Several times during each school year, our Guides meet with parents for in-depth discussions of Montessori curriculum. These Parent Talks are great opportunities for our parents to come together and learn more about the work their children are doing at VdM every day. The events are often enriched with group work or hands-on experience with materials, and parents are free to ask questions and discuss their experiences. Each talk is focused on one aspect of the Montessori curriculum as it applies to a specific age or plane of development, and designed to demystify Montessori principles and give parents ideas for supporting and/or implementing those principles at home.
The last round of Parent Talks happened just last Thursday evening. Read on for a peek into the evening and be sure to check out the resources and suggested reading at the bottom of this post for more information about the topics discussed at the Parent Talks.
Parents of our youngest children (ages 2.5 and three) met with Guide Jessie Braud in the P2 Children’s House for “Writing into Reading,” a discussion of why writing comes before reading in the Montessori classroom, including an exploration of the early sensorial and language lessons that prepare children to learn to write and then read. The group also discussed language acquisition in children and how parents can best support the natural ways children learn.
Parents of children in their second year in the Children’s House (ages 4 to 5) were invited to Guide Reghan McAuley’s Parent Talk, “All Things Math!” Reghan discussed the progression of work with the math materials in the Children’s House as children begin with a foundation of base numbers and grow into work with decimals and linear counting. Reghan presented a variety of math lessons, including every child’s favorite, the Bank Game.
Children’s House Guide Heather Steinman and Elementary Guide Megan Eilers joined forces for their talk, “Bridging into Elementary,” for parents of children in their culminating year of the Children’s House. They talked about what to expect as the child moves from primary into elementary and how Montessori curriculum is uniquely designed to support this transition. Heather and Megan presented several materials, such as the binomial cube, that cross over between the primary and elementary environments and how the lessons around these materials change to introduce new and expanded concepts.
The purpose of this talk is to help parents understand the similarities and differences between the primary and elementary years (or the first and second planes of development). We talk a lot about the different characteristics of the children during these stages and how the two environments are designed to support their needs. An overall theme that tends to emerge is that [Montessori offers] just the most amazing continuum for the children!Heather Steinman
Parents of elementary students were invited to discuss art, history and language in the Montessori elementary curriculum. Guides Sarah Moscicke and Rebecca Callander discussed how the elementary environment is designed to encourage exploration in these subjects and how they are interwoven for a broad and rounded education—a cosmic education. Parents also worked hands-on with clay, crafting pinch pots, while discussing specific topics such as spelling and how history is taught in the classroom.
We are so appreciative of our guides and our parents, who make these events and our community so strong. The next round of Parent Talks will be held on Thursday, March 26.
Resources and suggested reading:
Writing into Reading:
- 5 Reasons Why Writing Helps Early Reading
- The Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori
All Things Math!
- Building the Mathematical Mind
- Everyone Should Learn Math the Montessori Way
- The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori
Bridging Into Elementary