Open House for New Nature Preschool Explorers Program
Saturday, May 12
Join Long Pasture's education staff to hear more about our new drop-off enrichment program for preschoolers!
No registration is necessary to attend the Open House. Families welcome! We hope to see you there.
About the Program
Nature Preschool Explorers is a drop-off enrichment program for children ages 3-5 that begins this fall. We'll spend most of our time exploring the sanctuary's outdoor "classrooms"—including forests, tidal flats, ponds, and our new nature playground.
Running from mid-September to mid-June, the program will meet once a week for 36 weeks. Parents can choose from one of three sessions offered—Tuesday mornings, Wednesday mornings, or Wednesday afternoons. Read More
With the Cape Cod Parent Resource Fair rapidly approaching we will be sharing blog posts on our participating sponsors, vendors and nonprofits. You will find out more about these amazing businesses and what they offer to our community. They will be sharing their services, advice, what challenges face our community as well as upcoming events they will be having. Make sure to check out our virtual program and resource guide ahead of the event so you can plan for what you want to see! We hope to see you at the Resource Fair!
Explore Your School Choices: Bridgeview Montessori School
Jessica Germain, Bridgeview Montessori teacher & alumni parent
I started worrying about preschool pretty much at conception. Not my own, of course, but my son’s. After all, I was resigning my position as a public elementary school teacher to raise this child. And, in truth, it was my frustration with the stressful, impersonal environment in my current school that first planted the seed of desire to escape and start my own family. It made sense that I wanted things to be different for my child. I deeply wanted him to discover the wonder in the world around him and develop a passion for learning about it. As he began to emerge as a person in his own right, my resolve was strengthened. We had talked so much about inspiring “lifelong learners” in my teacher training, but every day in the classroom all I did was teach to a standardized test that seemed aimed at creating standardized human beings. How could I take this naturally curious child with a mind of his own and put him in that environment?
As I began to consider preschool options for this curious child of mine, many independent preschools presented themselves as options, and friends recommended everything from Catholic education to homeschooling. I explored them all, but in the back of my mind there was my mother’s voice. When I was growing up she had always told me that a Montessori education would have been her first choice for me. My father, a traditionalist, was against the idea on principle, so I was off to the mainstream. But my husband, also a traditional person, told me that my Masters in Education qualified me as the family decision maker on this topic. Thus empowered, I forged ahead in my quest for the perfect preschool.
Many schools received high recommendations from other moms. A woman I had recently met in our Sandwich Library playgroup had an older son that went to Bridgeview Montessori School in Sagamore. When she spoke about her son’s experience, I knew I had to check it out. I had visited other schools that either felt like extensions of home play or seemed like roads directed towards traditional education. When I visited Bridgeview Montessori School, I was invited to view a Children’s House classroom in action. The moment I saw it, I knew. It felt like we were coming home to a bright, peaceful, welcoming place. This place was about learning. And work. The children were spending their days joyously exploring their work as the classrooms were filled with extraordinary Montessori materials prepared meticulously by trained Montessori teachers.
When we observed a classroom at Bridgeview Montessori, we saw materials that were colorful and engaging, not garish, but carefully maintained and meaningful. Each child was working industriously and seriously in a way that seemed incredible for a group of three or four year olds. My husband said skeptically, “He could never do that.” But I knew. Our son could do that. He craved that kind of purpose and his intellectual curiosity demanded that kind of direction. What wonderful things could he discover if he was surrounded by other children whose mutual curiosity was guided and encouraged by teachers. I was sold. I cancelled all future appointments to visit other schools and never looked back.
More than a decade later, I still haven’t looked back. Though our now-teenage son has graduated from Bridgeview Montessori School, I can still see its benefits rippling through him every day. He retained his natural curiosity and become a middle school student who challenged himself to learn more outside of the classroom than in. In high school, I still see the ability to manage his time and workload with ease and to set his own internal expectations for excellence. At work and play, he is confident to approach new situations and tackle novel problems with innovative solutions. He learned all of that through the independence and respect afforded him in a Montessori program. We could not have made a better investment in his future than to begin his educational journey at Bridgeview Montessori School.
About the Players
As for me, Jessica Germain, I never returned to teaching in the public school. I decided to pursue Montessori training instead and am currently a teacher at Bridgeview Montessori School in the Elementary I (1st - 3rd grade) program.
My husband Greg Germain is the General Manager of Accu-Seal Corporation and is proud to be raising an independent, self-confident son. Greg served as President of the Bridgeview Montessori Board for three years from 2013 to 2015.
Courtenay Harrington Bailey, my friend who first recommended Bridgeview Montessori, started the popular Dramafun! program in Sandwich and became the Music and Drama teacher at Bridgeview Montessori School. Courtenay and our families remain close friends to this day.
Eli Germain is a student at Sturgis Public Charter School in Hyannis. In his spare time, he writes poetry, plays board games, and trains more than 23 hours per week for Cape Cod Swim Club where he holds numerous age group records and is currently ranked in the top 20 nationally for the 200 yard butterfly. His first coach at CCSC, Adrienne Fontes, was also his Fitness teacher at Bridgeview Montessori School. Eli will turn 15 this month.
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
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.
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.
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.
Cape Cod Children’s Museum Celebrates Jumpstart’s Read for the Record® Day
Cape Cod Children’s Museum Unites with National Early Education Organization to Highlight the Importance of High-Quality Education for All Children
Jumpstart, a national early education organization, will partner with Cape Cod Children’s Museum in Mashpee for the 11th anniversary of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, a national campaign that helps address the educational inequities that leave too many children unprepared for kindergarten.
On October 27, 2016, children and adults will join forces for the world’s largest shared reading experience, known as Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. Since 2006, this 24-hour celebration has mobilized over 17 million people, and Jumpstart holds the world reading record for the most people reading the same book on the same day. This year’s official campaign book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers), will not only inspire adults to read with children, but will also spur policymakers and organizations to take action towards transformative change in early education while putting books in the hands of more children across the country.
A limited number of special paperback editions of The Bear Ate Your Sandwich will be available for purchase at Cape Cod Children’s Museum. By Pre-registering for the Museum’s Read for the Record event, you will have an exclusive opportunity to purchase a copy of The Bear Ate Your Sandwich for the special price of just $4.50. This exclusive price is available only the day of the event and only to those who Pre-register at www.CapeCodChildrensMuseum.org.
Special editions feature reading tips, vocabulary words, reading comprehension questions, and conversation starters developed by Jumpstart’s team of early education experts. All proceeds help bring Jumpstart’s program to preschool children in under-resourced communities across the country.
Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. By participating in Jumpstart’s year-long program, children develop the language, literacy, and social-emotional skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Since 1993, Jumpstart has trained 45,000 college students and community volunteers to transform the lives of 95,000 preschool children nationwide. Learn more at jstart.org and follow us on Twitter at @Jumpstartkids.
ABOUT THE BEAR ATE YOUR SANDWICH
Julia Sarcone-Roach’s The Bear Ate Your Sandwich is the tale of a bear, lost in the city, who happens upon an unattended sandwich in the park. The bear’s journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing, that you will not see the surprise ending coming!
Working with Clay…No Guarantees
Sandy Nickerson, Head of School
Ok, full disclosure. When I was in college, I took a clay class. I worked very hard in that class. I just knew I could impress myself and my professor while I was at it. I wedged, slabbed, coiled, pinched, threw, and created all kinds of glaze concoctions. I spent hours perfecting each technique. And no matter what I did, how I did it, or how long I did it, the results were always the same oddly familiar shapes. Dare I call them vessels? I guess they were vessels, each with a unique likeness to my childhood mud pies. Needless to say, I achieved a ‘C’ in that course. I considered myself lucky…considering the hauntingly nostalgic repeated forms.
About 25 years later, as an Art teacher at Bridgeview Montessori School, I very much wanted our school to have a kiln. I knew our art curriculum would not be complete without our students experiencing the process of bringing a clay piece to its completed glazed finish. The Bridgeview Parent Association jumped aboard and raised money to pay for a new kiln and the kiln shed. The goal was reached, and the kiln and shed were installed. At last, there I stood, a ‘C’ clay student in charge of the new clay curriculum. I took a deep breath and contacted Kim, a local potter, and a parent at our school and pleaded for her guidance. As a parent volunteer, she helped me choose the most appropriate clay and glaze to use with children. She reminded me of all the steps involved in bringing a clay piece to its finish. We started by offering an After School Clay Class that Kim helped me teach. At home, I studied my clay vocabulary words.
Our clay adventure was underway, our students and their ‘C’ clay teacher were ready to explore, make mistakes, discover, make mistakes, and create three dimensional art pieces, some beautiful, some not. Each step in the process provided opportunity for great success and undeniable failure. Working hard did not factor into guaranteed successful outcomes. As the teacher, I could only guarantee the full process… celebrate the student successes and help students endure the failures, and continue on to the next work.
Here’s the full process. Wedge your clay to make sure there are no air pockets. Build your piece and make sure all added pieces are scratched and slipped, being sure not to create any air pockets. Allow piece to dry until leather hard with no moisture left. Bisque fire. Glaze piece making sure to layer every glaze color at least three times. Glaze fire. Bring completed pieces home without breaking them.
Air pockets will cause your piece, no matter how beautifully built, to explode in the kiln. Not scratching and slipping properly will cause your piece to break during the leather-drying phase. Little bits and pieces that managed to stay connected in drying may still fall off during the bisque firing. Failure to layer the glaze at least three times will lead to a “watery” layer of color that is bound to disappoint. I am sure we all understand the consequences of breaking clay pieces on the way home.
As a teacher, the stressful part of teaching clay is that I cannot assure my hard working students that they will not make a fatal mistake along the way. I can’t see air pockets or incorrect scratching and slipping technique or that a leather hard piece won’t slip out of my hands and fall crashing to the floor. All I can do is be a good role model for picking myself up, dusting off, and trying again when something disastrous happens to my demonstration pieces. My students and I have worked and grown together. They have encouraged me through my trials, as I have encouraged them through theirs. I start each clay lesson with the words, “There are no guarantees.”
Why all this trouble anyway? First of all, everyone should experience working three dimensionally. Most importantly, all learners need to experience the excitement of working hard even though they know from the start there will be no guaranteed success. Yet my belief is that the lesson is not as important as the attribute that can be gained… that attribute is true grit. Handling success is wonderful, but the real challenge is handling it when the going gets tough. I am proud that this ‘C’ clay student did not use her ‘C’ as an excuse to never teach clay. I am very proud of our clay students who continue to exclaim, ”Yeah, its clay time!” even though each of them has experienced disappointment while working with clay. I am equally proud of our cumulative successes and disappointments. Together, they have led to growth and grit.
Oh, and those annoying mud pie forms previously mentioned, they are fewer and farther between. Phew!
Bridgeview Montessori School
885 Sandwich Road
P.O. Box 270
Sagamore, MA 02561
Director of Admission: Suzanne Lawson at email@example.com
Serving ages 2.9 to 12 years, Bridgeview Montessori School, guided by the educational philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori, provides a child-centered learning environment in which students develop a love of learning that will sustain them throughout their lives. Our goals include: the development of the whole child, emotionally, physically and intellectually; academic excellence gained through independent and critical thinking; inspired learning through creativity, courage, passion, personal responsibility and respect for self, others, and the world in which we live. We encourage our students to approach their work and their world with a sense of wonder, curiosity and the excitement of discovery. We value diversity and, above all, we value a compassionate and peaceful community. Bridgeview Montessori School awards upwards of $70,000 in need-based financial aid annually! Our school is allergen free. A wonderful small school for all kinds of learners.
Cape Cod Moms