December Newsletter 2019
Kindergarten and Elementary Night—December 5th 5:30-6:30
Parents of incoming Kindergarten, First grade, and fourth grade are invited to join us and meet each other and become more familiar with Montessori Academy student expectation and the Montessori Method.
Kindergarten: Kindergarten is the culmination of the Montessori Primary program cycle. This critical year allows your child to truly blossom and reap all the benefits of the work they do in the first and/or second year of our cycle. You will learn about the wonderful leadership roles Kindergarteners assume in our Montessori program, which is very different than in a traditional Kindergarten program. Teachers will introduce our Kindergarten curriculum, including Montessori Academy’s rich literacy and numeracy programs in comparison to Idaho Common Core standards present in our traditional Kindergarten programs.
First Grade or Fourth Grade: Join us for an engaging conversation with our teachers to learn about how the Elementary Montessori Curriculum continues to support your child as they enter the Elementary years. You will learn about the roles of students in our Elementary program, gain an understanding of our curriculum scope and sequence and how it compares to the lower standards of Idaho Common Core, as well as the curriculum areas we offer that are not a part of a standard curriculum.
Childcare will be offered to those that have reserved placement. Spaces are limited, please email Jordan to be put on our childcare list.
The Importance of Outdoor Play in Winter
With the chill of winter settling in, it is timely to discuss the importance of outdoor play. During the cooler months, it is common for children to be restricted to indoor play at home, and only permitted to play outdoors when it is warm and sunny.
Many parents fear that their children will not “like” being outside in the cold, or that they will get sick from being outside in the cold fresh air. For this reason, it is particularly important that young children enjoy outdoor activities.
Playing outside in autumn, winter, and early spring, each present their own unique opportunities for exploration and learning. Therefore, outdoor play should be embraced in all types of weather, as it is crucial for children’s ongoing development.
The Most Common Winter Myth Dispelled
My child will get sick if they play outdoors in the cold
Most adults associate winter with getting colds and illnesses such as the flu. However, it is not exposure to the cold that cause these viruses. In fact, it’s likely to be increased exposure to poorly ventilated indoor environments, where bacteria and viruses live. By encouraging outdoor play in winter, children gain much needed exposure to fresh air and Vitamin D, while avoiding bacteria.
Why Outdoor Winter Play is Important
See the outdoors through a new lens
During the spring and summer, children become familiar with bright green foliage, flowers in bloom, and a warm climate. As the change in season, they come to see different characteristics in their environment, such as brown grass, fallen leaves, and ice.
These developments provide children with new experiences and opportunities, such as learning about the seasons, and the life cycles of plants. Through outdoor play in the winter, children also learn to see their environment through a different lens, and progress from being unconscious to conscious observers of their environment.
The physical health benefits of outdoor play
Playing outdoors in winter promotes physical development and well-being. This is because outdoor play encourages the use of the whole body by offering a safe space to run, jump, and exercise key muscle groups.
Through activities such as riding tricycles, playing with balls, swinging, and running, children increase their large muscle use. This increase in physical activity supports children’s gross motor development and overall health.
It is important that children remain active in the cooler months so that they continue to build emerging skills that are crucial to their physical development.
The emotional benefits of outdoor play
Outdoor activities also promote emotional health benefits, such as self-confidence, and the ability to assess risks. By encouraging outdoor play in the winter, children learn to identify hazards, such as slippery surfaces, and moderate their behavior to ensure their safety.
Further, challenges associated with winter environments, such as icy leaves, and games played in fog, also provides children with new ways to develop their emotional skills. Through wintery games, children learn to explore, work together, and find harmony in endless problem-solving opportunities.
The social benefits of outdoor play
Finally, playing outdoors with others encourages social development and collaboration. This is because play teaches children how to work together in groups, which includes learning to share, negotiate, and solve conflict.
Social outdoor play also provides children the opportunity to exercise and stretch their imaginations. In winter, the physical changes to the outdoor environment provide children with new opportunities for socio-dramatic play, and winter-themed games.
Children who are encouraged to explore through play are also more likely to learn new skills and overcome challenges, which promotes self-confidence, resilience, and self-advocacy. The development of these social skills are highly important to the development of healthy social relationships, communication skills, and a strong sense of self.
Montessori Academy December Giving Project
Each December our entire school participates in a community service event. This year’s project is “Warm Up Boise”. Our school will be hosting a cold weather gear drive such as new and slightly used coats, gloves, and hats, as well as, new warm socks (adults and children sizes). All donations will be taken to the Corpus Christi House. Corpus Christi house is Boise’s only Day shelter for the homeless. Their mission is to ease the burden of homelessness, which includes many families. Each classroom will offer a box labeled to collect these items. They are additionally taking: ceramic mugs, toothbrushes, nail
clippers, nail files and trial sized toothpaste and deodorant. Thank you for considering to partner with us to support this endeavor.
Dates to Remember:
December 3-15th: Warm up Boise
December 20th: Classroom Christmas Parties: see class news for times
December 20th is a half day, hours are 7am – 12:30 pm
December 23rd- January 3rd: Winter Break—No School
December 26-31 & January 2-3rd: Gap Camp—registration is open thru Dec.12th