Montessori School of Westfield
This has been a fantastic two weeks, and we can hardly believe the smooth transition from summer to the school year. Our returning students have already begun taking more of a leadership role in our classroom, and our new students have been welcomed with open arms, as they have embraced something new in their lives. We have worked, played, laughed, and dealt with the frustration of the unknown, but it seems we are already moving in the right direction towards normalization and community. Now our goal is to continue this trend and keep the excitement up for nine months. It all starts with September!
DATES TO REMEMBER
Dates to remember:
September 1: Tuition Due
September 3: Labor Day, No School
September 4: Curriculum Night (Parents Only)
September 18: Picture Day
September 21: Peace Celebration, 10:30 am
CLASS NEWS AND NOTES
One of the most challenging aspects of preparing a classroom for students is the constant need for organization. There is so much activity and so many different levels of learning that we must tinker from year to year in order to maximize our space, which of course, benefits the children. This year, we still have two relatively new policies in the classroom. The mugs and slippers offer a more comfortable, and in turn, peaceful environment for learning. There is no relaxing in the academic content, but the removal of shoes and the reusing of mugs provide both “grounding” and some practical life that will help them navigate the real world as adults. If you have not yet purchased slippers or a mug, please do so as soon as possible.
The first couple of weeks in the classroom deal with the work routine, but one of our goals is also to create a true sense of classroom community in the EL2 room. This may come at the expense of work, but it has always served us well in the dark days of February when we do this. As a result, we shall be breaking early some mornings for community building. These events create loyalty amongst peers, which gives us all a chance to lean on each other when needed.
Next week is our “Curriculum Night,” which will differ from our “Meet the Teacher” event before school started. It will be more of a formal presentation, rather than a question and answer session. Both EL1 and EL2 will begin at 7pm.
As you probably already know, we are doing our best to get our class outside multiple times each day. We have found that children need this opportunity to explore their surrounding and challenge themselves physically as they grow. We shall continue to do this even as the weather changes, and we are tying in some practical life skills into these experiences in order to help each child grow into thoughtful and responsible adults. This WILL NOT come at the expense of academics, but in fact, the goal will be the opposite. We want the students to have the same responsibilities in the classroom, which will force them to organize, prioritize, and complete their assignments.
Our Peace Celebration will take place on Friday, September 21, at 10:30. Please come if you are able! It is a wonderful little ceremony and a great chance to understand the vision that Mrs. Lyman has had for the past 25 years! Our grounds are meant to be an oasis from what has become a fast-paced and sometimes chaotic society.
The students will notice the workload increasing over the next two weeks, and invariably the students, especially the new ones, will begin to question their ability to keep up and do well. PLEASE reassure them that all students struggle with change, and when students put forth their best effort, they almost ALWAYS succeed at new adventures. If they feel overwhelmed, remember it is THEIR job to speak to us, but you are more than welcome to encourage them to come to us.
If you haven’t already, please read and refer to the Parent Handbook, which has been emailed to you and can be found on the website (montessorischoolofwestfield.com). It addresses a myriad of topics, which can answer most of your immediate questions. If you need us, please email at email@example.com. We shall respond to you as quickly as we can, but most certainly within 24 hours, unless we are on a break.
Recommended Reading for Parents
Balanced and Barefoot by Angela Hanscom, creator of TimberNook – This book provides great information about how outdoor play and unstructured freedom of movement are vital for children’s cognitive development and growth. The entire MSW staff read it over the summer. We have an extra copy and would love to loan it out. Email Sarah Kalen if interested see (below). We hope you’ve been hearing about your child’s adventures in the woods and outside during recess at MSW. We hope we are sending them home a little dirtier (and happier) than last year! (Wet Wipes and Towels are recommended to keep in the car.) 🙂
Upcoming TimberNook Programs
October 27, 9 am-11am Tiny Ones Pumpkin Lab
Ages 18 mos-5 years+parent, $10/child
Information and Registration: https://timbernook.sharetribe.com/en/listings/620496-tiny-ones-pumpkin-lab
October 27, 4pm-7pm (ages 5-12) Parents Night Out Freeze Tag and Forts
Ages 5-12 years, $35/child
Information and Registration: https://timbernook.sharetribe.com/en/listings/624256-parents-night-out-freeze-tag-and-forts
TimberNook at the Montessori School of Westfield: https://timbernook.sharetribe.com/en/timbernookwestfield
TimberNook MSW contact information: Sarah.Kalen@TimberNook.com. (317) 867-0158
Peace and Happiness,
Garry and Amy (And Julia from the outskirts)