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  • Taylor Dautremont

August and September 2020: A New School Year and New Friends!

Wow, what a busy first six weeks of school! As the days have very gradually started to shorten and cool off, the children of CMC have settled in well to their school year routine. In response, Ms. Nash has also very gradually begun to lead the children in longer periods of uninterrupted work and activity in Children's House East each morning. As the weeks and months continue to progress, the length and complexity of this time in our specially prepared Montessori learning environment will increase in response to the children's readiness as a community.

Let's dive in to this first post of the School Year with a look at the Montessori activities that your children are already using to build independence, concentration, coordination, and specific skills:

The foundation of all activity in the Children's House is the careful presentation of new, developmentally appropriate opportunities to each child through one-on-one or small group lessons. Left is Ms. Nash engaged in offering Everleigh just such a lesson on the elementary Practical Life activity of spooning beans from one bowl to another (and back again).

Below you will find Everleigh engaged in her "spooning work" on her own. Independent and repeated work with the Montessori materials make up the main pillars of activity in the Children's House.

Three approaches to bead stringing from Carsten, Eliot, and Warren!

The puzzles were another popular choice in September as SJ, Rita, Elijah, and Everleigh show here.

SJ, in particular, also took particular delight in the clay.

As Eliot and Elijah demonstrate here, there is always opportunity in the Children's House to socialize or flip through a good book.

Rita tackles a basket of opening and closing opportunities designed to develop dexterity and familiarity with a wide variety of containers.

Above, Elijah takes up the challenge of sorting little wooden disks by color.

Below, after lots of work and activity in Children's House East, our community has been taking advantage of the beautiful late summer and early fall weather with extended periods of exploration, creation, and play outdoors.

Above, a bonfire and s'mores made of leaves and sticks keeps the kiddos feeling warm, even toasty.

Below, the new gang welcomes Everleigh back to CMC for the first time in many months with some very happy insect observation.

Below, Everleigh gets more comfortable with her new digs and puts some serious effort into stirring mulch on a rock.

Below, the rainbow balls continue to play a central role in socialization while endless new arrangements of cut up tree parts provide seemingly inexhaustible possibilities. One old, cut-up tree - rescued from the curb of Ms. Jen's street by many of us last fall - has proven to be the outdoor equivalent of large cardboard boxes: free, well used, and well loved!

Above, Clara and Maren enjoy the fruits of some dandelion picking!

Below, lunchtime provides a key opportunity for socializing in the Children's House.

In the afternoon, when their younger friends have all gone home or moved over to our nap room, Clara and Maren have been enjoying a second period of quiet work and activity in the Children's House.

Above, their current read aloud book. Below, the girls fine tune their fine motor and sensory discrimination skills while working with the Geometry Cabinet and Metal Insets. It's engaging and meaningful work in its own right but both these activities are also key to supporting Maren and Clara in developing their writing skills throughout the year.

These days, we wrap up with more play outdoors (and occasionally in our Movement Room) as well as lots of engagement with our Can Drive and crusher at pickup in our hallway.

If you are not already collecting aluminum cans for donation and "for crushing", the children of CMC plead with you: rinse; save; and bring them on in!

In closing, here's a funny shot of Wally helping me assemble new tables in Children's House West a few weekends back. We're all very busy preparing for and all very much looking forward to welcoming Ms. Ada to our community on October 12th and reopening Children's House West on October 26th! Please stay tuned for updates and ways you can help welcome our new Montessori Guide and new families to our community!



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