Free Parent Workshops - Thank You!

 Learning about how Montessori supports each child’s natural development

Thank you for participating in our parent workshops!

We are grateful that you took the time out of your busy schedules to learn about the immense benefits of the Montessori approach to education, and how an authentic Montessori program supports your child’s natural development.

 Parents receiving math presentation

We will be offering more free workshops in the near future — stay tuned!

Toddler Community (16 Months - 3 Years) Opening January 2019!

Our Toddler Community program (16 months - 3 years) is targeted to open on January 7, 2019!

 Kitchen Tools

After a long period of careful and widespread search, we are pleased to have finally found a highly qualified individual (possessing the Association Montessori Internationale diplomas for both 0-3 and 3-6 age levels) to lead our Toddler Community.

It is worth highlighting that the AMI Montessori training is the most authentic and rigorous among all available Montessori training options. It is the only globally recognized Montessori credential. Possessing two AMI diplomas is incredibly desirable and the fact that such an individual will be joining us and leading our program for the very young children truly reflects our commitment to providing high-quality early childhood education to all children we serve, no matter the age.

We challenge you to identify a childcare center that invests in such highly educated teachers for the toddler-aged children. We are confident that the care and the education we will provide for your child will be unsurpassed.

If you are interested in our program, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

We look forward to contributing to your child's tremendous growth!

Open Streets on 50th - Pictures

What a lovely afternoon at today’s event! We certainly enjoyed the warm sunshine, and even more so, meeting many wonderful families!

As a reminder, we will be hosting Free Parent Montessori Workshop in our Children’s House environment on Thursday, October 4th, and Saturday, October 20th. We look forward to seeing you there!

Free for all parents with age-eligible children. Registration required. Adults only, please. Beverages and light refreshments will be provided.

Attend A Free Parent Workshop! Or Two!

Don’t miss on an incredible opportunity to experience an authentic Montessori environment!

Our workshops are designed to help demystify the Montessori Children's House (ages 33 months - kindergarten years) . Come and learn how each piece of material in the Children's House is purposefully designed to aid children's development.

You will have an opportunity to learn about:

  • how presentations (individual lessons) are given to a child

  • the purpose behind the designs of the materials

  • the essential information about early childhood development (which will help you understand your growing child better)

If you are new to Montessori, this will be a wonderful opportunity to learn about how a Montessori environment supports a child's natural development; if you are a "seasoned" Montessori parent, you may develop a newfound appreciation for your child's work!

child_polishes_plant_leaves

Montessori Night

Thursday, October 4, 6-8 p.m.

Practical Life and Language


child_working_with_beads

Montessori Morning

Saturday, October 20, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Mathematics and Sensorial


Free for all parents with age-eligible children. Registration required.

Adults only, please.

Beverages and light refreshments will be provided.

Authentic Montessori Education Makes A Difference

 Children working with botany cabinet.

Did you know that Dr. Montessori never trademarked her name or patented the materials or the method she developed? It was Dr. Montessori's hope to benefit all children with her method. Unfortunately, this kind intention has resulted in the phenomenon that many childcare centers embed Montessori in their names, even when they don’t adhere to the method.

Why is it important to attend an authentic Montessori school?

In a high-quality Montessori program, your child will:

  • learn through a personalized approach, according to her own developmental stages, personal characteristics, and interests

  • develop a powerful sense of independence and confidence

  • be empowered to take initiative and resolve problems

  • develop an analytical mindset

  • develop cooperative social skills

  • experience leadership in depth and length (rather than being simply told “You need to be a leader.”)

  • very importantly, develop a lifelong joy, excitement, and love for learning

The list continues. If these benefits sound desirable, you will want to find an authentic Montessori program.

A high-quality Montessori school has AMI-trained guides (teachers) and the school understands and follows standards set forth by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), founded by Dr. Maria Montessori. Typically, these schools are committed to an AMI recognition.

Why AMI-trained guides? Their year-long, vigorous, masters-level training ensures that they possess deep and rich knowledge of stages and characteristics of early childhood development, the guiding principles of the Montessori approach to education, how to observe children, the purposes and progression of the materials, how to connect children with the materials… None of these can be easily obtained through other available training methods such as a two-week online Montessori training. Be alert: when a guide is claimed to be “Montessori-trained”, it could mean very differently from “AMI-trained”.

However, just having AMI-trained guides is not enough. Without a school leadership that understands the Montessori approach and is committed to adhering to the AMI standards, an AMI-trained guide's work with children would be largely compromised.

For example, one of the AMI standards requires that each environment has a complete set of high-quality materials to ensure that children receive the full benefit from a Montessori environment. Of course, this translates into a significant upfront financial commitment, as well as significant on-going maintenance and replacement costs. Unfortunately, while they may appear to have a roomful of Montessori materials at a glance, many childcare centers/schools choose not to make the investment in certain costly materials or in quality materials. They count on the fact that most parents are not equipped with the knowledge to differentiate such an environment from one that is authentic. 

As a new school, TCI Bilingual Montessori is committed to obtaining the AMI recognition in the shortest amount of time possible. While the recognition process typically takes 2-3 years, we adhere to all AMI standards from Day One to ensure the quality of education provided to our children.

Did you know that there are only 13 AMI recognized schools within the Twin Cities area?

Did you also know that there are no AMI recognized schools in Edina, Eden Prairie, Bloomington, Minnetonka, Wayzata, Eagan, or anywhere in the suburbs further to the south and west?

To find out more about our school, schedule a tour, or email us with any questions you may have.

The 6 Reasons Montessori Will Work For Your Child

 A picture of a child working with geometrical cabinet insets.

Perhaps you have a friend with a child in a Montessori program. Maybe you have heard about Montessori at a local playgroup. Or maybe you just stumbled across it online.

It all sounds great in theory, doesn’t it? An environment that fosters a deep love for learning; teachers (we call them “guides”) trained to meet the needs of each individual child; a classroom community that provides an opportunity for all children to develop independence.

But, in the back of your head, a question remains: “Will Montessori really work for my child?”

You Are Not Alone

It’s a common question that most parents ask when researching Montessori education. The reality is that most of us never had an opportunity to attend an authentic Montessori when we were young. Many of the experiences in a Montessori classroom are the complete opposite of our own experiences in school. So, it’s completely understandable to question the efficacy of something so new for your own child.

There is an infinite number of reasons why Montessori will work for your child. But, let’s talk about 6 significant reasons why your child will thrive in a quality Montessori program:

1. Your Child Will Learn By Doing: Your child will be exposed to hundreds of specially designed materials that invite hands-on exploration. He will choose what he wants to explore, creating strong neural pathways that contribute to the construction of a strong brain.

2. Your Child Will Learn From And Teach Others: Have you ever heard the expression “The best way to learn something is to teach it?” This happens every day in our Montessori environment. Children are grouped in multi-year age spans (Toddler Community includes children from 16 months – 3 years and Children’s House includes children from 33 months – kindergarten years). Younger children observe older children working with, for example, “Bead Bar Multiplication”. They look up to and admire these older children who are doing all these incredible things: they want to emulate them and are motivated to learn to be just like them.

3. The Curriculum Adapts To Your Child: Most conventional early childhood programs assume that all children, born within a year of each other, are capable of learning and doing the same thing at the same time. As we all know, that simply isn’t true. Many bright children are bored, and others, who need more time to learn, are left behind when we teach to the whole class. We recognize that your child has his own unique timetable for development and will learn different parts of the curriculum when she is ready. We teach to the individual needs of your child, not to the entire class or to a group of children.

4. Beautiful Environment Inspires Your Child To Learn: Our Montessori environment is beautiful and inviting. Materials are laid out on low, open shelves and call out to your child “Come touch me! Come explore!” From the toilets to the sinks to the tables, to the beginning materials to the advanced materials… all are miniaturized and made to fit perfectly into the hands of your young child. Everything supports your child’s developing independence and helps him gain confidence in himself and his abilities.

5. The Guide Really Knows Your Child: “Follow the child” is the mantra uttered by all well-trained Montessori guides. They are trained to observe and to support each individual child. They take the time to get to know your child’s strengths, challenges, and interests. They plan lessons for your child based on their observations of him. Your child will be a member of the same community for several years, which affords the guide the opportunity to know him deeply, intimately and well. He will feel seen, heard, and appreciated for who he is.

6. Your Child Will Be In Good Company: Montessori is the single largest pedagogy in the world with schools in about 110 countries on 6 continents. There are about 4,500 Montessori schools in the United States and about 20,000 worldwide. Many of the most successful and creative people in our modern society are former Montessori students.

- Larry Page and Sergey Brin (co-founders of Google)
- Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) 
- Hellen Keller
- Henry Ford
- Peter Drucker (business guru and lecturer)
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Nobel Prize-winning novelist)
- William Wright (creator of “The Sims” video game)
- Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia)
- Katherine Graham (ex-owner of the Washington Post)
- Andrew Lloyd Webber
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
- Sean “P. Diddy” Combs
- Berry Brazelton (pediatrician and author)
- Julia Child
- Anne Frank
- Anne Hathaway
- Beyoncé Knowles
- Taylor Swift

How Research Is Proving That Montessori Works

Still need proof? How about some hard data:

Research provides irrefutable evidence that the Montessori method of education is powerfully effective in educating young children.

Studies conducted at the University of Virginia and Wisconsin (Lillard & Else-Quest, 2006) demonstrated that Montessori kindergarten students outperform peers attending traditional public schools. These studies show that Montessori children form clear concepts from using the hands-on manipulative materials they find in their environment.

When children are developmentally ready and when they get to choose materials that match their individual timetable of development, their learning takes off. They become enthusiastic, confident, joyful learners.

You Have To See It To Believe It

Enrolling your child in an authentic Montessori preschool gives her the opportunity to be seen as a unique individual; she will be receiving a tailor-made education designed especially for her.

Schedule a tour today and give your child the gift that will last a lifetime.

Lillard, A., Else-Quest, N. (2006). Evaluating Montessori Education. Retrieved from http://www.montessori-science.org/Science_Evaluating_Montessori_Education_Lillard.pdf.

Unlocking Your Child's Linguistic Potential

 A picture of Chinese writing and a picture on the wall.

I have known my husband, a Czech, for more than 10 years, yet I speak no more than “I am...”, “Look!”, “goodbye”, and “very good”. It’s so poor that it’s embarrassing.

My children’s ages add up to less than 10. They are already able to communicate with their dad in Czech, and the older one carries in-depth (and never-ending!) conversations on a daily basis about a wide array of subjects. This is in addition to other two languages they have also acquired during their tiny lifespans.

Granted (and unfortunately), I haven’t made a consistent effort to learn Czech. But neither have our children! What has enabled them to learn languages so much faster and more easily than an intellectually adequate adult?

The answer lies in the “super powers” that children possess between ages 0-6. One of them is called the “absorbent mind”. This is a special type of mind that is difficult, if not impossible, for our adult minds to comprehend. This absorbent mind allows the child to absorb everything in his/her surroundings effortlessly, completely, and without discrimination. Another “super power” of the young child is the sensitive period for language. They have such a heightened awareness of languages in their environment and are drawn to not just words, but the intonation, pronunciation, and accent of the languages. 

When children are immersed in a monolingual environment, they absorb everything about that language to the level which it is used and develop their language skills accordingly. This means that although a child always develops language skills, in a rich language environment, she develops rich language, whereas, in a poor language environment, she develops poor language. Similarly, when children are immersed in a bilingual environment, they are able to absorb and acquire characteristics about those spoken languages effortlessly. I stress spoken language because it is the foundation for communication. When children are equipped with the basic skills for communication, we then support them further in the acquisition of writing and reading. 

With the powers of the absorbent mind and sensitive period for language, the prime time for acquiring language skills for multiple languages is undoubtedly the first 6 years of life. After this period of time, much more and deliberate effort will be required to learn a second or third language, and the person may never reach the “nativeness” she/he could have reached during the first 6 years. 

Our bilingual Montessori environment is a language-rich environment. The "richness" is not just reflected by the existence of two languages, but also by the fact that within each language, we strive to provide children with a vast amount of vocabulary and cultivate a deep appreciation for language. We model appropriate use of language with precise words and correct grammar. Children are exposed to many forms of language in the environment (books, stories, poems, songs, rhythm, music...).  All of these efforts are aimed to help the child build the foundation of intelligence. 

When children are immersed in such a language-rich bilingual environment, their acquisition of each language is not compromised. Better yet, the stimulation from two languages has been proven to help expand the brain’s learning potential by building more neuron connections - an experience we inspire to provide to all children in our community. 

Interested in learning more about how our bilingual, authentic Montessori environment will support your child's development? Schedule a tour!

Wood Polishing - A Peek Into Our Practical Life Area

I’d like to reveal a peek into the depth of the Montessori pedagogy through demonstrating a simple piece of work in our Practical Life area - Wood Polishing. Names of materials from left to right are: apron, oilcloth, tray, (non-toxic) polish in a glass dropper bottle, dish for polish, dish for cotton ball, finger mitt, and buffing cloth. 

 A picture of wood polishing work.

If you have been immediately captivated by this beautiful set of materials, imagine its “enticement” to a young child! And our first goal has been achieved - to use beautiful materials to call to the child.

But why on earth does my child need to learn how to polish wood? You may ask. You are absolutely right. We are not concerned whether children master the knowledge of how to polish wood either. However, we do care deeply about all the benefits the young child may derive from this activity (unknowingly)! Let me explain.

When we present the Wood Polishing work, we first introduce the materials, show the child how to carry each piece to the table, and how to set everything up. We precisely name each piece of material as we go, providing a wonderful language opportunity to learn a series of new words! We then present how to carry out the activity in a sequential way. Lastly, we show how to clean up, replenish, and put the materials back on the shelf. This process of removing from shelf, setting up, working, cleaning and putting away alone is hugely beneficial for the young mind to build the impression of beginning, middle, and end - the pattern of thoughts and sequencing. Through practice, the child internalizes the steps involved in the entire activity, aiding their building of memory. 

While polishing, the child uses repetitive circular motions on the wooden object, which improves their coordination of movement as well as finger strength. This is so important as it prepares them for future writing with a pen. As they see clear results of their work (i.e., wooden object becomes shiny), they are encouraged to continue. The child begins to concentrate for longer and longer periods of time. The ability to concentrate is key to any intellectual learning and pursuit, and we are very careful and deliberate to cultivate and protect that in even the youngest child in our environment. 

To prepare this work set, our guides (teachers) hand-sewed the apron, finger mitts, and buffing cloths. The entire set is color coordinated to help the child easily identify the pieces which go together (aiding children’s independence in performing the activity). We also carefully considered the age of the child that may be using this work and ensured the size of each piece is appropriate for the child’s small hands to manipulate. Wooden, glass, fabric materials are chosen over plastic as much as possible to cultivate the appreciation for quality and beauty, as well as love for a natural environment. 

This is just a very brief introduction to some aspects of the Practical Life activities. There is so much more to this area, let alone other areas in a Montessori environment. If you are curious about how your child will benefit from our bilingual Montessori environment, I am happy to meet and share more. Schedule a tour.

Interview With Lishi By Minnesota Montessori Network

Founding a Montessori school is an enormous undertaking and often reflects the lives and experiences of the founder. Twin Cities International Bilingual Montessori, opening this spring in Edina, is one of those schools.

Lishi Vesely grew up an only child in China, and in a climate in which school was about getting on a track to make a living, not pursuing a passion. Her corporate career brought her to meet her husband (who is Czech). When they started a family, Lishi felt intuitively that the early years of childhood are important, and began to educate herself about early childhood education and language acquisition. Her research brought her to Montessori and after observing in a Toddler Community, she knew that Montessori was what she wanted for her children. 

After her first child was enrolled in a Montessori school, Lishi remained fascinated with the pedagogy. She continued learning more on her own and even using her son’s teacher as a resource. ”I was a pain for my son's guide" she says jokingly, "I had many questions as I really wanted to understand the underlying system". The more she learned, the more she was deeply moved by how the Montessori approach supports the development of the “Whole Child.” Meanwhile, Lishi went back to work, but says she felt she was living "conflicting lives". Her professional life wasn't allowing her the time she wanted with her children, and she was yearning to do work she felt was meaningful and contributed to society. She finally decided to leave behind her successful career to become a Montessori educator with a dream to start a Bilingual Montessori school.

After years of training (while raising two very young children), Lishi now holds her AMI A to I (0-3) and Primary (3-6) diplomas and is in the final stages of preparing her school environment. While Lishi is passionate about creating a Montessori community, she's even more passionate about it being a bilingual Montessori environment. Raising two young children in a home where three languages are spoken (English, Chinese, Czech), Lishi has witnessed first-hand the manifestation of the powerful sensitive period of language development. Lishi's vision is to create an environment where more children have the opportunity to acquire a second language and benefit from the rich gifts of that experience. On her website, she shares a Czech proverb: "Those who know many languages live as many lives as the languages they know." 

Currently, she is accepting application for the Children's House environment. There will be two AMI-certified primary guides leading the environment, one of them being a native Chinese speaker who will exclusively speak with children in Chinese throughout the day. Lishi will assist as needed, while focusing on her new Big Work of running the school and opening the Toddler Community later in 2018. 

Twin Cities International Bilingual Montessori
Lishi Vesely, Founder

7375 Bush Lake Road
Edina, MN 55439

Email: info@tcimontessori.org
Phone: (612) 888-4562
www.tcimontessori.org
Opening March/April 2018
Currently enrolling 3+ years

 

Source: MN Montessori News - February 2018

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