Involving Kids In Holiday Prep

Montessori Table Setting Lesson
  On any given weeknight at our house, dinner tends to come together in a bit of a rush. Setting the table is often the least of my worries and so forks and napkins find themselves tossed haphazardly onto the table, never on the right side, forks often hiding under napkins. So, just before dinner on the afternoon of Thanksgiving, I decided that I’d enlist my daughter, Maya, to help me set the table and that we’d set it well. No forks hiding under napkins, no utensils pointing every which way. I’d show her how to properly set a table.   I pulled out the fancy napkins and napkin rings and set out the silverware and plates and called her into join me. With her baby brother settled on my hip and feeling very much the matriarch, I picked up a napkin and a napkin ring and began to show her...
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Brooksfield Players Perform!

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Brooksfield Players, an afterschool drama class run by our very own dance teacher, Sandra Kammann, spent the last 8 weeks putting together a drama production and finally performed it today for the entire school and parents whose kids were involved! " Mystery of the Magic Lake, Adventures In A New Land " was enjoyed by all. The costumes and set were designed by Sandra and her drama group. The play took place in a land filled with princesses, knight battles, talking animals, magic and more! The children developed and choreographed the play and came up with the characters, script and even the title all on their own (with a little guidance from Sandra). Congratulations to all on a job well done!

Medical Alert—How to Protect Your Family During Flu Season

Medical Alert—How to Protect Your Family During Flu Season
Every time I see one of those medical alert emails, my heart sinks just a little bit. I warily read, scared of what illness might invade our family next. We don’t end up catching them all, of course, but just knowing that we’ve circled strep throat or hand foot and mouth disease, not to mention the flu and a hundred common colds… well it all makes me want to secure us in a bubble until spring blooms again. With no such bubble available, I’m looking for other ways to protect my family during this season of illnesses. The good news is that most of the best ways to prevent the spread of illness are common sense things that we do naturally as part of our daily routines. The bad news is that these are also some of the things that we forget or forgo when times get busy, as days during...
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Why We Chose The Dragonfly As Our Logo

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We love our dragonfly logo and so many people ask us why we selected the dragonfly. The dragonfly represents change in many cultures.  At Brooksfield our change is reflective of self realization.  A process of emotional and intellectual maturity and an understanding of the deeper meaning of life. Dragonflies can fly up to 45 mph and in all directions.  This ability reflects simplicity, grace and mastery.  They also have eyes that can turn 360 degrees which implies that we can see from all perspectivesWh and reach beyond our limitations.  Dragonflies also live a short life span and cover a lot in a few months time. They live in the moment.  A great reminder for us to live in the NOW.  They also have iridescent wings that catch and reflect colors… I like to think of that as the magic life can bring to us!  It was a sunny day many years...
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When We Bring Montessori Home

When We Bring Montessori Home
Whenever I spend a bit of time at Brooksfield and get the chance to observe my daughter in action, I always come away amazed at the things she can do on her own. Putting on her coat and gloves. Unrolling, and then nicely rolling back up, a rug, without being asked. Following simple directions without a ton of oversight.    It’s all pretty amazing.    And, of course, once we get home on those days, there’s a new world order. I’m less likely to rush in to help and more likely to sit back and marvel at what happens when I leave her to her own devices. After just a year at Brooksfield, I’m a Montessori convert. I love the emphasis on independence and freedom and the child-led nature feels so right to me.    A few weeks ago, in one of her Night Time Reading about Montessori emails, Sarah sent...
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The Season of Getting & Giving

Writing letters to parents about Brooksfield's Diaper Drive
Christmas trees now line every store and commercials urging you to think about your 'list' now fill the space between every TV show. The season of giving has begun. For our kids, however, these late fall and early winter months often become the season of getting. Getting candy, getting toys. New books and clothes. Things they need and some things they probably don't. And it's so easy to get swept up in it all. Buying gifts for small people is fun. Clothes we wish they made in our size and toys we wish were around when we were small call to us and our family and our friends. But, before we know it, our kids are asking for the next present and tearing paper like it's a job. If you want to turn this season of getting into a season of giving for your little ones, here are a few tips...
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Heartfulness for the Holidays

Heartfulness for the Holidays
Several years ago an experiment was conducted in Washington, DC in which a group of people decided to practice mental focus for several weeks to affect crime rates. The hope was that crime levels would drop. Before the group began their exercise of positive mental focus, they contacted local officials to inform them of their intent. They were told that nothing short of a severe snow storm would decrease the crime rate. After 6 weeks of up to 4000 people practicing kindness in their thoughts (and it was the middle of summer) the crime rate dropped by  nearly 25% (Hagelin, et al 1993). So let's try some heartfulness in our own community! November is a time of letting go as we see the leaves turn and release themselves. We experience loss of sunlight, loss of warm days, and the sense that winter is coming soon. We are in the season of...
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Healthy Options in the Season of Snacking

Healthy Options in the Season Of Snacking
It has started. With Halloween barely a week ago and Thanksgiving less than a month away, the season of food has begun. If your house is anything like mine, you have Halloween candy spilling out of every nook and cranny (why didn’t we give out five pieces instead of two to every trick-or-treater!?) and small people asking to eat it a dozen times each day. And, if you are anything like me, you want to say yes to at least half of these requests so you can have a piece too, rather than waiting to sneak one at nap time. Oh, sugar. At this time of year, I often worry that our family’s nutrition takes a deep dive into the land of high fructose corn syrup and that we not only pack on a few pounds but develop some pretty poor eating habits along the way. So, as the season of...
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Chef Tom From Harth Comes To Cook At Brooksfield!

Chef Tom From Harth Comes To Cook At Brooksfield!
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This week, we had the great pleasure of being visited by Chef Tom, a "real, live" Chef from  Harth , a new restaurant located at the Hilton in McLean/Tysons Corner. During Chef Tom's visit he gave Room 2 a hands-on cooking class. We made a delicious Pumpkin Spice Cake and learned about: how to follow a recipe how to use a sifter measuring spoons how to use a spatula several spices that we now all love:  cinnamon ginger and a combination called all-spice!   We thank Chef Tom and his assistant Christina for coming to our class, and look forward to cooking with Chef Tom again in the future :)

Pumpkins, Hayrides, and More!

Pumpkins, Haryrides, and More!
Yesterday was Brooksfield School's annual Lower School  field trip to the pumpkin patch. We all hopped on school buses (which was fun in its self) headed out of McLean, Virginia and drove  to Ticonderoga Farms in Chantilly. With slides, corn maze, moon bounce, farm animals, and the ever-so-popular spooking hayride that even went through the water, a ghostly time was had by all! We completed the day by picking out a pumpkin to take home. I don't know who was more exhausted the kids or the parents! What a great day!
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