052814_Bend_Montessori-77

Introduction to Montessori: A Workshop for Parents
Thursday, March 2, 5pm-7pm
 
You are cordially invited to an Introduction to Montessori Workshop for current and prospective families on Thursday, March 2 from 5pm-7pm. This is an opportunity for you to see the classroom as the children do, and to explore the same materials that they use everyday as they are guided in their intellectual, physical, social and spiritual growth.
Reservations are required for this workshop, as our classroom is small and space is limited. You may register to attend the first session from 5pm-6pm, or the second session from 6pm-7pm.
Please RSVP to Miss Jessica at jessica@bendmontessorischool.com. Please specify how many adults will be attending, and what session you prefer. We have space for 16 adults per session.
This Introduction to Montessori Workshop is free of charge. We hope you will join us to learn about our Montessori approach.

 

tin-pan-photo

Bend Montessori School and BendFilm have partnered up to offer a film festival experience for your children! Purchase your BendFilm tickets for a 5:30pm or 6pm show on Friday, October 7, and bring your kids to The Environmental Center at 16 NW Kansas to enjoy an evening of pizza, popcorn and a movie. Turn it into a pajama party, and your kids will be ready for bed when your indie movie date is over. The childcare hours during the film festival are 4:45pm-9:15pm, giving you time for dinner and a chance to catch an indie film maker on the streets of downtown Bend. Only 20 child care tickets are available for Friday evening, so purchase your tickets here and get your best fall threads out!

Bend Montessori School colored pencils

Bend Montessori School is looking for a Montessori Classroom Assistant for the 2016-2017 school year. The ideal candidate will be a community-minded individual with a love for working with children and an interest and/or experience in a Montessori classroom environment. For more information about this position, please check out the Montessori Assistant Job Description.

If you are looking for deeply satisfying work, have passion for cultivating kindness in young people and want to know more about our unique Montessori program, we’d love to hear from you! Please send your resume and cover letter to:

Bend Montessori School | PO Box 460 | Bend, OR 97709

You may email application materials to info@bendmontessorischool.com.

2016-01-27 14.21.12

Spending one continuous week in the classroom provided me with a much different perspective on the methods of Montessori, compared to my usual Monday and Friday experience. Seeing the same 16 children five days in a row is a lesson in human nature and how we all learn and internalize each experience differently from the person next to us. I was truly amazed at how different each child was from one day to the next and how their desire to learn changed along with them. A beautiful thing happens in this environment: as these children change, the Montessori classroom provides them with the opportunity to change what they want to learn, according to whatever phase of development they are in from one day to the next. That freedom of choice is such an important building block for a life of craving knowledge and seeking it out rather then waiting for it to be forced fed to you. If we could get every child excited about learning the way I saw these three, four and five year olds, I truly believe the entire foundation on which we approach learning in this country could be flipped on its head. I believe that it is part of our human nature to want to learn, to grow and change, however I also believe that we stifle our children with tests and homework and unrealistic expectations as to how and what we define as successful. Slowly the expectations society sets in motion start to take the creativity and freedom of expression away from our youth. Montessori provides these children with the power of taking their education into their own hands so that hopefully they continue to challenge the norms and decide for themselves how to approach the world of learning.

Written by Miss Hannah

2015-12-18 12.26.32

The Peace Curriculum we use in the classroom is based on Honoring the Light of the Child by Sonnie McFarland. As with all things in the Montessori Primary classroom, the idea is to give the children a concrete sensorial experience of whatever concept we are trying to teach. Because of our work on peace in the classroom, the children may be coming home with language and actions that are new to you at home. The purpose of the following brief explanations is to give you a better understanding of where these actions and words are coming from, and to allow you to better support your children’s continued exploration of what it means to be a peaceful person.

Love Light. You may have heard your children talk about their own love lights shining brightly or dimly, or they may have asked you about your love light. The love light concept is not tied to any particular culture or belief system; it is simply the light of love that shines in all human beings. For the lesson we have a cutout generic shape of a person through which the light of a flashlight can see shining; this is our Peaceful Person. First we talk about each person on planet Earth being unique; we all look different in some ways and we are all special. We then talk about something that is the same in all of us: we all have a love light shining inside. By shining the flashlight through the peaceful person in the location of the heart we give the children an experience of what a love light is.

Next, we talk about how the love light works. Sometimes our love lights shine brightly, and sometimes they shine more dimly. When we feel happy, feel loved, complete a task to our own satisfaction, or help another person our love lights shine brightly. When we are sad, mad, or frightened, our love lights shine more dimly. To illustrate this, we put a filter between the flashlight and the peaceful person so that the light shining through can still be seen, but not as brightly. We tell the children it is important to know that though our love lights sometimes shine dimly, they cannot be extinguished and that there are things we can do when they are dim to make them shine brightly again. We then introduce one such method, deep breathing. As we all breathe deeply together, in through the nose and out through the mouth, with straight backs and quiet bodies, we remove the filter to show the love light of the peaceful person shining brightly again. Through this simple lesson we have given the children direct experience of the concepts that we are all special and unique, we all have love lights within us, sometimes our love lights shine more brightly and sometimes more dimly, and that we can breathe slowly and deeply to help our love lights to shine brightly again.

Silence. Next we introduce another practice the children can use to be more aware of their love lights and to help them shine brightly, Silence. Dr. Maria Montessori discovered that the children in her first classrooms loved the activity of making silence, so much so that she made a game of it. When the children play the Silence Game they all gather together in one area of the classroom, quiet their minds and bodies, and sit in silence. A teacher then quietly says each child’s name one at a time from a different part of the classroom. When a child hears his or her name that child quietly stands, walks over to the teacher, sits down, and makes silence again. The game is over when all the children have been called and are making silence in the new location. This activity is not used to control the noise or energy level of the children, but rather only when they are already working with purpose and self-control.

Peace Candle. The next lesson we introduce is the Peace Candle. We use a real candle when we are making silence as a group and have a battery-operated one for the children to use on their own. Before we make silence as a group we invite the children to concentrate on their love lights. Afterwards we ask them how their love lights felt after making silence. “Warm,” or, “bright”, are common responses. We then let the children know they can use the battery-operated candle to make silence by themselves or in groups any time they want. This is another practice that can help their love lights to shine brightly.

2015-12-18 12.26.18

Love Light Necklaces. We give the children a concrete symbol of their love lights, the yellow felt circles on a yellow yarn necklace you may have seen the children wearing in class. These are available in a basket for the children to put on at any time to show everyone that their love light is shining brightly.

Medicine Wheel. The next several lessons revolve around the Medicine Wheel as seen in a vision by a 9 year old Oglala Sioux, Black Elk. Around the turn of the last century Black Elk became very ill and during his illness he had a vision. The following is a brief description of this vision as we share it with the children:

Black Elk saw a great circle that contained everything, all the stars, the planets, and all living things. He saw that everything was good and everything was important. Then he saw the four directions, West, North, East and South. Black Elk saw a road running from West to East. He saw that this was the Road of Difficulties and that all people sometimes walk on this road. Next he saw a road running from North to South. He saw that this was the Road of Peace and that all people sometimes walk on this road. Finally, Black Elk saw a sacred tree at the point where the two roads crossed. He saw that when people walked the Road of Peace by taking care of themselves, others, and the gifts of the Earth, the tree flowered and birds came to roost and sing on the tree. 

As we tell this story we introduce concrete representations of each element: the great circle is a felt circle, the directions are felt triangles (black for West, white for North, red for East, and yellow for South), the Road of Difficulties is a black felt strip, the Road of Peace a red felt strip, and the tree, flowers and birds are all cut from felt and placed on the wheel at the appropriate time of the story. After completing the story we explore as a group how our classroom is like the vision: the space, the materials, the people, the plants, and the animals are like the great circle containing everything, the two roads are the choices and actions we make, and the flowering tree is like our love lights. This last connection is the most important: when we are kind and peaceful, our love lights shine brightly, when people walk the Road of Peace, the tree flowers. When you hear your children talking about the Road of Peace or the Road of Difficulties at home, this is the story to which they are referring.

2015-04-03 11.09.12

Written by Mr. Kevin

gathering toiletries for people in needDuring this season of giving thanks, it has been a tradition at Bend Montessori School to collect items for less fortunate families in Bend. We are grateful to share space with the First United Methodist Church, as they provide an array of services to families in need. We will be talking about the spirit of giving and it is our hope that your family will consider making a donation. Continue reading

BMS BendFilm 2015 slide (5) 2

Bend Montessori School and BendFilm have partnered up to offer a film festival experience for your children! Purchase your BendFilm tickets for a 5:30pm or 6pm show on either Friday or Saturday night, and bring your kids to the Environmental Center at 16 NW Kansas to enjoy an evening of pizza, popcorn and a movie. Turn it into a pajama party, and your kids will be ready for bed when your indie movie date is over. The childcare hours during the film festival are 4:45pm-9:15pm, giving you time for dinner and a chance to catch an indie film maker on the streets of downtown Bend. Only 20 child care tickets are available for each evening, so purchase your tickets here and get your best fall threads out!

Bend Montessori School colored pencils

Bend Montessori School is looking for a Montessori Classroom Assistant for the 2015-2016 school year. The ideal candidate will be a community-minded individual with a love for working with children and an interest and/or experience in a Montessori classroom environment. For more information about this position, please check out the Montessori Assistant Job Description.

If you are looking for deeply satisfying work, have passion for cultivating kindness in young people and want to know more about our unique Montessori program, we’d love to hear from you! Please send your resume and cover letter to:

Bend Montessori School | PO Box 460 | Bend, OR 97709

You may email application materials to info@bendmontessorischool.com.

2015-05-27 12.16.09

Summer. The very word sparks a sense of freedom in children, an opportunity to play and learn in a more relaxed and fun atmosphere. A Very Busy Summer will offer a variety of exciting and inspiring choices, encouraging children to discover their personal path of creativity and curiosity, while offering an environment that allows them to feel safe enough to be themselves. The bright colors and playful stories of Eric Carle will guide us in this summertime journey.

A Very Busy Summer is the perfect place for your child to enjoy and share new experiences, providing unforgettable memories and solid friendships to carry with them through the school year. With limited spaces available, we are able to offer a very personalized experience for each participant.

Program options include Part Day (9am-1pm) or Full Day (9am-3pm). Our Summer Sessions are Monday through Thursday, and offered for two weeks this summer, from August 10-August 20.

Full days are $225 per session, part days $180 per session.

Register today by completing the 2015 Bend Montessori School Summer Registration Form and submitting payment to:

Bend Montessori School

PO BOX 460

Bend, OR 97709

You may also pay via Paypal by clicking here and filling out the online form.

We look forward to sharing a sweet summer experience with you!

2-28-2015 Play Doh Work (2)

Over the past few months, our daughter — most likely known as Keira to you, but just as frequently called Kiki at home — has started to labor. Indeed, morning, noon and night, she reminds us, “I need to do my work.”

This effort usually involves sitting very diligently at our kitchen table with markers, crayons, blank paper and coloring sheets; periodically, play doh also is involved. Some days she writes letters to her friends that are sealed in envelopes and reappear weeks later in her desk drawer (yes, we are still working on how to reconcile her work with saving trees…), other days she meticulously produces beautiful pictures with rainbows of colors, and other days…well, let’s not pretend, all I see is a bunch of scribble on the paper.

While initially her “work” was very self-centered, over the last few weeks, she has shown a strong interest in helping to prepare meals (and even clean…the bathrooms!!!). And so, we have another sous chef in the house; one that washes and dries veggies, sets out placemats and napkins, mixes ingredients (her favorite: whisking eggs), and otherwise keeps us company at the kitchen island, proudly standing on her chair and asking, “Now what can I do?”

We thank BMS for helping Kiki develop into a thoughtful, helpful, diligent household assistant. Those practical life exercises clearly are rubbing off on her, and we are thrilled!

Disclaimer: Author makes no representation regarding potential violations of child labor laws in the running of her household.

2-24-2015 Keira

Written by Danielle Morone, Keira’s Mom