Backyard Montessori Ideas

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Children enrolled in  Montessori School  have plenty of opportunities throughout the day to spend time outside. This is because playing and working outdoors has many proven benefits for people of all ages. Consider how you feel after spending an afternoon in the park or yard. Most people feel refreshed, invigorated, and more able to focus. This applies to children as well.  In addition to the benefits listed above, outside play helps kids connect with nature, and truly appreciate the beauty of our world. It also gives young people the opportunity to run, jump, and shout, all things they may not be allowed to do indoors. Dr. Maria Montessori observed these things in her studies and placed a great emphasis on allowing children time in nature and offering them nature education.  For all these reasons, it seems only logical that young people should spend as much time outside as they desire. Therefore,...
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Helping Kids Cope with Covid

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To say the last few months have been stressful would be a gross understatement. From closed schools and businesses to not being able to visit friends or family, there have been a lot of changes to our daily lives that will likely continue for several more months. In addition to these changes, our children are now getting a first-hand look at how we as parents are dealing with these stressors. Our behavior in these days, weeks, and months are crucial in fostering good coping skills for our little ones. Many of us adults are, understandably, feeling a lot of stress and anxiety. Financial strain, disrupted routines, canceled summer plans, loneliness, and rules that seem to change every day are taking their toll. That stress and anxiety can trickle down to our children if we’re not careful. It’s important to try and handle pandemic related issues in a calm and confident manner....
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Preparing for a Post-COVID Return to School

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It’s been a long, strange few months, and returning to school is likely a welcome event for many parents and kids.  But while returning to school is important for children’s social and educational development, the transition from homeschool back to the classroom can be a difficult one, global pandemic notwithstanding. You and your child probably have a lot of questions, and maybe a little anxiety, too. Here are some ways to prepare your family for a successful start to a new year.  Strategies to avoid virus transmission The CDC has provided guidance for schools in order for them to open as safely as possible. Brooksfield School will be adhering to all guidelines and takes you and your children’s safety seriously. As a parent, now is a good time to reinforce healthy practices so they will not seem strange when school starts. Teach children to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue...
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Managing a Pandemic Summer

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We parents have already made it through an unusual and difficult spring amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Now we face managing our children’s summer months without the aid vacations and activities that usually help us whittle the hours away. It can be easy to panic at the thought of a free-range summer, especially if you and your partner work full-time. Having to come up with new ways to entertain already bored children is taxing mentally and emotionally. As with the school year, your children may also need time to grieve a summer gone awry. Offer comfort and advice when you can. Empathy can also go a long way toward helping them deal with their emotions. However, just because this summer may not look like those in the past doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and educational. Here are some ideas to help you salvage your children’s summer. Kick it old school: Remember...
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Indoor Exercises for Kids

Weeks, or even months for some of us, of social distancing have taught us that creativity and a good attitude are keys to staving off boredom during this pandemic. Another good practice for boosting our moods during this difficult time? Exercise! Daily physical exercise helps children build strong bodies, reduces their risk of depression, and improves attention and some areas of academic performance, according to the CDC . Preschool-aged children should be active throughout their day — for roughly three hours — for healthy development. Children ages 6 and older need at least an hour a day of moderate or intense physical activity. But how do you manage this if you’re stuck inside your home or apartment? What do you do if you don’t have a lot of free space to work with? Here are a few ideas to help get you, and your kids, moving.  Dance - Crank up some...
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Essential Supplies for School at Home

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Homeschooling. It’s not something many of us parents ever dreamed we would be doing, but here we are trying to map out your child’s education on the fly. It can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With a few supplies, you can help keep your child learning and entertained. The good news is this situation is only temporary. There is no need to try and become a professional educator overnight. Your first, and most important, job is to be a parent. Provide structure and make children feel secure and loved in this ever-changing world is the top priority. And you’ve got Brooksfield’s weekly updates and YouTube feed to help. Don’t try to create rigid lesson plans. Even small children know that mom and dad teaching from home isn’t the same as school, so don’t try to make it the same. Have fun. Teach practical life lessons that...
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How to Talk With Your Child About Covid-19

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As adults, our imaginations can run wild when we don’t have all the facts. Now imagine a 4-year-old without a full story, they will have no trouble filling in the rest. That is why it is so important to talk with our children about this pandemic; they need factual information that they can understand. Children pick up on their caregivers’ emotions. When talking with your child about the coronavirus, it is essential to use a calm, reassuring voice. If you are anxious when speaking with them, they will pick up the signal that this is something to be anxious about, and that likely will end up spiraling out of proportion for our little ones. As you share information with your child about what is going on with the coronavirus right now, be sure to follow your child’s lead. As the Child Mind Institute of New York puts it in their article...
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Mindfulness Education at Brooksfield

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At Brooksfield School, we teach more than just classic school subjects like math and writing. We want our students to feel more confident and capable all-around, and one way we do this is through teaching them mindfulness skills. Mindfulness is the process of concentrating on only one thing and remaining peaceful in the present moment. It allows people to not worry about other things that may be going on around them or thoughts that may be building up and adding stress to their lives. We find mindfulness especially crucial for young children who are still developing and learning more about the world, which is why it is so important to us and our learning philosophy. Mindfulness is not something strange or complicated, but rather something that anyone can easily do at almost any time. That said, it does take a bit of extra concentration and care, and you can not just...
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Creating the Prepared Environment at Home

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It has only been a few days since we have been out of school because of COVID-19 and as a parent and an educator it feels like a lifetime!  Trying to figure out what your new normal is as a family has been a struggle for our family.  Setting a schedule so that the kids understand that this is NOT summer vacation is proving to be more of a challenge than I thought.  Although my children no longer attend Brooksfield I still approached the planning of our day as if they were.   When planning out how I wanted this extended break from school to go Dr. Maria Montessori’s quote, “ To assist a child, we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop”,  was reverberating in my head.   How do we create an environment that allows the child to be successful and still lets the adult accomplish what they need to...
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The Benefits of Reading to Your Child

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The Importance Of Reading To Your Child In honor of Read Across America last week I wanted to talk about the benefits of reading to your child(ren) daily!  We all know reading to your child increases their vocabulary, helps to improve comprehension and to develop better listening skills as well as increase their language development.    We often forget in our hectic daily life to connect creatively with our child(ren).  Reading aloud to your child opens the door to conversation!  Learning about how their day went or discussing something that happened in the book you just read together allows your child to express themselves.  Listening to their imaginations soar as they try to come up with a different ending or explain why a character behaved the way they did helps the parent, grandparent, relative and TEACHER understand the child more.  As adults, our days are busy juggling work, family and crazy sport or activity schedules.  Taking the time each...
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