21st Annual Christmas Program

We celebrated our 21st Annual Christmas Program – It’s a Small World – with over 300 guests. Children organized performances representing the seven continents. The Langham Creek High School Madrigal Choir kicked off our show with classic Christmas carols, and our children welcomed their families with the Pledge of Allegiance. Our Toddlers became penguins representing the continent of Antarctica and a Kindergartner recited the story of the Gingerbread Man Down Under. Our Primary students performed folk dances from Austria Mexico, and Japan and later recited a folktale from South Africa. Our children ended the night performing as a band and singing a Peace anthem, sung by Montessori schools around the world. Santa arrived with two alpacas courtesy of Bluebonnet Hills Alpaca Ranch, and children took professional photos courtesy of Alumni parent Susan McLeroy, Realtor. Thank you to our amazing families who brought cookies and treats representing over 30 different countries.

We’re off to the Carnival!

Last Friday, our children organized their annual Halloween Carnival. Full of old-school games like ring toss, fishing, and a cake walk, our Kindergartners guided our Toddler and Primary students from room to room and show them how to play! Our Halloween Carnival, unlike local Fall Festivals, is designed to help children be independent in social engagements. They learn to wait their turn, socialize politely, and have fun as a group.

Discussing the Solar Eclipse in the Early Years

Americans last saw a total solar eclipse two decades ago. This Monday, on August 21, 2017, we will be able to see a solar eclipse for the first time in decades. This is also the first solar eclipse to move from coast to coast since 1918.

The eclipse is an ideal time to engage your child about the solar system and inspire awe in our universe. The eclipse will occur between 11:46 – 2:45 PM Central. The maximum eclipse is visible around 1:16 PM  Central.  In Houston, at 1:16 PM, we will be able to see a Partial Solar Eclipse. This is not the same as the total solar eclipse, which will be seen across 14 other states.

Below are our favorite resources to help guide a conversation with your child about the eclipse:

  • Explaining the Eclipse

We recommend discussing an eclipse with children who understand that (1) the earth is a planet composed of land and water (2) a moon revolves around the earth and (3) a shadow is formed when an object blocks light. Here are some fun songs and visuals to guide your discussion of the eclipse:

From 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, enjoy the Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at the Children’s Museum of Houston.  Children can take part in various museum activities, including a “Pinhole Viewer Workshop” ($5.00) and enjoy special activities exploring the solar system.

Watch the solar eclipse from the comfort of your own home (without the special glasses!).

Safety first. Don’t forget to use special glasses when viewing the eclipse. Don’t have the glasses? No worries! Make some!

Never photograph the eclipse when the Moon is directly covering the sun without safety precautions.

The Burke Baker Planetarium will offer a special schedule featuring six 15 minute shows about the eclipse. These will run at 12:00, 12:20, 12:40, 1:00, 1:20, and 1:40, and tickets will be $4. The 2:00 show is a special Starry Night Express featuring a live feed from Casper, Wyoming, with Museum staff in the path of totality.

Photo © NASA

Towards Independence: Drop Off and Pick Up

One of the most critical learning outcomes in a Montessori environment is independence.

Here are our top 10 tips for Drop Off/Pick Up that encourage independence:

TIP 1: Send positive vibes. Before going to school, remind your child that school is an exciting new experience. Include a friendly note in their lunch bag.

TIP 2: Drop Off/Pick Up is not Parking. If you need time to speak with our Montessori Directresses, please park in our parking lot and not in front of the school. Avoid speaking about your child in front of them. They are aware of the conversation.

Parents are most welcome to stay and observe the cameras or drop in later during the day. We recommend observing at least one week after the child’s first day to allow time for a child to settle into class. Please drive slowly. Remember to be courteous to parents in the driveway and be aware of children.

TIP 3: Model social graces. It’s important to say goodbye and hello to your child during drop off/pick up. These pleasantries mark a transition from home to school as well as model good social behaviors. We will prompt your child to do the same.

TIP 4: Arrive on time. Tardiness can create anxiety for children. They also miss opportunities for leadership in the classroom. If you’re running late, please let us know. Our school day begins at 8:30 AM.

TIP 5: Be quick and cheerful. We recommend a prompt drop off and pick up. Lengthy drop off/pick up can cause confusion and anxiety and disrupt other children in the classroom. Allow your child to walk independently to their classroom.

TIP 6: Do not walk into the classroom. An adult’s presence may upset other children.

TIP 7: Greet your child respectfully. We recommend giving your child your full/undivided attention. Phones can be a distraction when greeting your child. Meet your child’s enthusiasm to see you with a calm voice. Speak softly and encourage normal behavior.

TIP 8: Engage your child about school. Help your child open up about learning by asking good questions.  Avoid open-ended questions like: What did you do in school today? Ask specific questions requiring reflection such as: What made you laugh today?; Did anyone wear a funny t-shirt?; What is a good thing that happened at school today?; Did you cry today?; and Who is your best friend? Why?

TIP 9: Always Sign In and Sign Out. Don’t forget to sign in on the sheets on the Hall Tree.  Follow the same procedure for pick up. This is required by law. Please ensure an authorized adult is signing the document. And remember, it’s not a children’s coloring book 🙂

TIP 10: Encourage walking indoors. Encourage your child to walk. Walking is one of our ground rules in the Montessori classroom, and it promotes safety, concern of others, and a sense of calm in the classroom. Of course, we have fun and run outside!

An Award-Winning Preschool

As we complete our 20th anniversary, Montessori Preschool @ Copperfield was recognized as one of the best preschools in Houston. And the awards have continued in 2017.

We were  named one of the top Preschools in Houston in 2016 and 2017. Out of 462 preschools, Expertise.com named us as one of the top in the city based on reputation, credibility, experience, availability, and professionalism.

In 2016 and 2017, we were recognized by ThreeBestRated.com as one of the top 3 preschools across Houston, and we were the only Montessori school selected in Houston. We were chosen based on our history, parent trust, and general excellence.

We were also nominated by H-E-B as one of the best preschools in Texas as part of H-E-B’s Excellence in Education Awards.  The awards recognize excellence in Kindergarten readiness and education quality.

Thank you to our wonderful faculty, our Montessori families, and local community for their ongoing support to deliver authentic Montessori education to the children of Northwest Houston and Cypress.

Photo ©  Brad.K