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During the week of February 25 – March 2, 2024, several hundred students at The Montessori Children’s Academy (MCA) will celebrate Montessori Education Week, along with Montessori students from around the world!  They celebrate Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and the child-focused educational approach she developed to help grow our appreciation for the uniqueness of the Montessori classroom and the benefits it offers our children.

Children at all three MCA campuses in Chatham, Florham Park, and Short Hills will commemorate this special week by demonstrating Montessori Practical Life exercises to visitors during school drop-off and pick-up. They will also be singing Montessori songs, studying Italy, reviewing the timeline of Dr. Maria Montessori’s life and work, and practicing the Silence Game while thinking of peaceful things, much like Dr. Montessori did. 

The exhibit on view at the Livingston Public Library helps to kick off this celebration by sharing the students’ own versions of different Montessori materials with our community.

montessori display 1

It can be viewed until January 31st during Library hours.

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The Montessori Method is celebrated as an innovative, effective, hands-on, cross-curricular, globally conscious educational philosophy, which serves children from early childhood through the elementary years and beyond. With its multi-age groupings and its rich, extensive curriculum, a Montessori education not only provides children with a firm academic foundation, but also with the opportunity to develop social and civic responsibilities through a variety of peace activities and service projects incorporated into their daily routines. Montessori students gain a global awareness, and from an early age, they learn to think for themselves and beyond themselves.

montessori display 3

To learn more about The Montessori Children’s Academy (which serves children 18 months through 5th grade) and the Montessori Method, please visit www.TheMontessoriChildrensAcademy.com or check out their blog at https://themontessorichildrensacademy.com/blog/

montessori display 4

To get more insight into this educational approach and its founder, check out these books available to borrow with your Livingston Library card.

The Child is the Teacher : A Life of Maria Montessori by Cristina De Stefano

A fresh, comprehensive biography of the pioneering educator and activist who changed the way we look at children’s minds. Born in 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy, Maria Montessori would grow up to embody almost every trait men of her era detested in the fairer sex. She was self-confident, strong-willed, and had a fiery temper at a time when women were supposed to be soft and pliable. She studied until she became a doctor at a time when female graduates in Italy provoked outright scandal. She never wanted to marry or have children-the accepted destiny for all women in her milieu of late nineteenth-century bourgeois Rome-and when she became pregnant by a colleague of hers, she gave up her son to continue pursuing her career. At around age thirty, Montessori was struck by the work being done with children from the slums of the San Lorenzo neighborhood, and realized what she wanted to do with her life: change the school, and therefore the world, through a new approach to the child’s mind. In spite of the resistance she faced from all sides-scientists accused her of being too mystical, and the clergy of being too scientific-she would garner acclaim and establish the influential Montessori Method, which is now practiced throughout the world.

The Montessori Home : Create a Space for Your Child to Thrive by Ashley Yeh

Too often, the toys, games, and other materials meant to educate young children end up being a detriment instead. If you’re overwhelmed and your kids are overstimulated, it’s time to reset your space by applying the principles of the Montessori method at home so you can be a calmer, more attentive parent. Author and certified Montessori guide Yeh tackles each room of the home and explains how to provide young children with the accessibility they need to complete practical life skills on their own, tapping into their innate desire to “do it myself.” Whether your child is an infant, toddler, or preschooler, there are simple and inexpensive changes you can make to foster independence and reduce the stress around mealtimes, bedtime, and leaving the house.

Montessori at Home : A Practical Guide for Parents by Tara Greaney

This beginner’s guide to the Montessori Method of homeschooling for children ages 2-6 was written by parents who have embraced this method of educating their own children. It was written in hopes of simplifying the process for other parents and caregivers who are considering doing the same. Explore the fundamental principles laid out by founder Maria Montessori, and discover ways to implement her ideas in your own home, on your own schedule and budget.

The Montessori Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Nurturing Your Baby with Love, Respect, and Understanding by Simone Davies

Drawing on principles developed by the educator Dr Maria Montessori, this book shows how to raise your baby from birth to age one with love, respect, insight, and a surprising sense of calm… Including how to prepare yourself for parenthood physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Become an active observer to understand what your baby is really telling you. Create Montessori spaces in your home, including “yes” spaces where nothing is off-limits. Set up activities that encourage baby’s movement and language development at their own pace, and raise a secure baby who’s ready to explore the world with confidence.

The Montessori Toddler : Planting the Seeds to Grow a Curious and Responsible Human Being by Simone Davies

Montessori educator Davies shows you how to bring the educational values of a Montessori classroom into your home—while turning the whole idea of the “terrible twos” on its head. Here is how to set up Montessori-friendly spaces in your home. Principles for fostering curiosity in your child—and in yourself. Specific Montessori skills—the winter coat flip; getting your toddler to pour his or her own water and clean up whatever spills might occur. And it goes much deeper, showing how a parent can really be present, be the child’s guide, and handle tantrums and problematic behavior without resorting to bribes, threats, or punishment and truly celebrate every stage.

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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