Parenting No Comments
In Montessori, we talk a lot about independence. However, one of the lesser known or understood aspects of Montessori is that independence isn’t the end goal.  As humans, we are each wonderful, unique individuals. But we don’t exist in isolation. We live amongst other wonderful, unique individuals! In order to effectively live in community with other people, though, we need to be able to function independently. Said another way, before...
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Resetting our Thinking: Why the Montessori Environment for 6-12 Year Olds is Different from the 3-6 Environment.

By Montessori Philosophy No Comments
This article was originally published by Trillium Montessori and is adapted to reflect FMS learning environments.  When people talk about Montessori education often what is described is a 3-6 classroom experience. Most people think it is an education only for pre-schoolers and are quite surprised that there are Montessori environments for primary and high school students, and even the aged! We know that the 3-6 is the age of development...
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On the Topic of Competition

By Montessori Philosophy No Comments
You may have noticed that in Montessori schools, we do not typically encourage competition between children.  Our lack of traditional grading is one obvious marker of this approach, but you will notice that the lack of peer competition threads itself pretty much throughout the entire program.  This is quite intentional, and we work hard to give children a foundation built on competition with oneself, rather than with others.    It is...
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Montessori vs. Daycare: 5 Key Differences

By Montessori Learning, Montessori Philosophy No Comments
Many families rely on childcare while their children are still young. Figuring out the best place to drop your little one off every day is a big decision. Parents want to ensure their child spends their days safe, comfortable, and happy, and under the watchful eye of well-trained and competent adults.   Daycare is the obvious choice for many parents…that is, until they become aware of other options.  If you’re reading...
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