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Winter 2010 montessori monitor current topics >>> Solar Panel Dedication Friday, January 7, 2011 11:00am - Noon Millhopper Montessori School is the first private school in North Central Florida to install solar panels in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint! MMS worked with Solar Impact to have 216 panels installed in November. The panels will be hooked to GRU’s grid in mid to late December. To celebrate this momentous occasion all family members are encouraged to attend our Solar Panel Dedication on Friday, January 7 from 11am - Noon. Come to our celebration as our Spotlight Singers sing and we official ―Flip the Switch‖ All parents and guests are encouraged to stay after the event and eat a brown bag lunch with us! A Help to Life Little children, the moment they are weaned, are making their way toward independence. ~Dr. Maria Montessori By: Christina Miller, President As human beings, we strive to master our world and to be competent and independent. Children are naturally driven toward independence. How many times have we heard, ―I want to do it by myself‖ declared adamantly by a child? This can bring about a dilemma for parents in deciding how much curious exploring to allow and when to set limits. Even deciding when to step in when a child is frustrated with a given task can be hard for parents to discern. Eliminating unnecessary obstacles is important when learning something new and different, but eliminating all obstacles is not advantageous to developing problem solving skills. What about safety? Wouldn’t it be great if children came with a manual? There is an area in the Montessori curriculum that is called Practical Life. It encompasses useful activities that build fine and gross motor skills, concentration, and independence. These activities have to be created and placed in the prepared environment of a classroom but are readily abundant in the home with a little thought about safety and preparation. For example, pouring water, setting the table, brushing the dog, brushing one’s own teeth, food preparation, polishing silver, and the list goes on. Sometimes it is just easier for parents to do these tasks themselves. Sometimes parents are, for example, too attached to the table being perfectly set and impatient for their children to set it right. Sometimes a lack of knowing what children are capable of doing at different age intervals prevents parents from fostering independence. However, sometimes, it may be misguided acts of love. Love often takes the form serving and giving and parents have to transition from caring for the infant who is totally dependent to letting go and applauding baby’s first steps. It is helpful to know what is developmentally appropriate for children to do for themselves at different age intervals and how to prepare safe activities that minimize frustration and call to the child. Care of the environment and care of the self will provide the most appeal and opportunity to build independence. Anything with water, need I say more? The everyday activities are the most appealing to children and mastering them allows children to adapt to society and develop orderly thinking. Developmentally, preschoolers are capable of putting away toys and clothes. If there is a ―home‖ for each item then the items are naturally returned to their spots after use. Children have a deep sense of order and shelves for toys are much more appropriate than big toy boxes where everything is thrown in, maybe even upside down like in a pot of stew. Install hooks and hangers at a low level so they can hang up their clothes and have access to them. Preschoolers are also capable of chores and they need to to feel that they are contributing to the family. They also don’t view chores the way adults do. They are content to sweep the floor even when it is spotless and (continued on page 2)

Millhopper Montessori School December 2010 News

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