New School Year, New Families, New Beginnings
Autumn means back to school—a joyful reunion for returning families and a chance to help new families integrate smoothly. Most Montessori schools host a Parent Education night; we’ve collected a handful of invaluable resources available to schools and parents, either for a formal Parent Education night or for informative reading all year long.
Parenting Resources from AMI/USA
Start the new year feeling empowered, enlightened, and in touch. Did you know that many back issues of AMI/USA’s outstanding Parenting for a New World newsletter are available from AMI/USA? A few of our favorites are excerpted below. You can order articles individually (25 copies at a time, $10 for each set plus shipping) or you can choose the Parent Supplement Collection (one copy each of 20 key editions, bound, for $25.00 plus shipping). They are available here.
The Power of Three
By Carol Cherin. “In the education of the child, there are three important roles: the child, the parent, the teacher. Each role is unique, essential, and interrelated. Like the sides of an equilateral triangle, each role is a distinct and separate part, and yet, each connects directly with each other…* ” A concise and illuminating look at how to strengthen relationships through communication, realistic expectations, and respect…
—Parenting for a New World; April 1995; Vol. IV, No. 2)
Getting Off to a Good Start
By Polli Soholt. “When starting school, there are some things we can do to make the process [of entering school] much easier in terms of the child’s development and advancement of independence…* ” Soholt suggests practical ways to prepare your child: talk about, drive by, and visit the new school; practice responsibility by encouraging your child to carry their own things; select clothing children can fasten on their own; show your child how to open and close lunch containers and backpack or book bag…
—Parenting for a New World; September 2003; Vol. XII, No. 3)
Reading Books With the Very Young
By Shelley Torres Aldeen. “Language thrills. From very early on, in the womb, the child is listening to language. The fetus hears the mother’s voice and reacts to it. The infant looks intently at the moving lips of the speaker and tries to imitate. The young child forms bubbles and makes sound…* ” A stellar summary of how, why, and where to enjoy books together coupled with insightful guidance on choosing developmentally appropriate titles and subject matter…
—Parenting for a New World;May 1998; Vol. VII, No. 3)
Model for Conflict Resolution
By Marianne Dunlap. “…Children know that disagreement exists; to force them to agree is to ask them to deny reality… What makes disagreement destructive is not the fact of conflict itself, but the addition of competition….* ” A good overview of the Montessori approach to solving conflict in the classroom, with nine straightforward practices adapted specifically for use at home…
—Parenting for a New World; September 1994; Vol. III, No. 3)
View & download the AMI/USA publications order form here
—©2008 AMI/USA the preceding excerpts reprinted with permission. No part of this publication may be reproduced for any purpose, whether private or public, without the express written permission of the Association Montessori International of the United States of America, Inc.
Parents and the American Montessori Society
AMS Public Policy Excerpt
Dr. Maria Montessori viewed the child as a member of the family, not as an isolated individual, and one whose most formative life experiences take place within the family. She recognized parents as a child’s first and most influential teacher.
As a parent you are a role model and teacher
- Know your child well
- Be a patient observer and careful listener
- Place your confidence in your child
- Provide simple, safe and consistent rules encouraging your child to take responsibility and to contribute to his or her home and family
The Role of the Parent and the School
Parent, teacher, child, and school relationships are very important in a student’s life. An alliance based on mnutual respect and support will enhance all individuals’ understanding, knowledge, and insight and offer a cohesive, prepared learning environment.
How to give support to your school
- Be involved, volunteer
- Be informed, attend all conferences and meetings
- Be knowledgable, attend Parent Education meetings
- Contribute financially
Recommended Reading from NAMTA
These publications comprise a comprehensive introduction to the Montessori method for parents. The first segment includes books that can be ordered directly through NAMTA by clicking the links included. The second segment includes books that can be ordered through Montessori Services.
- To Educate the Human Potential. Montessori, Maria. (1948). Describes the needs of the elementary-aged child in the process of acquiring culture. Order from NAMTA
- The Absorbent Mind. Montessori, Maria. (1949). Discusses the development of infants and young children from birth to three years. Gives a clear explanation of the basis of Montessori theory and method. Order from NAMTA
- The Child in the Family. Montessori, Maria. (1956). A series of short essays about the child, the family, and the school, with a philosophical emphasis. Order from NAMTA
- From Childhood to Adolescence. Montessori, Maria. (1973). Discusses the development and education of the child from age seven through adolescence. Includes Dr. Montessori’s thoughts on university education. Order from NAMTA