Expanding on Montessori Schooling in the Kitchen

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Sending your child to a Montessori School helps ensure they are getting a quality education during the school day. However, this does not mean you can't help enhance their Montessori experience at home. There are many ways to expand upon your child's education at home, but one of the very best ways you can do this is by involving your little one in the kitchen. Kitchen work helps fine-tune motor skills, teaches life skills, and gives children a feeling of pride and accomplishment.  Many parents are intimidated by the idea of giving their child kitchen tasks. The thought of their child acquiring a cut or burn makes them hesitant to involve their children in the cooking. While this is understandable, it is no reason to make the kids leave the kitchen when dinner prep begins. Here are a few ways very young people can help out with the cooking. Peeling and Slicing a...
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Montessori Discipline Tactics

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As a Montessori school, we want the best for your child, and we do that by working to develop their interest and providing them with choice. We believe that the best way for your child to learn and grow is to emphasize their independence and their ability to make their own conscious decisions. We want to nurture children’s natural curiosity for the world and their environment, by fostering an environment where they feel secure in their own being. In terms of discipline, Montessori schools have a slightly different approach from more traditional types of schooling. A common misconception about Montessori education is that the focus on independence means children can do whatever they want, but that is certainly not the case. Children should be given the opportunity to explore, but Montessori discipline focuses more on shaping and encouraging positive behavior, rather than punishing bad behavior. Positive Discipline At its core, Montessori...
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Stimulating Creativity in a Montessori School

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As many parents and teachers are coming to realize, creativity is a key part of a child’s development. Creativity promotes problem-solving and social skills and often leads to a more successful and fulfilling career. It’s no surprise, then, that many parents want to send their children to schools that cultivate creativity. Unfortunately, traditional education systems tend to promote rigidity rather than creativity. Children get into a routine–wake up, go to school, do homework, go to bed, and repeat. Worse, the traditional schooling system tends to promote stress and anxiety, which can dampen creativity and lead to lower levels of well-being later in life. The Montessori method of education seeks to change this dynamic. Instead of having children follow a strict curriculum, Montessori schools seek to develop the whole child. They promote self-directed and hands-on activities that promote self-confidence, social cohesion, a love of learning, and, of course, creativity. If you’re interested...
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Study finds Montessori education improves lifelong well-being

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A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology found evidence that confirmed what many educators and researchers already suspected: Children enrolled in Montessori schools generally have higher levels of well-being as an adult. The Montessori method of education, which encourages children to develop a deep-seated love of learning through self-directed activities, has been growing in popularity around the world since Maria Montessori opened the first Montessori school in Rome in 1907. Today, over 500,000 American children are enrolled in Montessori schools. The study, conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Virginia, consisted of a survey given to 1905 adults aged 18 to 81. About half of the survey participants had attended a Montessori school as a child for at least two years, while the other half only attended conventional schools. What the study found was nothing short of astounding. Children who spent as little as two years in...
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Bringing Baby Up the Montessori Way

Many parents wish to incorporate Montessori methods into their child's life before he or she turns three and is eligible to be enrolled in Montessori School. Here are a few things mothers and fathers might consider doing in order to begin their babies' Montessori lifestyle right away.  Freedom and Independence Offer your baby freedom to explore his or her surroundings. Exploration leads to discovery and learning. Create a safe environment for your little one by covering outlets, anchoring tall furniture to the walls, and putting sharp (or otherwise unsafe) objects out of reach. Place your child's mattress on the floor and forgo the crib. This gives baby the opportunity to get up and play in the morning without needing to call out for mom and dad. Baby gates, play yards, and other "baby cages" should be avoided whenever possible. Speak To Them Talk to your little guy or girl as you would...
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Sensorial Learning and You

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Growing minds need constant sensory input. This sensorial focus is at the heart of the Montessori education. It stimulates the child’s five senses: touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing. It allows them to study and experience their world in a meaningful way.  Sensorial learning activities help children explore shapes, colors, textures, sounds, tastes, and smells. It is a fun way to learn that is also extremely beneficial. By using sensorial materials and practicing sensorial activities, children are given different avenues to classify and create order to their understanding, learning, and place in the world. It helps them build necessary skills, such as logic and cognition, while also helping enhance their memory by learning through experience.  Sounds great, right? But what does it look like in the Montessori classroom?  Montessori sensory materials are broken down into eight different groups:  Visual: This includes exercises in which children learn to visually discriminate between objects....
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Picking the Right Montessori School

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When choosing a Montessori school that's right for your child, be prepared to do your homework. After all, no two schools are exactly alike, regardless of whether they use a Montessori or more traditional approach to education. While most Montessori schools adhere to the same general educational philosophy, some schools apply the Montessori principles more extensively than others. With this knowledge in mind, what exactly should you look for in an ideal Montessori school? Consider the following five characteristics: Professional affiliations. Montessori schools have the option of being affiliated with or accredited by certain national and international Montessori organizations. What organizations should you look for? The most common include the American Montessori Society (AMS), Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), and the International Montessori Council (IMC). Remember: Being affiliated with or accredited by one of these organizations isn't mandatory. However, schools that are affiliated with the AMS, for example, demonstrate a certain standard...
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5 Principles that Set Private School Students Up for Success

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Created in the early 20th century by Maria Montessori, the Montessori private schooling system has and continues to benefit children across the globe. In the U.S. alone, more than 5,000 public schools currently employ Montessori methods, and private school students are reaping the benefits of this education. Across the board, Montessori children are reported to better demonstrate abilities in the realm of social justice and fairness and score higher on social and behavioral exams. Additionally, kindergarten Montessori students are reported to be better equipped for elementary reading and mathematics, as compared with non-Montessori students. But what is it about Montessori that sets these private school students up for excellence and success? The natural learning process is key to any Montessori education, and with that comes 5 vital principles: Every child learns differently The Montessori education recognizes that every child is unique and responds differently to different learning environments. Each child has...
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Why You Should Consider Montessori for Elementary Education

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Early childhood education, including day care and preschool, has been shown to help children's emotional, personal, social and economical development. More than two-thirds of four-year-olds and over 40% of three-year-olds were enrolled in preschool in 2005, according to The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). With preschool such a vital part of a child's life, many parents want to be sure their children are getting the best education possible. More and more parents are turning to schools that offer a Montessori curriculum for their child's early elementary education. Maria Montessori developed the first Montessori school in 1907 to serve children with mental disabilities, or those who were economically disadvantaged. There are many factors that distinguish a Montessori elementary education from a traditional elementary school. Special educational materials and the absence of grades and tests are the most obvious. Because of the environment of multi-age classrooms, Montessori children benefit from a...
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Back To School 2021

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As summer comes to an end and the beginning of the school year quickly approaches, it is time to get your kids ready to head back to school. At Brooksfield School, we want to ensure that students experience as smooth as possible of a transition, so we have compiled some tips and tricks to help you and your children feel excited and prepared for a new school year. School begins for all our students on August 24, so do not delay in helping your child prepare for their next adventure! Supplies School supplies shopping is one of the most integral parts of back-to-school season. Wherever you choose to shop, you will want to gather all the essentials, including notebooks, pencils, folders, crayons, and more. We share school supplies lists with each family before the beginning of the school year so that your kids can get everything that they need to succeed...
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8 Fun Summer Nature Activities for Kids

When summer rolls around, it’s time to get outside! As the days get longer, encourage your children to spend more time outside, exploring the world around them. Each day contains endless possibilities for playing, discovering, and creating, whether it’s in the backyard, down the block at a park, or heading to a nature preserve or hiking area. There is so much for children to learn about the world around them, and summer is the perfect time for children to become more connected to the plants, animals, and ecosystems around them as they learn and grow. Even though summer is an exciting time for exploration, it can also be challenging to keep kids busy during long days out of school. Though “backyard playtime” is an important time for learning and for play, structured activities and projects can encourage kids to think outside the box and explore new ideas. In order to keep...
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Building a Montessori Summer Routine

Summer will quickly be upon us and with it comes a big break in your child’s daily routine. A gap that needs to be filled with enriching activities that keep your child learning and engaged.  One way to fill the summer is with a camp like the one provided here at Brooksfield. Students enjoy a variety of age-appropriate activities and weekly themes that add to the learning experience.  But what if your child can’t attend a summer camp? Not to worry, there are several things you can do to make sure your child is continuing his or her education through the summer months.  Much like a regular Montessori school year, the role of the adult during a Montessori summer is to create a prepared environment that the child can independently explore. These spaces are simple, well organized, and easy for a child to navigate alone.  Create a space To create this...
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Introducing Montessori to Infants

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Many people have heard of Montessori for toddlers, but many are surprised to learn that you can begin implementing the principles for babies, too. Infants are like tiny little sponges, absorbing everything around them as they begin to form ideas, feelings, and impressions. From your baby’s environment and language development to touch and play, there are so many things you can do to help your baby process his or her environment in an enriching way. Communication The way you begin communicating with your child in infancy goes a long way into helping structure their language development and how they perceive themselves in the world around them. Even if your child is unable to respond back to you in a way that you understand, babies are still processing and understanding the information you tell them. To help foster positive growth try these ideas: Explain what you’re doing: Take everyday tasks, such as...
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Maria Montessori: The Woman Who Changed Education

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The Montessori curriculum is a unique educational method that has been changing the lives of children for over a century. This method of education is distinguished for its multi-age class structure and exploratory methods. Rather than adhering to high-pressure traditional schooling methods with grades and tests, Montessori programs give students educational tools appropriate to their age groups, and allows students to choose their own work and learn in a collaborative environment. With more than 5,000 private Montessori schools in the United States that employ the method, it's clear that the educational movement is alive and well. While we may know about Montessori schools, many do not know about the woman behind this movement. Maria Montessori was a groundbreaking woman of her time that pushed the boundaries of her gender and the education system as she knew it.  Maria Montessori Blazed a Trail Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. She...
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Interdependence at Montessori Schools

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While it is well-known that Montessori schools foster confidence and independence in their students, they also promote interdependence as a major value. Students should feel connected with other people, as well as nature, so we encourage them to explore these relationships whenever possible. Through actively learning about the importance of interdependence, students at Brooksfield School become more empathetic, mature, and proactive members of their communities. Pod Learning Promotes Interdependence One way in which all children at Montessori schools experience interdependence is through participating in three-year pods. Older students in each “pod” serve as mentors for the younger students, providing them with help or guidance whenever needed. All students experience both being the mentor and the mentee during their time at Brooksfield so that they can better learn how to both help their peers and be helped by their peers. As a result, students become more caring, respectful, and even responsible. When...
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4 Ways Montessori-Based Daycare Will Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

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Selecting toddler daycare services in Mclean, VA is an important process. You want to be sure that your child will get the most out of their daily time in daycare, offering vital skills that will prepare them for kindergarten. The question, however, is how you'll know that you've selected the right daycare for your child. If you're thinking about a Montessori-based daycare, there are several benefits that your child will reap as early as kindergarten. Montessori-Based Daycare Will Improve Concentration It's hard for any child to sit and concentrate on a task they aren't interested in--especially when that task involves filling out a worksheet or completing another educational assignment they don't understand or have no interest in. When your child attends Montessori preschool, however, they'll gain the pieces to enhance their concentration in several different ways. They'll be encouraged to continue the learning process when something catches their interest, rather than...
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What Do Montessori Teachers Do?

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The Montessori method is a unique philosophy of early childhood education that develops all aspects of a child: social, emotional, physical, and academic. Children learn to engage their world with all of their senses while being exposed to nature, the arts, and critical thinking skills built through conversation with their peers and play. Montessori teachers believe play is the work of children. At Brooksfield Montessori Pre-School, learning and creativity are emphasized through play and social interactions. Students are introduced to new concepts by their teachers and are given the skills to discover and learn new ideas on their own. Small groups and individual-driven lessons mean learning is student-centered and allows for discovery and experiential learning. Without time restrictions, the student-led instruction and open-ended activities result in children finding their own answers. Teachers serve more as directors of the class rather than the sole imparters of knowledge. This process often leads to...
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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, taking your...
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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 tunes...
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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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Choosing a Preschool

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Choosing a preschool is an exciting and scary time for any parent! Suddenly, you will be leaving your child with someone else and trusting that institution to teach and mentor your child. The situation is extremely stressful, not to mention having to decide what preschool is right for your child. With such a big decision, it is understandable that you might feel overwhelmed by trying to pick the perfect preschool. You are probably thinking about the school’s security, the qualifications of the teachers, the quality of the food, how far the school is from your house, what the other preschoolers will be like, how you will get along with the teacher, and so much more. There is a multitude of factors that go into choosing a preschool for your child, and we want to guide you through navigating this process. Choosing a preschool is not difficult once you have assessed all...
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What to Expect from a Montessori Pre-School

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Our students thrive at the Brooksfield Montessori Pre-School. When parents enroll their pre-school students at the Brooksfield School, they are placing their children in a safe and nurturing environment that will foster a love of learning for the rest of their lives. Our school emphasizes learning and creativity by combining play and social interactions. This focus is attributable to the Montessori Method, and our main goal is to set all of our students on the right path to transition into higher grades. We achieve this goal by introducing our students to new concepts and ensuring they have the skills to discover and understand new ideas on their own. We know our successes with our students are based on a methodology that creates not only good students, but great people. Read for more information about the Montessori Method, and how we use it to great success in our pre-school environment at the...
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What Should I Do with My Kids After School?

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At the Brooksfield School, we understand that our responsibility as educators extends to aspects of our students’ lives that take place outside of our classrooms. We do all we can to make sure our methodology is flexible for both parents and students. After all, as Montessori educators, we know that education is more than just imparting knowledge; it’s growing a person. Therefore, it’s our responsibility as early childhood educators to be aware of the many different choices, concerns, and issues that parents face during their young student’s early education journey. Ensuring our young students have access to quality after-school care is as important to us as it is for our parents.   Due to the difficulty of synching weekday work and school schedules, managing pickup and dropoff times for students can be a rather imposing responsibility for parents. As an assist in this regard, we assembled an after-school care program, known as...
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Montessori Method at Home

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The Montessori philosophy focuses on improving children’s’ hands-on experiences, academic skills, ethics, and social skills, creativity, and independence. To help further these abilities for your child, use the Montessori method at home! Your home should be consistent with the learning environment they have at school! Below are some quick and easy ways to incorporate the unique child-centered Montessori philosophy. 1. Educational Games Letter matching involves letter identification. This can be your child’s first step to reading! To play this game, start with 52 squares of cardboard. Split these squares up into 2 piles (26 in each) and make sure to paint each letter on 2 squares. Your child can then try to match each letter by grouping the identical pairs together! As they do this, make sure to remind your child of each letter’s name and sound. Sorting is also an important skill that can be taught using a game! It...
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The Three Year Montessori Cycle

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Every year, parents of five year old Montessori preschool children are faced with the decision of sending their children to kindergarten or to the third year of Montessori education.  Many send them back, but a few opt for kindergarten.  The latter decision may work out well on the face of it for a number of reasons.  After two years in a Montessori school a child is generally well-adjusted, alert, broadly stimulated intellectually, muscularly coordinated and has refined sensory perception.  Such a child is adaptable and, thus, performs well wherever he finds himself. This is, of course, quite pleasing to teachers and parents, and makes the child feel good. What is completely overlooked is that the child misses the fulfilling completion of the three-year cycle in a Montessori program.  During the third year everything he has been doing for the past two years comes to maturity, resulting in exciting leaps in reading, writing and...
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Skills Your Child Needs for Montessori Kindergarten

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Kindergarten is an important milestone in every child's life. Not only is it where they learn many of the basic skills that will provide a foundation for the rest of their educations, they'll also begin to develop their attitude about school, their view of learning, and their desire to perform well in school. Montessori kindergarten schools will give your child a great start; but in order to ensure the best possible start, you need to give your child the rest of the foundation they need. There are several skills that your child should have before entering kindergarten--but they might not be what you think. Following Instructions Does your child refuse to respond when you issue simple instructions? Make a major production out of the smallest task? If this sounds like your child, you need to work on following multi-step instructions before kindergarten begins. Even in a Montessori classroom, it's necessary for your child...
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Debunking Montessori Myths

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Deciding where your children will receive their education is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. As the school choice movement continues to gain momentum, parents have more options today than in years past. One of those options — a Montessori approach to education — is growing in popularity across the country. Yet, there are also many myths associated with Montessori schools. Let's consider six of the most persistent Montessori myths — and the truth behind the misconceptions. Montessori Myth 1: Montessori classrooms have no structure Montessori education is a child-centered approach to learning where independence and freedom within limits are emphasized. A casual observer who is accustomed to traditional schools might initially view a Montessori classroom as unstructured, but that's simply not the case. Montessori classrooms are thoughtfully prepared with developmentally appropriate learning materials. The belief is that when children are given the flexibility and independence to...
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Why Private Preschool is the Way to Go

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Preschool is an important developmental period for your child. It is a time that shapes who they are and who they will become. In preschool, children learn social and emotional development, school readiness, language skills, and cognitive skills. These years are imperative to your child’s growth, not only academically, but also personally. Clearly, preschool is important, but how does Montessori teaching fit into this? Maria Montessori created the Montessori private school system in the early 20th century. She opened up her own school in Rome in 1907 and decided that she wanted to create a classroom environment that encouraged self-discipline and responsibility. The teachers were not strict; they were merely guides. Instead of a teacher-centered learning environment, it was child-centered. This revolutionary idea is what created Montessori teaching. There are now 8,000 Montessori schools in the United States of America. These schools are considered progressive, and they are allowed to do...
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Nature Education in Montessori Schools

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Dr. Maria Montessori stressed the importance of outdoor time for children. She felt that connection with nature was a key part of childhood that should never be skipped or pushed aside. That's why students at Brooksfield School are always given plenty of time to explore their outdoor environment. Quiet times spent simply thinking and feeling in nature, rowdy times spent climbing rugged trees and rolling down soft, grassy hills, and curious times spent investigating, exploring, and discussing the plants and animals around them are all integral parts of a child's education. In a Montessori environment, students are allowed all of these special times outdoors and are encouraged to take advantage of every opportunity to spend time outside. When young people spend time outdoors and have a true and deep connection to nature, they gain a desire to protect what they discover to be so very wonderful and magical. Because of this...
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Toddler Education: 3 Ways to Bring Montessori Home

If your child is in Montessori childcare, you clearly value their education. Most parents who sign their children up for a Montessori education do so very deliberately, and you are likely no exception. Good for you! The Montessori approach provides an amazing foundation for students to build upon, and you can rest assured your child will be getting an excellent start in life when they attend a Montessori based daycare. In order to ensure your child's Montessori education is as effective as possible, you can provide them with activities at home that are just perfect for expanding upon what they are learning in school. Here are a few simple ideas of activities you can do at home to help your child get the very most out of their Montessori childcare experience. Toddler Education: Letter Matching Letter identification is the first step to reading. You can help your child learn to identify numbers by...
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Private Schools in Virginia: 5 Reasons to Pick Private

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You probably already know that there are quite a few good private schools in Virginia, but you might have never thought about sending your little one to any school other than a public school. Many of the public schools in Virginia are great, but this doesn't mean that public school isn't a good option for your child. These are a few reasons why you may want to consider private school for your little one. Private Schools Ensure Specialized Attention There are many great teachers in the public school system. Unfortunately, public school teachers are often overworked and underpaid, and they usually have large classrooms full of children to teach. A teacher who is responsible for teaching 25, 30 or more students each day obviously can't give each child the individualized attention that he or she deserves. It's not the teacher's fault, but ultimately, it's your child who has to suffer. In a...
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Benefits of Montessori School

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You know that when you enroll your child in a Montessori school, you’re giving your child the gift of an education that they’ll love. But did you know that the benefits of Montessori school extend far beyond the school itself? Engaging in a Montessori education is associated with a wide variety of positive long-term outcomes, even for students as young as preschoolers. More than just an education that you and your child will love, we’re confident that the Montessori method will benefit your child for years to come. Benefit of Montessori School #1: Academics  Children who have participated in a Montessori education tend to have better academic outcomes than children who haven’t. In particular, researchers found in one study that students who had been enrolled in a Montessori preschool had better academic outcomes than their peers. In other words, students were still reaping the benefits of early immersion in Montessori education years...
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Evaluating Local Kindergarten Programs

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Whether you've just moved to McLean with a kindergartener or your little one is getting ready for a kindergarten program, choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you'll make. Since there are so many schools in and around McLean, VA, the search can seem overwhelming at times. The key to finding the right school is to stay focused on your child's needs and what you're hoping he or she will get out of their education. Evaluating a Kindergarten Program's Class Size For many parents, class size is one of the most important factors in choosing a school. If there are fewer children in your child's class, there are more opportunities for your child to get one-on-one attention from the teacher. This is important if your child is struggling AND if your child is flourishing in certain subjects. With a smaller class size, the teacher...
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The Advantages of Kindergarten Montessori School

the-advantages-of-montessori-kindergarten-schoolsFor parents in Mclean, who are looking for an alternative to traditional kindergarten for their children, kindergarten Montessori schools are an amazing solution. Sitting in desks all day, going over worksheets, isn't a good way for anyone to learn.

Montessori kindergarten, on the other hand, can offer some amazing advantages for your student.

In a Montessori setting, it's understood that learning doesn't always happen on the teacher's schedule. When you send your child to a Montessori school, you'll know that when your child becomes fascinated by a new concept or subject, they'll be able to explore it fully.

Your child will learn to love learning. Far too many students develop their hatred for school beginning at a very young age. They dread going to school in the morning and are excited when they're finally able to come home in the afternoon.

Kindergarten Montessori School Encourages Love of Learning

When you send your child to a kindergarten Montessori school, on the other hand, you'll know that they'll be encouraged to love learning. They'll be able to pursue learning that is of interest to them, enjoy hands-on activities, and embrace their unique educational process.

Your child will be treated as an individual. One of the biggest drawbacks to many public schools is the fact that they're unable to view children as individuals. Instead, children are expected to follow along with the rest of the class, never issuing their own opinions or engaging in any sort of creativity. That's not what you want for your children, and that's why kindergarten Montessori school is the perfect alternative. In a Montessori setting, it's understood that your child is an individual. They'll be able to learn and grow according to their unique needs, rather than being forced to adhere to the pace set by the rest of the class.

The Flexibility of Kindergarten Montessori School

It's amazing how many teachers are utterly inflexible, refusing to bend even the slightest degree to accommodate a child's needs. In a Montessori classroom, you can enjoy the confidence that comes from knowing that teachers are flexible and willing to work with your child's needs.

Learning focuses on the child, not on the convenience of the educators. The entire Montessori classroom is designed with the needs of the child in mind. Furniture is sized especially for them. Books, manipulatives, and other supplies are down where the children can reach them instead of being on a shelf that is only accessible by an adult. By focusing first and foremost on the children, the teacher creates an atmosphere of safety and respect that will help your child improve their education by leaps and bounds.

Teachers guide rather than lecture. Kindergarten students don't learn well when they're sitting in desks, listening to someone lecture about what they're supposed to be doing. They learn best through hands-on activities, actively engaging their motor skills as they work through the learning process. The key to a Montessori education is that teachers are there to provide guidance, not to lecture. While there will be plenty of whole-class activities and opportunities for collaborative learning, the teacher is there as a facilitator, not as a dictator.

Creativity is encouraged. Children are naturally creative, and creative problem-solving skills will carry them much further in life than learning how to repeat rote information. Unfortunately, many public schools choose to focus on information over creativity. In the Montessori classroom, creativity is encouraged and children are able to develop their problem-solving skills as they learn.

If you think a Montessori education might be right for your child, contact us today. We'll help you understand exactly what makes a Montessori education different and how those differences can be an advantage for your child.

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What to Expect from Toddler Child Care at a Montessori School

The Montessori experience differs from mainstream educational philosophies, and that's one of the keys to its success. By eliminating the mindless busy-work and allowing children to engage with all of their senses, Montessori toddler child care successfully allows kids to continue loving learning throughout their education. The Montessori philosophy exposes children to nature, the arts and critical thinking skills through conversation and play. Maria Montessori herself said that "play is the work of children" and the fruit of this labor can be seen in the creative thinking, relationship skills and ingenuity that Montessori kids use to succeed as adults. If you're looking at enrolling your child in our toddler program, here's what you can expect: Toddler Child Care Has Outdoor Time The natural world is filled with shapes and colors and seasonal events that can't be duplicated in a classroom. Montessori toddlers are given plenty of time in nature to watch...
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Montessori vs. Traditional Education

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Parents making critical decisions about their child’s education have a lot of tough choices to face. It can be helpful to compare Montessori vs traditional education. An article in EdSurge points out that Montessori schools within the U.S., because they are mostly private institutions, leave those unfamiliar with the Montessori method of education thinking these schools are to serve children from upper-income families who can afford the cost of private tuition. More and more innovators in public school education are finding ways to bring Montessori methodology into their public school systems. Indeed, the original Montessori school, Casa dei Bambini, was designed to educate children from Roman slum neighborhoods to improve working-class conditions and enable children from high-poverty areas. Montessori vs. Traditional: Student numbers Because traditional schools must educate every child efficiently, budget constraints force students into classrooms with rows of students and high student-to-teacher ratios. Most classrooms remain teacher-centered with the teacher being...
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3 Paths to Imaginative Play

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As a parent, you want your child to grow up to be the best person that he or she can be. One important part of growth is learning to be independent and imaginative. Nowadays, encouraging independent and imaginative play with your child can be difficult. More and more kids play with tablets and other technological devices, which can be educational and a lot of fun. However, these devices can discourage kids from playing on their own. Luckily, as a parent, there are steps that you can take. These are three tips that can help you encourage your child to be independent and imaginative, even in today's tech-heavy world. 1. Provide the Right Toys First of all, you can't really expect your child to do anything else if all that you buy for birthdays and holidays are technological toys. Although there is nothing wrong with buying tablets and other devices for your...
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What You Need to Know About Montessori Education

Education is one of the most hotly-debated topics in the United States, and many parents are concerned about whether their children are getting the best education available. Of course, every person has a different learning style, so what works for one student may not be best for his or her peers. Because of this, many alternative education programs have arisen to help children of all backgrounds get a quality education. One of the most well-known of these programs is the Montessori education. Montessori Education Characteristics Montessori education programs are unique in that they allow students to learn at their own pace. Classrooms include students of all ages, allowing the older kids to mentor younger children, and allow students to choose what to work on during long time blocks. Quizzes and tests are rare, and students receive both individual and group instruction on social skills and academia. While Montessori education is still...
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What is Montessori School?

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Montessori education is different from ordinary schools. We're interested in helping children learn and grow, not teaching them how to fill in circles on a Scantron sheet. We want to encourage a lifelong desire to learn in our students. We don't want them to memorize random facts, regurgitate them for a standardized test, and promptly forget them as they study the next chapter. We know that children grow into adults, and we want them to be useful adults, capable of independent thought, capable of caring, capable -- and willing -- to make the world a better place than they found it. What is a Montessori School Instructor? A Montessori instructor is the guide on the side, not the sage on the stage. "The social and natural sciences in Montessori elementary are presented with a specific goal in mind: to set each child out on a lifelong search for meaning." Montessori educators believe meaning is...
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Montessori At Home: The Ordered Environment

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  Do you have a ‘big kid’ living in your home? By ‘big kid,’ I, of course, mean a small person who cannot reach his own socks without the aid of an adult but who will insist from the minute he wakes until that precious moment he falls asleep, that he is ‘big.’ So big, in fact. Or maybe you live with a legitimately big kid whose desire to do all the things all around the house still far exceeds her height and current capabilities. Whichever kind of big kid you have, chances are they long to do things like fix their own breakfast, help you make dinner, and dress themselves without any assistance. And, chances are, you’re ready to let them do a little more in this very busy early-school time of year. The only hiccup in this grand plan is that your house is not set up to make...
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The Benefits of a Montessori Curriculum for Your Child

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It’s never too early to start thinking about what kind of education you want for your child, and right now there are more options than ever, including a plethora of public schools, private schools, as well as specific-curriculum designed programs. The Montessori curriculum, however, has been around for many years and is gaining more attention.   About the Montessori Curriculum The Montessori model was developed in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori. It was designed to provide a unique education for children from low-income families and children with disabilities. The Montessori classrooms teach children at a variety of ages, in blocks that are dedicated to different learning opportunities. Unlike traditional educational methods, the Montessori curriculum allows students to choose their own activities and work with their peers in small groups. Teachers guide the students and assist them as needed, but the education style does not include a grading or testing system. Montessori...
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Montessori in the Home

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When your child is enrolled in Montessori School, they spend their days learning with hands-on activities. Montessori students are encouraged to learn by doing and are given opportunities throughout the day to do just that. Children are also given the freedom to explore topics that are of interest to them. A huge variety of tools and activities are available for students to choose from as they see fit.  Knowing this, it is easy to see why a child may come home with questions and even more exploration on their mind. Instead of sitting your child in front of a television set, why not offer them a selection of activities and take advantage of their curiosity? Below are just a few of the many simple activities you can put together for your child in five minutes or less. These are perfect for entertaining the little ones while you prepare dinner. Locks and Keys...
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The 'prepared environment' of a Montessori preschool

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In addition to being a child-centered community, the Montessori preschool classroom is also a “prepared environment.” The prepared environment is Maria Montessori’s concept that the environment can be designed to facilitate maximum independent learning and exploration by the child. The Montessori preschool classroom is a “living room” for children.  All of the furniture is child-sized and all of the materials are scaled to fit the physical dimensions of a preschooler’s body.  Space is usually divided into four distinct areas:  practical life, sensorial, mathematics, and language.  Although these areas represent part of the curriculum, it is important to remember that no subject is taught in isolation.  The Montessori preschool curriculum is interdisciplinary and interactive. In the prepared environment, there is a variety of activity as well as a great deal of movement.  A 3-year-old, for example, may be washing clothes by hand while a 4-year-old nearby is composing words and phrases with letters known as the moveable...
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Montessori Pre-K is First Step to Success

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You may think you have years to pick an educational path that’s right for your child. He or she is still a toddler, why rush them into a pre-K program? The fact is, this may be the MOST IMPORTANT time for your child’s educational growth. Toddlers are information sponges. They soak up everything around them. You want to know that your child is as prepared as possible for their coming educational experiences. You may worry that your child will be missing some of the vital skills other students their age have already had the chance to gain. What skills can a Montessori pre-K program give them to best prepare them for educational and life success? Montessori Pre-K Teaches Independence If your child still cowers behind you and needs you to do everything for them, it's time to start working on their independence. Your child should be able to ask questions when...
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Preschool: A Perfect Time for Montessori

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Is a Montessori preschool right for your child? While there are many benefits to sending your little one to school early, it can also be a tough decision to make. Many parents may have anxiety about leaving their young child in school all day, while others may not feel confident preschool is worth the extra expense. There are various other concerns that come up when parents are considering the possibility of preschool, and while they are all valid concerns, the pros of enrolling your child in preschool far outweigh the cons. Children are like sponges. They crave and quickly absorb any information you send their way, and they desire to be out in the world exploring in order to grow academically, socially, and in their ability to work independently of their parents. Preschool can fulfill all of these needs for your child. This is especially true of a Montessori school, where...
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Brooksfield: A Montessori School Founded on Excellence

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Brooksfield School is a Montessori school founded on shared experiences and a joy for life and learning.  We employ outstanding teachers, specialists, administrators and assistants who dedicate themselves to inspiring and nurturing the children every single day. Over 30 years, Brooksfield has refined its vision of what a Montessori school should offer children. Our focus on art, nature, and mindfulness enhances the Montessori principles at the heart of the curriculum. Let’s take a look at those principles. A Montessori School is Student-Run In a traditional school system, the teacher dictates the lessons of the day and the students follow along, regardless of the pace of learning or how well the student comprehends the material. In a Montessori school, however, the teacher acts as more of a facilitator, while the students learn to work together at different stations. This is proven to be a great method for teaching kids valuable social skills...
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Montessori Method Includes

Teaching Adapting to Students Young children are full of energy, and are constantly on the move. When they reach the age of attending preschool or elementary school, many parents hear comments from educators that children have a hard time sitting still and doing seatwork. While some may be quick to assign a medical label, consider the possibility that the child may just be a kinesthetic learner. A Montessori school can help assess your child's learning style and adapt to it appropriately. There are 4 main types of learning styles. Reader-writers perform the best with traditional teaching methods, as they truly enjoy getting lost in a book or writing a story. Assign them a packet of worksheets and they are truly in their element. Visual learners need images, graphics, maps, charts, and other visual aids to process information. Auditory learners do best when they can hear and speak about what they are...
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Montessori Method: Fueling the Natural Desires of Learning

A desire to bring about a child’s natural yearning to learn more.  Acquiring knowledge should not be intimidating or criticized during the process for a young mind, as every child has the embedded curiosity to expand their thoughts in an error-free environment. This has made the Montessori Method grow exponentially in popularity for the young developing mind.  Brooksfield School proudly incorporates this learning platform. Contact Brooksfield School for any information at all regarding the Montessori Method or any general questions about their programs. Follow the Rhythm of the Child: The Montessori Method Excerpt from Brook’s Field of Dreams, 1996 Your child is like a seed growing into a flower.  The Montessori Method allows the child to grow at his or her own natural pace, and we should therefore try to let go and not be so concerned with instant results by digging out that “seed” to check on its daily development....
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Summer Fun at Summer Camp

If your child is too young to work, then chances are that he or she has grown bored with the typical routine of a summer break. Introducing them to summer camp benefits you and them. For many parents, sending their children to camp is an inevitable part of family life. Summer camps for elementary school students are a great way to get children to go outside and be active instead of sitting in front of the TV all summer. Sending children away to camp gives parents a much-needed break, too. Finding the right summer camp for elementary or middle-school age children may take a little work, but the benefits to your child are indisputable. Many summer camps for elementary school students place an emphasis on the arts, with music and theatre programs and arts and crafts. Studies have shown that creating and viewing art positively impacts a child's emotional, social, and...
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Search the Montessori Method/Search its Highlights

*Private school is more generalized, than the exact teaching method described in these articles below: The Montessori Method.       To truly appreciate the Montessori Method, let’s get you sold on private schooling first. Why Private School? Why Montessori?     No matter what age your child is, it's never too late to put them in private school. With exposure to premium education with professional staff and activities to fill up your child's day, private schools can give your child what other schools can't. If you're still on the fence about whether your child should attend private school, we've compiled a list of what you can expect from privatized education and the continual benefits it will offer you and your child. Being Held to a Higher Standard     Every parents want the best for your child and so does their school. Private schools hold their students to a higher academic standard that will show when...
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Making the World a Better Place: Brooksfield Partners With Dr. Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots Organization

Brooksfield is excited to announce that we have joined Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots organization which helps young children understand how they can help improve their communities for humans, animals and their environments. This past weekend our Kindergarteners, as well as other Brooksfield students, attended a Roots and Shoots event called the Tomorrow & Beyond Tour which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Jane Goodall Institute. Our students have been working on numerous Roots and Shoots projects for years including organic gardening, making blankets for the children’s hospital, collecting candy for troops, creating lavender sachets for retired veterans and making Thanksgiving dinner for a family in need. Brooksfield’s latest project, to help make our community a better place, is the adoption of Bryn Mawr Park, located behind the Balducci’s shopping center. The park is a lovely and peaceful place with a footbridge and a stream with many old hardwoods and...
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Clearing The Air About The Montessori Method

  Although the Montessori Method has been freely used for years in education circles, this term is not a patented trademark. This has led to its use, on occasion, by schools that do not actually practice traditional Montessori principles. From this misuse, misconceptions have arisen related to this educational approach. As parents explore schools for their children, it is important to recognize whether or not true Montessori Method is being used. As the support system for the teacher-child relationship, parents should understand the philosophy guiding their child's education. Avoid confusion and conflict by clearing away the fog of these 10 common misconceptions. 1. Only Preschool: Although there may be more Montessori schools dedicated to preschool years, programs exist for elementary and middle school age children as well. 2. Only For The Gifted: The Montessori method is perfectly suited for creating a learning environment where students of all abilities can flourish. This...
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Helping Children Transition Better Through Life With Montessori

  We all go through various stages as a child, some of us with more success than others. Unfortunately, many education facilities are ill-prepared to help a child mature through these stages. For many of us in the past it was all a part of growing up, though a part we didn't feel comfortable discussing. Sadly, it is safe to say that going through these stages improperly can derail a life. However, Montessori education methods provide a unique chance for your child to go through these periods unscathed emotionally. It creates an emotionally comforting and relaxing environment which can be used as a springboard for improved transitioning and a stronger sense of self later in life. Children Go Through Transitional Periods As children age, they go through several transition periods. These periods are typically tied to their intellectual and physical development. When they are infants, they are reliant entirely on you...
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How the Montessori Method Prepares Your Child for First Grade

When your child has experienced the benefits the Montessori method has to offer at Brooksfield School, they feel prepared to take the next step to first grade, and you should too! The impact of a Montessori education and a child's love of learning will be greatest the earlier the child has started being taught using the principles in the Montessori method. It is for this reason Brooksfield School was founded; to provide the best possible start for each child prior to beginning their elementary education. While every child comes to first grade with different learning and social skills, children that have been taught the hallmark Montessori traits of independent thinking, problem solving, curiosity, and respect for everyone have increased abilities and confidence to begin the next stage in their education. When a child begins first grade, they will be in a class called lower elementary, composed of first, second, and third...
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The Montessori Method: a Proven Learning Experience

When education becomes more than a cookie-cutter curriculum, it develops into a true learning experience. The Montessori Method embodies this idea with a proven system used in diverse cultures across the globe. Focusing on a child's natural curiosity and desire to learn about their world, Montessori programs create a learning environment like no other. Developed by physician and educator Dr. Maria Montessori, the method that bears her name has been used successfully for over 100 years. Dr. Montessori developed this method with scientific observations of her students from childhood to adulthood. With this information, she was able to develop a perfected style of education with three key components: Student Choice A Montessori trained teacher will create a classroom with a range of activity options and the ability to move freely about the room. This learning environment encourages student independence and freedom, while the limits retain a sense of order and prevent...
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Gift Ideas for Toddlers That Will Complement a Montessori Education

If you've got a special toddler in your life, there are probably times when you want to buy him or her a gift, whether it is for the holidays, a birthday, or just because. While there are a lot of choices that make noise, light up, and seem like fun, those are often the toys that are quickly discarded. Sometimes some of these simple gifts are used the most, and they complement a toddler Montessori education, based on the premise that children learn through hands-on, self-directed learning. Blocks. Any type, whether they are small wooden ones, large cardboard ones, or even some you make yourself out of milk cartons are terrific for toddlers. Not only can they have a blast making simple structures, they will love knocking them down too. They will also use them in a variety of ways, lining them up, grouping them, and pretending they are something else...
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Why Choose a Montessori Education?

A Montessori education has proven to develop children's coordination, concentration, independence and other great qualities in a more effective manner. Students are encouraged to become "seekers of knowledge." Their self-judgment and correction will develop while attending a Montessori program. As the students get older, they will learn how to judge their work and learn from their mistakes. Montessori students become self-directed learners which will greatly benefit them as they grow older. Check out the many other benefits a Montessori education can provide here! Contact us today!
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3 Ways Montessori Childcare Gives Your Toddler a Head Start

When you choose a school with a Montessori approach to childcare, you are choosing to give your child many advantages over other types of preschools and daycare environments. Here are three big boosts you are giving your toddler when you choose the Montessori method. The Montessori approach builds self confidence. Kids in a Montessori environment are taught to focus on what they can do rather than what they can't. The Montessori education model encourages teachers and other adults to allow children to try new things and not be afraid of failure. Kids and their parents are often surprised by how much children can accomplish when they are given the opportunity. The Montessori approach encourages working together. A Montessori classroom is set up with several different age groups learning together. This is important because older children learn to teach and younger children get the benefit of the experience of older kids that...
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Kindergarten Art Inspired By Nature

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This week our eager, creative kindergarteners happily re-examined some beautiful autumn leaves while we read Lois Ehlert's Red Leaf Yellow Leaf. Then I handed back the colorful tissue collages they had made two weeks ago. They were skeptical when I  asked them to turn over their papers, trace two leaves on the back, then cut them out. I was most impressed with the tenacity and determination with which each and every child tackled both the tracing and the cutring, as neither was an easy task. The best thing of all was the way friends stepped up and offered to help one another, by holding the leaves steady for each other as they traced. There was a true spirit of cooperation and focused effort in the room all morning. When the children flipped over their cut leaf shapes, they were delighted by the colorful suprise on the other side. The final step was...
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Preschool Critical Learning Moment for a Child's Growth

Children are quite curious from the ages 3-5. It is critical in this timeframe to develop a child's eagerness to learn which will greatly benefit them down the road as they get older. A Montessori preschool program will develop their social and emotional skills. This is a very important key to academic success before they enter elementary school. Preschool will be the driving force behind helping a child learn to read and love to learn. Check out the entire article on Herald & Review about preschool being the foundation for a child's academic growth. Contact us today!
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So Many Daycare Services in Mclean! How do I choose?

Your toddler is your world. Yes, the sun does rise and set in him, at least in your universe. He is walking, starting to talk, and gaining a degree of independence. Now is the time to consider enrolling him in a daycare program. Many reasons present themselves for considering a toddler daycare program. Mclean offers a wide variety of choices. Sorting through each one is both time-consuming and essential to the health and well-being of your little one, as well as to your personal peace of mind. No reason for this process is more important than assuring you choose a quality program that fits your goals for your child and your child's future. Look for quality indicators in these areas: health and safety considerations, appropriate teacher-child interactions, child-directed learning, aesthetically pleasing environments, parent involvement and program philosophy. It is always a good idea to seek references from like-minded parents. How will...
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National Parks Celebrating 100 Years

Did you visit a National Park this summer? KidsPost has a picture contest ending August 30th for some of the best photos taken this summer in America's National Parks. Celebrate 100 years of family trips to National Parks across the country. Take advantage of the several National Parks, memorials, monuments, and historical sites that the Washington DC area has to offer and send your pictures in! Photo shots must have been taken following May 26th, 2016. All entries due by August 30th! Be sure there is at least one person in the image age 5-13. Check out the details here!
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Still Time to Enter in Kid's Post Summer Challenge

Not traveling anywhere this summer? Or have you just recently gotten back from your vacation? You could win a prize from the KidsPost by submitting photos of all your summer fun! Don't be shy! What better way to start the school year with a prize pack!  See the link below for full article on the The Washington Post. Check out the details here!
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A Montessori School Understands Your Busy Child Might Just be a Kinesthetic Learner

Young children are full of energy, and are constantly on the move. When they reach the age of attending preschool or elementary school, many parents hear comments from educators that children have a hard time sitting still and doing seatwork. While some may be quick to assign a medical label, consider the possibility that the child may just be a kinesthetic learner. A Montessori school can help assess your child's learning style and adapt to it appropriately. There are 4 main types of learning styles. Reader-writers perform the best with traditional teaching methods, as they truly enjoy getting lost in a book or writing a story. Assign them a packet of worksheets and they are truly in their element. Visual learners need images, graphics, maps, charts, and other visual aids to process information. Auditory learners do best when they can hear and speak about what they are learning. Reading out loud and talking...
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After Montessori School: What Now?

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Your child went to a Montessori preschool. They attended a Montessori school for kindergarten. Unfortunately, your time with a quality Montessori education is running out. As a parent who is genuinely hopeful that your child will continue to love learning, approach learning challenges independently, and be able to learn at their own pace throughout their educational career, you can't help but wonder how you're going to take that Montessori style into their later years at school. Keep your child in their current school. Many Montessori kindergartens are linked to other schools, from private schools that take them through their elementary school years to other institutions. If you want to continue your child's Montessori education or maintain their current philosophy of education for as long as possible, the best way to do it is to keep them in their current school. Those schools are designed with a Montessori philosophy at the forefront and will help...
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Consider These 25 Reasons To Keep Your Child in Montessori Through the Kindergarten Year

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Consider the following 25 reasons to keep your child in a Montessori school through the kindergarten year: After having a child in Montessori school for a few years, many parents face the decision of whether or not to transition to a more traditional elementary school. Consider. . . . 1. Some students, even social ones, find transitions daunting. Keeping them within a smaller circle of peers at least until first grade could better prepare them for interacting with other children.2. Public kindergarten might prove boring for students who have experienced a more liberal, less structured Montessori education at this point in their academic journey.3. Students who transfer from Montessori to a kindergarten need time to adjust to a new group of peers, new teachers, and a totally different method of schooling.4. Many kindergarten programs require less of kindergarteners. So students in transition find themselves repeating and relearning concepts and skills they...
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Three Books Every Montessori School Parent Should Read

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Making the choice to send your child to Montessori School is a rewarding one. Your child benefits from a nurturing, fun, and child-centered environment during the day. Did you know that you can create a Montessori based environment in your home too? These books will help you to understand how to implement the methodology your child benefits from at school in your home. Teaching Montessori In The Home- The Preschool Years, by Elizabeth G. Hainstock emphasizes the importance of the first six years of life. This book is a guide for parents to bring the Montessori methodology into the home and apply it to helping their child learn every day tasks. Part one of the book provides a bio of Maria Montessori and an overview of her method. It also reviews the stages of childhood development and how the method applies to each stage. Part two presents the step by step teaching of...
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Montessori Kindergarten vs. Traditional Kindergarten: How Do They Compare?

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It's a major milestone for parents and children alike: the start of kindergarten. But making the decision about where to send your children for the beginning of their educational career is often stressful for parents. With so many choices available today, how do you know which type of school is best for your children? Increasingly, many parents are recognizing the benefits of a Montessori education for their children. What exactly is a Montessori school and how does a Montessori kindergarten classroom differ from a traditional kindergarten classroom? Let's consider some of the differences below: The role of the teacher. In a traditional classroom, the teacher is typically viewed as an authority figure; she is the center of the classroom who is in charge of controlling what and how students learn. In a Montessori classroom, the teacher is viewed as a guide. Her role is unobtrusive; she observes as children work together and teach each...
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Why Private School?

  No matter what age your child is, it's never too late to put them in private school. With exposure to premium education with professional staff and activities to fill up your child's day, private schools can give your child what other schools can't. If you're still on the fence about whether your child should attend private school, we've compiled a list of what you can expect from privatized education and the continual benefits it will offer you and your child.  Being Held to a Higher Standard Every parents want the best for your child and so does their school. Private schools hold their students to a higher academic standard that will show when compared to children their age of public schools. Whether your child is in elementary or just about to graduate high school, private schools demand more graduation requirements that will further prepare them for what's ahead. Along with the course...
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Technology and the Montessori School

  Isn't it curious that quite a few people who have gone on to impact the world of technology received an early education that did not include the use of computers? According to an article published by the Montessori Society AMI UK, many of the titans of Silicon Valley attended a Montessori School at some time during their formative years. Larry Page, one of the founders of Google, was a student at Okemos Montessori School from 1975 to 1979. Sergey Brin, Google co-founder with Page, attended Paint Branch Montessori School in Adelphi, Maryland. When the two appeared on a Barbara Walters special, The Ten Most Fascinating People of 2004, they told her they credit their Montessori schools with allowing them to think for themselves, thus fostering their creativity. Brin for his part, feels that, by giving him the freedom to pursue activities that interested him, the Montessori environment set him on the path to becoming a...
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Montessori Kindergarten Schools-Incorporating Montessori Teachings in the Home

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When you decide to enroll your child in a Montessori School, you are embarking on a life long love of learning. This is a journey the whole family takes together. When the school day ends, it doesn't mean the learning has to end too! There are some simple things you can do at home to incorporate what your child is learning in school into your family. Not only are they educational, but they are fun too! -Movement: All humans need to move. More importantly, they need to move in a way that feels natural and beneficial to them. Do you want your child to sit down and do homework right after school, but she has a case of the fidgets? Change the schedule around! Give her some free play active time before settling down to do work. Do you want your child to play baseball, but he likes to kick balls...
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Three Essential Back to School Tips for Montessori Children

As August nears its end, fall is just around the corner. And with that, it's time to return to school. For children and parents alike, this is an exciting time, when children are able to enter the next chapter of their educational journey.For the 5300 Montessori programs within the United States, this is particularly resonant. Montessori programs take a different approach to learning, encouraging children to engage with learning on their own terms, in a collaborative environment that fosters both intellectual and emotional growth.Here are three handy back to school tips for Montessori children and parents alike. With these tips in your pocket, your child's year of Montessori education will be both exciting and the learning experience of their life! Allow Your Children to Learn on Their OwnMaria Montessori opened the first of many Montessori programs in 1907; the educational program was designed to help and enable children from all walks...
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Three Ways that Montessori Will Benefit Your Child

The Montessori education was created to help children succeed in their own way, encouraging children to learn through their own natural and creative processes, and absorbing knowledge from their surrounding environment.In the early 20th century, Maria Montessori created the Montessori curriculum in order to cultivate a school environment that encompassed the needs of every child, including those who were economically disadvantaged and had learning disabilities. Today, those fundamental tenets remain true. To date, more than 5,000 private schools employ Montessori programs, and the curriculum held in place is helping children grow and learn in ways they never thought possible.So, what about Montessori is so special? Here are three ways that Montessori can enrich your child's life: The Montessori Method Inspires CreativityAs part of the Montessori curriculum, children are permitted to choose their own activities and means of learning and understanding the lesson. Finding their own educational way inspires creativity within children....
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Enjoying the Deer and Having a Vegetable Garden Too.

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  Herds of white tailed deer have become the bane of the suburban gardener.  We admire their graceful gaits and darling fawns, and in winter there is nothing more magical than seeing them frolicking in a mid-January snowfall.  But come spring, their charm quickly wears thin as they descend upon just about everything gardeners plant.  Flamboyant azaleas, glossy tulips, budding hostas and tender tomato plants are all fair game.  The Brooksfield School in suburban McLean has created a simple, inexpensive solution to this problem.  Nestled on five acres of woodland, Brooksfield conducts an organic gardening program to engage their young learners in a year round gardening experience.  Using simple raised beds they have created a series of ‘kinder gardens’ in which they grow a variety of heirloom squash, jack-o-lantern pumpkins, beans, tomatoes, herbs and popcorn.  However, their location makes their gardens prime targets for the deer who live in McLean’s suburban...
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Giving Parents a Break With Summer Camp

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For many parents, sending their children to camp is an inevitable part of family life. Summer camps for elementary school students are a great way to get children to go outside and be active instead of sitting in front of the TV all summer. Sending children away to camp gives parents a much-needed break, too. Finding the right summer camp for elementary or middle-school age children may take a little work, but the benefits to your child are indisputable. Many summer camps for elementary school students place an emphasis on the arts, with music and theatre programs and arts and crafts. Studies have shown that creating and viewing art positively impacts a child's emotional, social, and intellectual development. The benefits of keeping music in schools and at home can begin even earlier: children who sing or play music regularly before kindergarten do better in math and reading, have higher self-esteem and...
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How Montessori Schools Promote Learning

Every parent wants the very best for their children, especially when it comes to education. While many parents wait until college to begin looking around for particularly top-notch facilities, others take a more proactive route, and try to find the preschool that will give their children the best advantage in life. For many parents, the best advantage often comes from sending their children to a Montessori school.A preschool Montessori curriculum can be very inclusive and innovative. Montessori children are exposed to letters, numbers, and shapes in preschool, and are encouraged to learn at their own pace. By allowing the children access to activities of their own choosing, private Montessori schools encourage the development of self-discipline and social skills. Montessori children have been shown to possess higher motivation and more undivided interest, and place greater levels of importance on their schoolwork than their non-Montessori peers.Parents who are concerned about keeping music in...
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Literacy Arts Week Begins March 11th

Literary Arts celebration begins March 11th Did you know that the well-known children’s author and illustrator Mo Willems kicked off his career as a writer and animator for Sesame Street and earned six Emmy Awards? During Brooksfield School's annual Literary Arts Celebration, students in both the Lower and Upper Schools will learn this and much more about Willems, whose books have awarded the prestigious Caldecott Honors. On Wednesday, March 13th, the students will hear how local children’s author Susan Stockdale approaches the writing process. Be sure to attend the Assembly on Thursday, March 14th to see the children's Willems-based art and presentations. Also, Brooksfield will host a book drive all week. Please help your child choose some gently-used books for the boxes we will have stationed at carpool from the 11ththrough the 15th. We will be donating the books to INOVA Children’s Hospital.
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Detox 101: February 28th

Well, I have finished my 48 hour Master Cleanse. It was a great experience and surprised me in so many ways. Who would think that you could actually enjoy not eating much but some steamed veggies once or twice a day for two straight days and just drink tea or water, lemon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup?  Well I did and it was very therapeutic.  Now that it is over, I am going slow reintroducing foods and eating less than I did before the cleanse. Gradual reentry is good.  The official day to start is tomorrow and some of you have let me know that you will be doing it next week. The ODA trip this weekend has affected some plans. If anyone is doing it this weekend and wants some support, please let me know! Love to hear from you and how you are doing! It is fun to share...
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Detox 101: February 28th

Hi to tour Group!  I am on day 2 of the modified Master Cleanse. This morning my alarm was not necessary.  I was up and out before it went off! The dry brushing was really helpful and the hot shower felt great. Journaling is good because a lot is coming up that certainly hasn't had the time or space to come up before. My days are busier than I would like but the thermos is filled with the cleanse and my mind feels super sharp! The hunger comes and goes so riding that wave is interesting. No specific food cravings at this time. Hopefully some of you are going to do the cleanse and if you can't this weekend, let me know and I will be happy to coach you through at a later date. For me, it has already had so many benefits, it will become a regular routine to...
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Detox 101: February 26th

We are going to start a Detox as a group on Friday.  We have choices to make about which one suits us best. I have chosen The Master Cleanse by Paul Pitchford because I want to try something new that I have done before. So far, so good. In order to lead the group, I wanted to start a little earlier and give you the highlights of what comes up and how to move through it. There are  brief moments of hunger but they have passed quickly. Also a good reminder to drink the cleanse of spring water, lemon, cayenne pepper and Grade B Organic Maple Syrup. I get busy and forget to drink more! It does not help to drive by any food stores or restaurants! That increased the challenge!  When feelings of being cool or empty come up, warm herbal tea has hit the spot!  It is interesting to...
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Detox 101: February 11th

Dear Detox101 Friends! I wanted to touch base with you as we are now getting closer to our date of starting the Detox Program. This morning I made a green smoothie in an effort to get in my antioxidants with Sun is Shining, a green superfood supplement. This smoothie supports your immune system on a snowy grey day. It provides all the nutrients of a green food which is rich in probiotics and it enhances your digestion as well as your nutrient absorption. I will share with you what I put into my VitaMix. Mary Anne's Mid-February Green Pick-me-up Half of a banana A few chunks of pineapple 1 teaspoon of Organic Coconut Oil 1 cup of water mixed with coconut water Dash of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of Camu Powder 1 teaspoon of Lacuma Powder Ice cubes Voila! A gorgeous green refresher and great way to start your day.  To add...
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Expansion - Leadership Levels

Leadership Giving Levels | Montessori Method
 Leadership Giving LevelsHelp set the pace for Brooksfield’s Annual Fund by making a tax deductible leadership gift.           $10,00 plus Journey Club $5,000 to $9,999 Naturalist Circle $2,500 to $4,999 Green Gardeners $1,000 to $2,499 Peace Circle $750 to $999 1987 Club $500 to $749 Adventurer's Club $400 to $499 Dragonfly Donors Less than $400 Brooksfield Booster If you would like to make a tax deductible leadership gift, please download and complete the form below.  Please mail form and your check to:Brooksfield School 1830 Kirby RoadMcLean, Virginia 22101  Brooksfield Annual Fund Form  
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Brooksfield School gets a new bus!

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At the end of the month, Brooksfield School located in McLean, Virginia will now have it's very own bus!  Look for the bus around town as we take it on local field trips around Northern Virginia!
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My New Love: CardStar

Since I have the organizing gene, anytime I can improve a system or process or use something in a new way that saves time or somehow is better, it is always something to celebrate.  I have been singing the praises of my new found treasure, the App, CardStar. My purse got about 5 pounds lighter thanks to an organizing friend who introduced me to it.   CardStar holds digitally all of the plastic cards and key tabs that many stores and restaurants entice us with to get discounts.   Viola, my wallet is not overstuffed and my three key rings (yes, I have three) can now just hold keys because all of the plastic cards and key tags can be left home!  In addition to the convenience of not having to carry all of the extra plastic, CardStar saves us time too as it organizes the cards alphabetically so there is no more...
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Richard Louv: "The Nature Principle"

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  Mary Anne with National Bestselling Author, Richard Louv. Louv is best known for his book, "Last Child in the Woods". He has just published,"The Nature Principle" which addresses reconnecting with life in a virtual age.We have an autographed copy in the office for parents to borrow. Louv's urge to us at Brooksfield is to keep up our good work AND to not only support sustainability but to also CREATE MORE NATURE.  Join us in brainstorming on this topic!    
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I Got My Counter Back!

It has been really hard for me as the resident "neat freak" in our house to have cluttered kitchen counters these last few weeks.  My daughter has been working on her 1st grade assignment to create a leprechaun trap since the assignment was given a few weeks back.  Her quite large creation has been residing on our kitchen counter as she finessed it.  Today was the day that her project was due so I excitedly helped her transport it to school!  She also had a birthday party at the end of February so we have been working on her thank you notes at the kitchen table.   Of course an active 7 year old can only do a few at a time, so the box of notes has remained on the counter to be available when inspiration struck.  We finally sat down this weekend and she did a great job finishing them...
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New Year's Tip #3 - Managing Time

Okay, I realize it is mid-February, however we are still in the 1st quarter of the new year.  The number one reason why most people want to get organizedis to do more with their 24 hours, and to live better.  We all feel pressed for time and really the best, easiest and cheapest way to add more time in our day is to find it through getting organized.  Do you know that the average person loses an hour a day looking for things, day dreaming, procrastinating and trying to figure out what they should do? I think this is a conservative estimate and really most of us waste more time daily.  How can we stop this continual waste of time?  If you do the math, an hour a day adds up to two weeks a year of wasted time. The following ideas can be applied to both our personal and work...
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New Year's Organizing Tip #2 - Where does it go?

Okay, now that you have purged all of the old paper andclutter from your rooms it is time to organize them.  The best way to get organized and stay that way is to zoneyour rooms and assign a home to every object. Sounds like a lot of work, but it isn't really.  So, for example in the family room, common activities may be playing video games, watching t.v., reading and relaxing.  Objects you will need to contain are video games, DVDs, books, remote controls, wraps and throws, etc.  Start one room at a time and find ahome for everything.  Once you have a home for EVERYTHING then literally it should take less than 10 minutes to pick up several rooms in your home. The harder clutter to contain is paper because it can quickly become overwhelming and look worse than it is if it isn't processed every day.  Know the pattern of...
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New Year's Clutter Busting Strategy # 1 - Purge the Stuff

As we start a new year, I thought it would be helpful to discuss clutter busting strategies.  To that end I'll focus my January posts on general organizing tips.  My husband and I always get a laugh, as I prepare for our, at least monthly charity donation pick-ups, at our house, as he sings the line"....give it away, give it away, give it away now..." from the Red Hot ChiliPeppers song "Give it Away".    If you only keep items in your space andclosets that you love (and that fits) and represents how you live now, youwon't believe how easy it is to put together a few donation bags a month.    If you haven't already, call up your favorite charities, and get on their regular pick-up schedule to give away your gently used items not needed.   There is so much that  comes in to our homes that needs to be sorted, purged...
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Lice Free and Decorated for the Holidays!

We have had the unfortunate experience of having to deal with a lice infestation in my daughter’s class room at school.  This means of course, she has brought them home.  To get rid of them is a bear because not only do you have to spend hours cleaning and combing through the infected head to try to find the nits (lice eggs), but you have to clean and remove from the environment everything that mirrors hair (blankets, rugs and of course the plethora of stuffed animals)!  So, the good news is we have been lice free for several weeks now (though they are still in her classroom). With the mild weather we had a few weeks ago it seemed like everyone in our neighborhood decorated for the holidays early.  I like decorating our home for Christmas, but because we get a live tree, we can’t decorate too early.  My husband took...
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Brooksfield is in Washington Home and Garden

Brooksfield's visit with Chef Tom is in Washington Home and garden!  Check out the article!  Click on: http://www.whgmag.com/index.php/myblog/brooksfield-school-invites-chef-tom-elder-of-h%C3%A4rth-restaurant-to-present-about-farm-to-table.html  
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Greening Up Your Holiday - EcoFabulously

Holiday tips courtesy of EcoFabulous: When it comes to decorating for the holidays, green decor means more than hanging a pine wreath outside. This season, be inspired by all of the eco-friendly options available (including the DIY route!) and commit to creating a healthy home for your family and the planet. From lights to ornaments, to modern menorahs and sustainable stockings - we've got you covered! To Tree or Not to Tree, the Evergreen Question: Whether you prefer the fresh smell of pine or prefer the ease of a fake tree, each option has an eco angle. For the live route, research organic Christmas tree farms in your area. Check outGreenPromise.com or LocalHarvest.com - both feature farm directories by zip code. Buying a live tree that can be replanted in your backyard is the best choice, but if you choose a cut tree be sure to recycle it responsibly - check out...
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Getting Back To Living Life

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 “Getting back to your life” is the tag line of my physical therapy center, and it is one that I relate to as an organizer.   My sessions at the center helped unlock my frozen shoulder condition, and at times my sessions there were uncomfortable and painful.  I am in a better position now to get back to my life thanks to the exercise regimen they put together for me.  They explained that for my shoulder to continue to improve I need to commit to my 30 minute shoulder exercises daily.  Do I skip days here and there?  Of course, but for the most part I am committed to it because I want to get back to my life…especially on the tennis court! Similarly, organizing helps us get back to our lives because if we are committed to keeping up our systems and routines, then we...
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The Gift of Time This Sunday

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 What did you do with your extra hour gained this past weekend with the end of daylight savings time?  Don’t you wish we could have an extra hour each day to tie up loose ends, plan and prioritize or do something for ourselves?  Maybe we can mirror the feeling of bliss I know I felt Sunday morning with my extra hour. How so?  Here are some time saving tips that may get you close to an hour.   Get organized.  See my blog from September 9th on ORDER – organize, routines, delete, edit and readiness.  On average we lose an hour a day looking for things or trying to figure out what we need to do.  This hour adds up to a staggering 14 days a year of time thrown away!  Zone each of your spaces so that it makes sense, there is proper storage...
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EWG - A Go-To Source for Latest Health and Green Advice

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Normal.dotm 0 0 1 284 1621 Green Living Consulting 13 3 1990 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false EWG - or the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) is a DC-based organization whose mission is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. This non-profit is a powerhouse of information in addition to advocating on our behalf! When it come to Children's Health the have done extensive research on Bisphenol A and why we should avoid it, Kid-Safe Chemicals, the dangers of fluoride and mercury in products, as well as arsenic in treated wood. Here are just a few of the great resources they make available so you can know how to keep your children healthy inside and living in a safe environment:  2011 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database Skin Deep: Sunscreens 2011 - best and worst National...
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