Can Montessori Be a Way of Life, Even at Home?
by Sandra Nickerson
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher [or parent] is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.’” ~ Maria Montessori
When parents visit our school, one of the many things they observe is children as young as 3 years old independently choosing a work, doing the work, and finally, returning the work to its rightful place on the shelf, prepared for the next child who might choose it.
Astonished, parents ask, “How do you get them to do that? I cannot imagine my child doing that at home!”
Our teachers respond, “We prepare work that excites, challenges and allows a student to feel successful. Our expectation is that every member of a classroom contributes something positive to the environment. This, of course, includes working together to take care of our classroom.”
At the risk of sounding… well, old, I recently realized my parents were better Montessori parents than I was with my own children. I am not sure when my daily home responsibilities started, but I can say they were well in place by the time I was in third grade and my sister was in first. Every evening, we cleared the table after dinner, washed, dried, and put away the dishes. My mother would leave the kitchen after dinner, lay on the couch, and read the paper. Of course my sister and I spent countless hours complaining to one another about how unfair that was, and how lazy our mom was for making us clean up after her family. Despite our commiseration, my sister and I clearly understood that the job was ours, plain and simple. My mom had made her expectations known for how the job should be done, and she often inspected our finished work to see if we met these clear expectations. There were two constants: we had to do the job, and we had to do the job right.
The process, well, that was up to my sister and me. I remember sometimes we were very efficient and got the job done quickly. There are other vivid memories of arguing about who would wash and who would dry. There were the philosophical concepts to be wrestled with, like why my brother did not have to do dishes. We were sure that his lawn-mowing job was more exciting and easier. Sometimes we turned the whole watery affair into a game. In any case, my mom never interfered. If we took two hours to do the dishes, that was our problem and not hers.
Sometimes, these long sessions meant not going outside to play or not being able to watch TV because there was homework still to do. These were the “natural consequences” of our inefficient ways. I must add that even while looking at our tear-stained faces and listening to our rants of injustice, my mother never felt sorry for us or guilty that she somehow had caused our harsh predicament. I believe now that she thought she was preparing us to make independent, responsible choices.
I became a parent in 1980, and my wish for my daughter was simple. I wanted her to be happy. What I did not realize then was that the subtext of that wish was appointing myself responsible for her happiness. I wanted my daughter to feel free to express herself and discover herself without the confines of others’ expectations. My daughter was going to know and feel her uniqueness. While my daughter was busy expressing and discovering herself, I was busy doing the manual tasks around the house. I did ask her to help, and she sullenly obliged, but we had no routine. She did not feel the responsibility of having to do something each day that was really hers, no matter what. And then there were the negotiations, “Do I haaaave to? I have soooo much homework…. I canNOT miss dance class… this is my ONLY time to be with Addie.” Often I would buckle under her woeful cries. Why? My self-appointed job was to be responsible for her happiness. After all, her completed homework, her dance successes, and her meaningful friendships were certainly more important than clean dishes.
Today, children engage in multiple activities and keep a schedule that exhausts me even to hear about. I wonder if we are even getting enough rest, let alone getting the time to think about instilling independent responsibilities. Parents are striving to provide their children every opportunity to become successful in life. While diligently providing a rich and nourishing childhood, can parents also create space for a child to take on responsibilities at home that contribute to the care of his whole family? Although knowledge is critical and experience inspiring, I believe that a child taking full responsibility for and ownership of a job is essential.
Have I let my own children down by not having assigned each a job that benefited our whole family, by not having clearly defined the parameters of that job, by not having let them struggle, fight, laugh, argue over what a complete job looks like, by not having afforded them the feeling of doing a job completely and well? Yes, I think I have. So in answer to this frequently asked parent question, “How do I bring Montessori into our home?” My advice is this: assign your child a regularly scheduled household job that everyone in your home needs done, one your child can complete on his own, one she can do successfully, one that might slow him down a bit. Once you teach her how to do the job, walk away. Keep your expectations clear and stand unwavering in the face of multiple pleas for exemption. In the end, your children will thank you.
In the end, I do thank my mom for the dishwashing job and my dad for the Saturday morning trash bin emptying job. You see, they knew I could do those tasks, and they believed that I should recognize the satisfaction of a job done well.
Sandra Nickerson, Head of School and Elementary II Art Teacher at Bridgeview Montessori School has been on the faculty since the school’s inception in 2000.
WALDORF SCHOOL ANNOUNCES NEW COMMUNITY AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Starting on September 18th, the Waldorf School in Cotuit, is offering a new after school program that is open to all elementary and middle school students on Cape Cod including home school students. Until now, only students that attend the Waldorf School have had the opportunity to learn the unique skills Waldorf Education has to offer. This school year all students in the local community are invited to participate.
The program is offered in 5-7 week long sessions and the classes are 2 hours long on weekdays from 3:15 pm - 5:15 pm. Class offerings in the Fall I session include Waldorf Handwork, Studio Art, Cooking, and Community Service. More classes will be added throughout the year with offerings for grades 1 - 8.
The Waldorf School of Cape Cod is celebrating its 33rd year on Cape Cod. The school started
as a small one room private school in Woods Hole. The founding parents envisioned a school
that would nourish the developing child during the important years of early childhood and
support their growth through the elementary and middle school years. Through parent initiatives
and community commitment, the school has grown from that one room school to the fully
established and accredited school it is today.
For more information about the Waldorf School’s Community After -School Program visit
www.waldorfschoolofcapecod.org/after-school or call the school at 508-420-1005
Local mom to a 4 yo boy. Wife to a pretty cool guy. Woman who sometimes likes to do adult things.
Ovo - the latest show from the Québécois aerialist and circus troupe, Cirque de Soleil, is a wholesome and magical night out for dreamers big or small.
The Agganis Arena was very easy to access and had convenient parking underneath the auditorium – perfect for the rainy day we chose to go to Boston! Once inside, we found the atmosphere to be clean and comfortable; the seats were even padded and upholstered! The aisle lighting was maintained throughout the entire event but it was in no way distracting. Making our way to our seats, we felt like we had gone deep into a forest as a damp, cool air filled the auditorium, mist crawled across the stage and bugs chirped making for pleasant background noise.
The venue capacity of 7200 people created a more intimate setting and allowed for greater interaction of the audience with the performers. You didn’t even realize the show had started as characters appear in the aisles and interacted with the patrons. This interaction was maintained throughout the show. A word of caution – don’t get floor seats if you don’t want to go on stage!
The costumes were elaborate and even more vibrant in person than in the advertisements. Not only did the cast put on the performance they also did the set changes. This made the transitions from act to act more seamless.
Although there is no distinguishable dialogue during the show, the story line in Ovo (egg) was easily identifiable: a group of bugs and forest creatures relish a prized egg. In between scenes, a subplot between several bugs wooing a ladybug provided much comic relief. Having been to several other Cirque shows this was most kid-friendly. The show had a bit of everything my son is currently into – bugs, slapstick humor and death defying feats! The show did contain some innuendo; something to keep in mind if bringing little ones – a slight PG rating for a portion of the show.
Each performance was unique while adhering to the overall theme “Ovo”. The contortion, high flying, death defying stunts often left the audience with white knuckles and their jaws on the floor. During one incredible stunt where a woman holds onto a man’s hand while spinning from 50’ above the stage, we couldn’t help but murmur to each other that there’s no one we trust enough in the world to do that! From a human body folded over a head balancing on a spike, to a unicycle on a tightrope, to jumps from a rock wall onto a trampoline, the performances were amazing.
We went in for a grown-up night out and left wishing we had brought our kids. We can’t wait to go back and share the incredible talents of these performers with our children. This show truly solidifies the lesson we’re trying to teach our kids daily - that with hard work and focus, your body is capable of amazing things!
My summer flew by and I had little opportunity to Blog. I spent most of my summer with my kids in Orleans taking part in the Rec swim lessons at the lake, going to library programs, spending time at the beach, crafting and doing summer reading. Now it is back to school for the kids; my daughter started first grade today and my son starts junior kindergarten on Thursday. It will take me most of September to organize and put the house back together again but with both kids in school I will have time. I am looking forward to going to The Drool Baby Expo next week! So look for my Blog posts in the next few weeks about Drool and organizing tips and progress. Also please use my code MHUBNER5 for $5 off your ticket to Drool Baby Expo!
How was your summer? What do you plan to do now the kids are back in school?
Welcome to our newest advertiser: Waldorf School of Cape Cod!
A School Created by Parents
If you could imagine a school full of wonder, life, and engaged students who love to learn, what would that look like? In 1984, a small group of parents asked themselves this question. The school they created is known today as the Waldorf School of Cape Cod.
The Waldorf School started as a small one room private school in Woods Hole. The founding parents envisioned a school that would nourish the developing child during the important years of early childhood and support their growth through the elementary and middle school years. Through parent initiatives and community commitment, the school has grown from that one room school to the fully established and accredited school it is today.
The Waldorf School of Cape Cod is now located in the quaint seaside village of Cotuit on 13.5 acres of beautiful woodlands within walking distance of Cotuit harbor. The school building is the former location of Cotuit Elementary School. The woods and school grounds provide the best playspace that nature has to offer and we take full advantage of this gift. Our students spend much of their time outdoors and in our outdoor classroom, the school Sunhouse.
The goal of the Waldorf School of Cape Cod is to provide an education that will produce well-rounded individuals who are able to think critically and creatively. This inspires our unique approach to education. Lessons are brought to students in a multi-sensory way and usually include movement, especially in the younger grades. This approach allows our faculty to reach students with many different learning styles.
When you walk through the halls at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod, you can’t help but feel the positive energy and sense of community everyone shares. Who wouldn’t want this wonderful experience for their child? We invite you to come and visit us for a tour and learn more about our school. Enrollment is open and there is space available in select grades. Call 508-420-1005 or email Outreach@waldorfcapecod.org to make an appointment.
We had a chance to swing by the new L.L. Bean store opening Labor Day weekend in Mashpee Commons. The new store is across from Starbucks and in the old GAP building. It is refreshing to see L.L. Bean on Cape Cod so that locals now have access to some of their amazing products. The new store is nicely spread out with shoes, camping gear, jackets and more on the ground level. Upstairs there is apparel for men, women and children.
A highlight of L.L. Bean joining the Cape Cod community was their donation of $5000 to the Boy & Girls Scout troops in Mashpee. During the presentation they commented on the need to embrace the community and help cultivate a love for the outdoors. In the next few months they plan on rolling out programs for the community to participate in! We are really excited about this because it helps encourages families to get outside and introduces them to fun activities they may not have considered previously. Our family is most excited about archery and fishing. We can't wait to further explore L.L. Bean's supplies and classes.
Join them this weekend for the following events:
Starting at 9 a.m., the first 200 customer will receive an L.L. Bean Gift card which could be worth anywhere from $10 to $500.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Try your hand at fly casting and archery or take a turn at the Bean Boot Toss. Snap a picture with the Boot mobile!
It's all about kids! Come for a day of family fun. Complete an L.L. Bean Passport to win a cool patch. Check out wildlife programs throughout the day. Join the local Boy & Girl Scouts for hands on activities and games.
Plus while you check out the new store you can enter to win Red Sox tickets (10 winners) or a Trip for a Family of 4 to Maine!
Stop on by and take a look. Maybe post a picture with the boot mobile!
We are teaming up with local mom, Naomi from The Colorspace here on Cape Cod, to create some gorgeous custom tote bags ($20) that we hope our local moms would like to purchase. Sadly we are having trouble picking our favorites after we narrowed it down. Could you help us out by commenting below the picture number of the one you like best? Thanks!
The GoPro Hero from Verizon is Perfect for Our Family
The back to school countdown is on and boy has it been quite the summer. The time has flown by and already we are back to school shopping! Our family was able to experience a lot of fun and experiences this summer that have helped to make lasting childhood memories. Since summer always passes so quickly I was thrilled when Verizon reached out to me with an opportunity to check out the GoPro Hero 4 Session camera and see if it fit it could help us capture some family fun in exchange for an honest review!
When I was a kid I can remember our parents recording events and experiences. In today’s society we all have cell phones, which mean the majority of our pictures and videos are now done on these devices. However I have found that my video quality on my cell phone does not always translate well to a larger screen and my family camera is large and can be cumbersome to always have with us. This is why a GoPro is a great middle ground solution.
When the GoPro Hero 4 Session arrived, we were eager to check it out. The camera is a cube-shaped waterproof camera that is half the size of and 40% lighter than the other Hero4 cameras and only requires one button use. This can be a little confusing at first. The directions that came with the camera while simple did not fully explain the amazing capabilities the camera actually has however moms have a great ability to quickly cut to the heart of the matter and I was able to get the basics figured out. Luckily for me towards the end of our demo, I was also able to chat with David from Verizon who emailed me the online manual and helped me figure out how to try out some other features, some of which I can’t wait to try out on our upcoming trip.
We took the light weight and durable GoPro a few places to experiment on Cape Cod including the hiking, our neighborhood, and even the beach. Did I mention this camera is waterproof up to 33 feet without an additional enclosure? This makes the camera so much more useful. We brought it to the beach with us one day and I loved being able to just set it up and then hang out with the kids while they explored. This way I was able to relax and actually spend time with them while also capturing the smiles and laughter that comes from exploring new things and just having fun with family.
Just in time for back to school, we reached a major milestone as the Tiny One has learned to ride a two wheeler. He decided it was time to take the training wheels off, he hopped on and off he went. This was a great opportunity to check out the GoPro video capabilities. It was easily affixed to the top of his bike helmet and gave us an amazing view of the world as seen through the eyes of a child. When I viewed the video, I couldn’t help but laugh as he narrated his fast cruise around our neighborhood. I was also overwhelmed by how it made me feel knowing I had captured a snippet of such an important milestone in life.
Since we had affixed it already to our bike helmet we decided to go on a local nature hike with it. This was quite entertaining as the Tiny One was narrating his every move plus we were able to capture fun treasures we found along our way. This will also be a perfect way to capture that first day back at school as we swing from our favorite tree while waiting for our bus. The GoPro Hero 4 Session also comes with an app for your phone so you can edit, share and even more right from your phone! Some other great apps: Some great Family and/or Back To School apps to check out are Family Locator, Brainscape, Todoist, and Google Goals. Plus Verizon also has a Back to School deals page where you can save some money!
As a parent, video mode is my absolute favorite aspect to the GoPro. I love the ease in which I can easily place or affix the Session on and just stand back and let it record moments. The waterproof GoPro’s are super versatile and fit in seamlessly with a busy family lifestyle. I am grateful that there is new technology today that helps us get out from behind the camera and experience life with our families while still capturing all those moments that I will forever look back on and treasure. I am also super thankful to Verizon for allowing me to try out one of these cameras; it has been an amazing opportunity. Verizon has also graciously allowed me to check out the camera again when I travel next month and have an opportunity to snorkel one of the top beaches in the world: Grand Anse Beach. This year, a GoPro is definitely at the top of this mommy’s Christmas Wish List!
Please Join one of Cape Cod Moms amazing
Advisers Tracy Lamperti for her upcoming workshop:
Helping Children Manage Stress
Tracy Lamperti has been counseling children and families for more than 25 years. Just in time for back to school, join Tracy as she shares information and strategies about what works when it comes to helping children self-regulate their emotions and behavior.
It is recommended that you bring your child to this training so that you can learn the strategies together and be prepared for the first moment they are needed as the 2017/2018 school year gets underway.
Strategies will be grouped in three categories; sound, scent and touch.
You can choose either of the workshop days so that it fits your schedule!
Date: Monday, August 21 at 7 PM - 8:30 PM & Friday, August 25 at 10 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: Lamperti Counseling & Consultation
26 Wampum Dr, Brewster, Massachusetts 02631
Register for 8/21 Workshop
Register for 8/25 Workshop
Cost: $20 per adult. There will be no charge for children.
*Disclosure - Tracy Lamperti is a member of Young Living. NO purchase is required and a sales talk will NOT be part of this class. As such, if you are a member of another essential oil company, please come free of any concerns of conflict.
Each year since 2012 we have been lucky enough to be granted admission to King Richard's realm as guests for his annual faire as well as offer giveaways to our fans & readers. This year we are giving away 4-Family 4 Packs! We’ve had such great times while attending. Some of our favorite parts of the Faire are seeing the Prince & Princess Contest and the joust, eating turkey legs, attending the fabulous music and shows and much more. We love visiting the vendors as well and in prior years have purchased a piece for our outfit to attend in! Each year we find something fantastic and something new! We cannot wait to see what is going to be at the Faire this year! Check out our past visits and don't forget to purchase your tickets today using our custom discount code: CCMOMS-17 to save $4 per ticket!
King Richard’s Faire 2012
King Richard’s Faire 2013
2nd Review Blog 2013 by Meghan
King Richard’s Faire 2014
King Richard's Faire Meghan's 2014 Experience
King Richard's Faire 2015
Meghan's Review of the Shows & Interviews with the Kids for 2015
King Richard's Faire 2016
King Richard's Faire, New England's largest and longest-running Renaissance Faire, announces its 36th season running weekends including Labor Day and Columbus Day Mondays, September 2 through October 22, 2017. Tucked away on 80 acres of enchanted forest off Rt. 58 in Carver, Mass., King Richard's Faire announces its 36th season offering guests a full day of live, interactive entertainment for all ages. Enjoy daring knights jousting on horseback, exciting rides and games of skill, an original musical, and hundreds of talented entertainers on eight stages. Dancers, singers, acrobats, exotic animals, wacky wenches, happy villagers, and the King’s royal court greet you as you enter the gates.
When as famished as a mud beggar, guests will enjoy the Faire's delicious spit-roasted turkey legs, buttery ears of corn, boules filled with chowder and stew, ringlets of fries, and quench their thirst with champagne, wine and brew. Shoppers can stroll through the 16th century village filled with the wares of more than 100 unique and talented artisans from near and far. At every turn, guests will encounter fantasy and wonder through minstrels, musicians, acrobats, stilt walkers, giant puppets, wenches, and more.
Carvershire has been bustling with excitement as King Richard welcomes new entertainers to our enchanting village in 2017, including:
Rick, Jan and Snorkel the Trained Stunt Pig Show - new for this year featuring juggling, stunts and piggy humor - first four weekends only; Klass Klown brings fire juggling, ball balancing and high flying pogo stick stunts;
The Vodca Family musical dance and drumming show;
Gibbon the Troubadour and Hannah Rose on the fiddle; The Lord Sheriff Glenn Fieldenstream is back after a three year hiatus, ready to write tickets and summons laughter in “court”; And a new puppet: Jasper, King of the Rag Dolls!
Don’t miss beloved returning entertainers Draiku, a beautiful aerialist duo back for their third year; Great Cats of the World exotic cat show; Ses Carny’s The Torture Show; Daniel - Duke of Danger; the Washing Well Wenches; Jacques Ze Whipper; Bawdy Mud Beggars; and of course our brave and handsome knights jousting on horseback. Every day on the King’s Stage at 1:00pm and 3:30pm, talented cast members perform an original musical. See our website for full entertainment schedule.
Special event schedule:
Sunday 9/3: Military Appreciation Day - free admission for all those with valid military ID
Saturday 9/9, 4p: Cleavage Contest
Saturday 9/16, 4p: Vow Renewal Ceremony - Romance Is In The Faire
Saturday 9/23, 4p: Game of Thrones costume and trivia contest
Saturday 9/30, 4p: Clash of the Tartans: Highland Hunks, Men in Kilts Contest
Saturday 10/7, 4p: Harry Potter Trivia and Costume Contest
Saturday 10/14, 4p: Wee Ones Parade for Princes, Princesses, Fairies & Pirates Costume Contest (ages 11 and younger only)
Saturday 10/24, 4p: Fantasy Finale Weekend: Adult Costume Contest
Faire hours are 10:30a-6p every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday holidays, from September 2 through October 22, 2017. Tickets are $32 for adults (12+) and $16 for children ages 4-11. Children under 4 are free, and parking is free.
Discounts given to groups of 25 adults or more and private parties can be accommodated (birthdays, bachelor/ette parties, anniversary celebrations, and weddings). Groups may make reservations by emailing email@example.com.
King Richard’s Faire is located at 235 Main Street (Rt. 58) in Carver, Mass. 02330, phone: 508-866-5391, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit King Richard’s Faire on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TheKingRichardsFaire) and on Twitter and Instagram @KRFaire.
Enter to Win 1 of 4 Family 4 Pack of Tickets to Opening Weekend King Richard's Faire
Comment and Tell us what you LOVE most about King Richard's Faire!
Official Rules: Contest is open to US Residents from 8/14/17-8/24/17 at 7:59pm EST. Contest is sponsored by King Richard's Faire and hosted by Mommies LLC. 4 winners will be chosen. Winners will be contacted via their contact email they use when submitting the comment for entry. Cape Cod Moms will coordinate with winner to get them the tickets which will be mailed to winner by KRF. Winner must respond to notification email within 24 hours or another winner (up to 3) will be chosen.
Once upon a time I was a single young woman with only myself to worry about. I made my own money and could spend it wherever I wanted after bills were paid. Fast forward a decade or so later and now I have a family to take into consideration. The family and especially the kids always come first. This means we have to tighten our budgets and many of the fun extras have long since disappeared. As a result we use Groupon frequently so that we can save extra money and still be able to take advantage of good deals and opportunities. Groupon always has great deals including ones for Amazon , Babies R Us, and even Target, which of course we use frequently to order diapers, presents and anything else we need to have immediately. We absolutely love all the deals we are able to take advantage of and it is because of Groupon that our family is able to save money on things. Check them out and see if some of your favorite retailers have deals going on that you can take advantage of us as well. Happy Shopping!
Cape Cod Child Development helps give your child a head start! Cape Cod Child Development is a great local resource for Cape Cod Parents. They offer world class child and family focused programs that nurture each child's full potential. Plus they have affordable rates helping parents keep a little extra in their pockets and help save for a rainy day. They currently serve over 3,000 families on Cape Cod with approx 240 staff and are NAEYC Accredited and EEC certified!
For income eligible families, Cape Cod Child Development pre-school provides:
Cape Cod Child Development is now enrolling for their preschool in Centerville. Cape Cod Child Development is a great local resource for Cape Cod Parents. They offer world class child and family focused programs that nurture each child's full potential. Plus they have affordable rates helping parents keep a little extra in their pockets and help save for a rainy day. They currently serve over 3,000 families on Cape Cod with approx 240 staff and are NAEYC Accredited and EEC certified! Check out this opening below.
When your child is obsessed with #donuts you make a healthy-ish version using spelt flour, agave, coconut oil, protein powder, eggs, unsweetened applesauce. Check out this delicious kid approved recipe below.
1c spelt flower
3 scoops protein powder (I used orgain vanilla)
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1/8 t pink Himalayan salt
Mix together dry
1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce
1T avocado oil
Mix together wet. Then add to dry
Then Bake 15 min at 375 in a donut tin.
Create the glaze: Glaze is 1/4 c dark chocolate with 1t coconut oil melted. Dip top in this then sprinkles.
Do you have a special recipe to create a healthier version of your favorite treat? Share below
Pamela is a working mom to an adorable little baby girl. She originally hails from Falmouth, but currently resides on the North Shore with her husband, daughter and their 2 dogs. She is still extremely active in the Cape Cod community and travels down here a lot. She has an incredible amount of experience in the marketing field as well as the health care field. Currently her focus is on healthy living and fun creative projects. She loves being outdoors, spending time with her family and friends as well as a Cape Cod favorite: the beach!
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge 2017
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