Our very own Charlotte Wood wrote an excellent article for Maria Montessori dot com. The article is entitled, "Don't Should on your Parents". You should check it out! Way to go Miss Wood! We're so proud.
We talk a lot about academics, showcasing activites and exercises, writing about the benefits and outcomes. Yet, underlying all of this beautiful work, is a fundamental belief in the social component of learning. We like to say, social success leads to academic success, because if the child is happy, engaged and wants to learn, nothing can hold them back. Here's a perfect example: one of our three year old students took it upon himself to wash the dishes.
Now, from a certain perspective, there is definitely an "academic" side to this, i.e.: fine-motor skills, order, concentration, etc. However, there's also a guiding social component. Namely, there's a community behind those dishes. They weren't used by one single hungry student. Essentially they were used by an entire classroom. Knowing that we're in this together, this young student opted to wash the dishes for all of his friends, not just for himself. Imagine a form of education predicated on living and working together.
Last year, a week after his fifth birthday, one of our beautiful, energetic, charming students was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. With no family history, everyone was completely shocked. Instantly, everything was upturned. Despite it all, or perhaps because of everything, this family has been absolutely resilient in their efforts, not only to nourish, support and enrich their child's life, but also in their passion to work to educate the community on diabetes.
As a part of their efforts, the family has started a series of t-shirts called, The Super Sweet Tee. You can order them here: http://gofunkyfresh.com/product/super-sweet-tee/ The back of the t-shirts read, "What's your number?", and they are using the creative hashtag #fullofsugar on Twitter. While the family has learned best practices and techniques to cope with diabetes, it'd come as no surprise to us if their persistence and resolve didn't lead to a break through in-itself.
Here's a little photo of two of our students, showing their support!
We're very pleased to introduce you to our new aftercare teacher, Maria Gallagher. Maria is originally from Farmington, New Mexico. She's been in Sioux Falls for about fifteen years. She's currently studying at the University of Sioux Falls, majoriing in Psychology. After graduating with her Bacherlor's degree, Maria hopes to receive her Masters. As she likes to say, she thoroughly enjoys working with children...watching them learn and grow. "They never cease to amaze me!"
Barnes and Noble has graciously invited us to sign a few copies of our latest book, Montessori: Shape Work, this Saturday, at 1:00 p.m. The event will take place in their children's department. We're really hoping you can join us. We've so enjoyed working with Abrams Appleseed on this series of books. Each one is more challenging than the last, and we're loving every single minute of the process. Hope to see you then!