Montessori Children's House of Nantucket

March 2016
The new education has its primary aim the discovery and freeing of the child...

providing him with the necessary aid as he advances toward maturity...
obstacles must be reduced to a minimum...
adults should adapt themselves to his needs...and
...respect the child's personality...

These three principles have been elaborated in institutions originally known as Children's Homes.

-Dr. Montessori
Montessori & Early Childhood Education in the News:

In the article, The Power of Thinking Like A Preschooler, author Lauren Cassani Davis interviews Erika Christakis (author of The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need From Grownups).  They discuss the power of observation and how adults can support young learners by recognizing that "children are unique people, with their own ideas, their own feelings, their own thoughts and tastes and experiences."  

Montessori educators are constantly observing their students in order to understand their strengths, interests and needs.  You can hear more about the structure, philosophy and research behind Montessori classrooms from American Montessori Society board member Mary Ellen Kordas on 91.5 Chicago

We invite you to come in to observation Children's House during the day to see firsthand what makes our Montessori classroom so special.  Please call the office at 508-228-5454 to schedule a visit! 
First, a floor puzzle...
...then research... creative expression!
The Prepared Environment

With care and creativity, our talented staff refreshes each curriculum area with materials related to a new topic of study on a monthly basis. 

The yearly curriculum reflects seasonal events, observable changes in the natural world, as well as the progression from concrete to abstract that all Montessori materials follow.  

Our integrated curriculum highlights the connected nature of our world and allows children to see the relationship between topics of study.
Follow the Child

The Montessori classroom structure makes it possible to individualize each child's experience.  

Montessori educators carefully observe the students in order to identify each child's strengths, interests and learning style. 

This information enables MCHN staff to meet the needs of each student and to remove obstacles, therefore encouraging the child's natural curiosity and building his/her confidence. 
Meaningful Work

Montessori educators act as gentle guides within the carefully curated environment, providing students with the freedom and responsibility to make independent choices.

When children are given the rare opportunity to follow their innate curiosity, the choices they make give their work greater meaning. 

Instead of completing projects as directed by an adult, Montessori students use their curiosity and creativity to drive the learning process.

These qualities of a Children's House classroom combine to create a child-centered educational approach that is tailored to each unique student. 
Save the Date!

Thank you to the dedicated MCHN Development Committee members who work tirelessly to support the Children's House!

Sarah Sylvia (Chair )
Mirka Ahern
Tess Anderson
Kirsten Congleton
Rob Graves
Stephany Hunter
Roisin Murray
Tony Nastus
Sanne Payne

Practical Life
Materials in Practical Life assist the child in developing concentration, coordination, independence and order, qualities that are the foundation for future learning.   Here, students practice self-care and care of the environment as well as physical skills like pouring, scooping, twisting, squeezing and lacing. Lessons in Practical Life, and across the Montessori curriculum, address physical, academic and social/emotional development. 
In Montessori classrooms, students are free (and encouraged!) to utilize any material in the classroom- regardless of their age and ability level.   Depending on the child, the area of focus will vary and it is the work of the teacher to facilitate his/her use of the material in a way that will provide an opportunity for success.  

First Year students in Practical Life are developing concentration, coordination, independence and order. They also experience a strong sense of pride when completing challenges such as stringing beads, opening containers, pouring water, or using tongs to transfer small objects from one container to another. 

Second and Third Year students visit this area as well, as it can provide comfort and a much needed break form the challenging academic work they select in the other curriculum areas. 

Here, Third Year students can rest their minds, reorganize and also teach younger students who are just learning  how to use these materials.

No matter what, the joy we see on their faces when using practical life materials looks very much the same!  
In Practical Life students also prepare food to share with others. This practice involves hand washing, the safe use of tools and grace and courtesy.  After cutting cucumbers, peeling oranges or carrots, shelling edamame, etc. students then walk throughout the classroom offering the snack to their friends. 

This is meaningful work to our students because they are able to perform a task that they have seen their parents do at home and also because it is a service to the other children in the school community! 

A Third Year student and a First Year student engage in imaginative play in Practical Life,
both finding a quiet place to concentrate during the independent work time. 

Lately, many of our students have taken an interest in weaving.

Through this hand work, students refine motor skills, learn to identify and follow patterns, and demonstrate determination by working over the course of several days to bring the project to completion!

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In Geography, students use the Montessori puzzle maps in a variety of ways.
These Montessori materials are a beautiful tool for teaching students about the world in which they live!
Students have also been sewing the outline of the continents using a needle, thread and card stock. 

This activity deepens their familiarity with the shapes and names of the continents and also provides practice for the push/pull motion required for sewing, weaving, lacing and stringing. 

Click here to download the 2016-17 MCHN school calendar!

Working with Magnets


First, Second and Third Year students all enjoyed working with magnetic shapes, either individually or together and what resulted was a variety of unique creations!

We are grateful for the leadership and service of the Children's House Board of Trustees: 

Tess Anderson 
John Brescher
Cormac Collier
Sara Congdon
Carolyn Durand
Suzanne Forsyth
Rachael Freeman
Michele Kelsey
Alan Myers
Matt Payne
Eugene Shubin
Chris Young

& welcome to our newest members:
Mirka Ahern and Megan Harvey

Using the Movable Alphabet

In Language, First Year students work together to compose their names, while a Third Year student sounds out the names of a set of objects.
This material promotes independence for those students who are not yet writing and alleviates the frustration of erasing for those who are.  

An Integrated Curriculum:
Throughout March students learn how to keep their bodies healthy!


Students read one of our favorite books:  " Those Mean Nasty Dirty Downright Disgusting but...Invisible Germs"


Students use pom-poms, jacks and
white gloves to illustrate how white blood cells keep us healthy.

Students use their imaginations to create artistic interpretations of germs. 

April 1st 
Parent Coffee from 8:00-8:30
Stay and chat or grab a cup to go!

By simply using the MCHN link, Children's House families have earned
almost $1,000.00 for our school since September! 
Please click the amazon button below and bookmark the page for future orders!

Thank you for your support!