Montessori University

On Feb 9th, we had our first Montessori University at VMS. Earlier in the day, it looked like turnout would be light, but by the time the event began, we had well over 40 adults and their 25-ish children in attendance.

The teachers presenting noted afterwards how involved and interactive parents were during their presentations. Using both those indicators, clearly the evening was a success! A free event, dinner and childcare were provided so parents could focus purely on the topics at hand. As one mom confessed, if nothing else, it was an opportunity for a hot meal in the company of adults.

In the past, these parent curriculum events have been held monthly, introducing and expanding our parents’ understanding of each of the major areas of the Montessori curriculum: Practical Life (usually coupled with Geography), Sensorial, Math or Language. By providing parents with a better understanding of what their child does each day, our hope is they can interact more meaningfully with their child in discussing her day, as well as appreciate better what their tuition dollars are providing. Under this new format, parents moved from classroom to classroom every 20 minutes.

In keeping with the university theme, parents’ class schedules were available on the bulletin board in the front hall. In each room, a different teacher provided an overview of her designated curriculum area, often providing hands-on opportunities for parents. After each 20 minute session, the bell rang and parents changed classes. By 7:30, parents were deemed ‘experts’ in the Montessori curriculum… well, maybe not experts, but we encouraged them to learn more by utilizing their child’s teacher and other reputable resources to better understand this fabulous method of education.