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"Our mission is to direct each child towards meeting his or her own needs within a prepared environment that encourages independence, respect, and self-sufficiency.

Our goal is to create for each child within a nurturing environment overseen by AMI trained staff - a philosophy of learning which will enable him or her to confront higher conceptions and meet the needs of development as well as provide as education for life".

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Upcoming P.S.O. Events

Please mark your calendars and join us for one or more of these fun events!


 November 6-8th- Family Cultural Event at the Greek Orthodox Church
(Time to be determined)

Join us as we learn more about Greek food, song and dance.

Details to follow.


November- Family Volunteer Event

During the month of November, we will arrange a date to meet at Metropolitan Ministries to assist with their food and toy collection. 
Details to follow.


December 12th- Family Picnic in the Park from 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Join us at Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday, Dec.12 in Downtown Tampa. Pack a family picnic and some warm beverages and join us for a fun, relaxing night in the park.



If you have would like to find out more about our PSO, please contact Tanya King @ 813-843-0140 phone or text.
Email the PSO at pso.mch@icloud.com.





Summary of Primary Coffee Chat- October 8, 2015
coffeeOn Thursday, Oct. 8, we enjoyed a Morning Coffee Chat with Ms. Sarah. 
The topic of discussion was Learning to Read in the Montessori Primary Environment. We discussed assessment and the use of Montessori materials in learning to read. 

First, vocablulary/language ability is assessed when they enter our environment.
We introduce I Spy/Sound games, Sandpaper letters, and the Moveable Alphabet nomenclature material. These exercises lead to total reading. We offer the child a full understanding of what he is reading and the "finer shades" of meaning of words. It is a result of all of the exercises in this area that the children learn to read.

These exercises are simply a KEY given to the child, a key which he will use to enter the wide field of reading. The exercises offer striking impressions that help his mind to become more aware of the importance of each word in the sentence. Example: It is not only the meaning of every single word, but also the importance of the position of each word in the phrase or sentence. (Function of Word Exercises)

The series of Exercises in the Function of Word area show the function of each part of speech. Reading generally begins by giving one word, then two words, then three words. (We do not give the name of the part of speech at this level.) Reading therefore becomes introduction to grammar.

 Functional Reading Exercises are grouped around the noun and the verb, with the noun learned first. Other reading exercises were described such as: Phonetic Object Box- one word, The Article Game, Object Box 1, Object Box 2- Phonograms, Puzzle words, Function of Words lessons: article, adjective, noun, conjunction, preposition, verb, adverb, and Sentence Analysis.

 Thank you to all who were able to attend our chat.





Why Kids Need to Move, Touch and Experience to Learn

by Katrina Schwartz, MindShift/KQED


When students use their bodies in t eh learning process, it can have a big effect, even if it seems silly 
or unconnected to the l earning goal at hand. Researchers have found that when students use their bodies
while doing mathematical storytelling (like with word problems, for example), it changes the way they
think about math. "We understand language in a richer, fuller way if we can connect it to the actions we perform,"
said Sian Beilock, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago. 


To see more of this interesting article, please click the link below:




9/25/15 Reprinted with permission from Katrina Schwartz, MindShift/KQED. No part of this publication may be repro-
duced for any purpose, whether private or public, without the express permission of Katrina Schwartz, MindShift/KQED.



Play is an important part of our learning experience.

Click the link below to be directed to NPR's TED Radio Hour from March 27, 2015.

This webisode focused on the importance of Play in helping us become "smarter, saner,
and more
collaborative." Of particular interest will be the third and fourth speakers. 
Stuart Brown discusses how Play shapes our environment, while noted primatologist
Isabel Behncke
speaks on what Bonobo apes can teach us about Play. 




9/25/15 Reprinted with permission from NPR's TED Radio Hour. No part of this publication may be repro-
duced for any purpose, whether private or public, without the express permission of Katrina Schwartz, MindShift/KQED.



~ Launches literacy campaign to help families read 20 minutes a day ~

Last week, the Florida Department of Education launched the Just Take 20 literacy campaign to support K-12 Florida families with practical, easy-to-implement activities to add 20 minutes of reading to their day. Research says that children who read at least 20 minutes a day outside of the classroom do better in school and in life. Just Take 20 gives families tips and activities to integrate reading easily into daily life.

“Parents play a critical role in their child’s literacy development,” said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. “Providing families with strategies to make the most of teachable moments and infuse reading into busy schedules can increase student literacy and help Florida students succeed now and in the future.”

The centerpiece of the campaign is an interactive website that prompts families to practice reading at home using a customizable literacy plan tailored to their child’s grade level and needs. Each family can build its own family profile, score points and earn badges while having fun with various reading and writing activities. Activities include tips for struggling readers and many of the resources are provided in Spanish and Haitian-Creole. Online activities and materials are easily accessed on any smart phone, tablet or computer.

The campaign includes a portal for educators where they can participate in virtual learning courses, download materials to engage students and families in literacy learning, and track online reading progress if a family chooses to connect with them for more support.

The Just Take 20 campaign is available free to all Florida families and K-12 public schools. In addition to the online web app, districts will also receive printed toolkits that will help them continue literacy engagement with families throughout the year. The toolkits will include event and activity guides, monthly newsletters and other communication materials.


For more information about the Just Take 20 family literacy campaign, visit JustTake20.org. 



Elementary Morning Chat Summary from 9/17/15
At our morning chat on Thursday, Sept. 17th, we discussed the Junior Great Books program.
Below is a summary of the program.

The Junior Great Books program has its emphasis on discussion and its focus is on each child’s interpretation.
This gives them many opportunities to develop their reading, writing, critical thinking, and oral communication skills. All the children will be able to contribute and grow in their ability to read and enjoy challenging literature, no matter their reading or writing levels. 

This language program contains interpretive activities that indirectly enable the children to become more aware
of their reactions as they read and develop a sensitivity to the written word.

This stimulates their curiosity about a text and encourages exploration of new ideas through writing. They will have practice with a variety of reading and thinking skills:

  1. recalling details from a story
  2. drawing inferences from the text
  3. analyzing characters and then motives
  4. finding the main idea or themes
  5. learning morals/ life lessons on values

JGB offers amazing reading selections, which are rich in both ideas and vocabulary while covering many genres and works from a variety of cultures. 
The program follows the following process:


First, a reading is done at school. This gives the children the opportunity to absorb the material on an imaginative, as well as an emotional, level. They do not have to worry about decoding, fluency or comprehension on their own at that time. They begin to reflect on the story and begin to formulate questions.

In the 6-9 class, the next step is as follows: both the children and the parents will be asked to do three additional readings- 1. done by the child only, 2. done by the parent only, and 3. both the parent and child take turns reading together.  Repeated exposure to the text promotes fluency in reading, as well as comprehension. Children can acquire new vocabulary and learn to derive word meanings from context clues. 


Multiple readings also make it possible for students who are not yet fluent readers to work on equal footing with the rest of their friends and peers. This shared group discussion is based on the idea that many minds working together can discover and uncover more than one individual working alone; especially given the complex stories introduced by the Junior Great Books program. Knowing that there are no right or wrong answers, the children will collaborate and share their ideas and thoughts. They may have different answers or points of view but they are taught to respect others’ views, ways of thinking and opinions. When they listen to others, they may be able
to provide NEW ideas. 


Sometimes sharing the answers to questions during the group allows the children to clear up any misunderstandings of the story. They learn that listening to other peoples’ opinions and reactions is an important part of developing one’s own thoughts.


There is a writing component which is a natural compliment to the reading experience. The emphasis at first is not on the final product. The writing is used to assist the children to think and use it as a means to help understand the overall story, the characters, the theme and their own thoughts based on their personal life experiences. After the discussion, the children have time to refine/revise and edit their ideas with attention to tense, spelling, grammar rules and sentence flow. 


The Junior Great Books program also helps establish the concept of “deadlines” and helps the children develop the ability to set up time management skills and how to prioritize. They  learn to do their best work independently; relying not on the facilitators but each other.


This work continues into the 9-12 class. Here J.G.B. is worked on all year long and is now done all in school, not
as part of their homework. 


There is an emphasis now on written language in the Upper Elementary. In the Fourth and Fifth years, the students have a workbook, which has writing exercises and activities. This is  preparing them for the Sixth year, where the emphasis is on writing essays. There is no longer a workbook or prepared pages at the this level. As our “Chat” participants saw, the Sixth Years have a box of JGB, with ideas for essay preparation. 


These stories are works of Literature which is on grade level and satisfies various components of the Common Core Standards.


The Montessori Children's House of Hyde Park
is pleased to announce the creation of our

Alumni Organization



Please help us spread the word. If you know of a MCHHP alum,
please ask them to contact us at our new specific email account at


Thank you,

Amanda Linton-Evans

Montessori Children's House Parent Social Organization


The MCH P.S.O.is to create a sense of camaraderie and friendship between parents and families of Montessori Children's House of Hyde Park by means of organizing social activities and events.


Our email address is pso.mch@icloud.com.



Please mark your calendars and join us for one or more of these fun events!


November 8th- Family Cultural Event at the Greek Orthodox Church

Join us as we learn more about Greek food, song and dance.

1:00 pm- We have 30 entrance tickets to give away to the first ones that R.S.V.P!


Free parking available at the "Heart Center" building located at 509 South Armenia. (Tickets and Parking Voucher will be given at school.)


RSVP to pso.mch@icloud.com

November- Family Volunteer Event


During the month of November, we will arrange a date to meet at Metropolitan Ministries to assist with their food and toy collection. 
Details to follow.



December 12th- Family Picnic in the Park from 6:00pm to 8:00pm


Join us at Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday, Dec.12 in Downtown Tampa. Pack a family picnic and some warm beverages and join us for a fun, relaxing night in the park.



If you have questions, please contact Tanya King @813-843-0140 phone or text.


Email at tanyad@tampabay.rr.com.





Helicopter Parenting and Your Child

by Emma Brown

Julie Lythcott-Haims noticed a disturbing trend during her decade as a dean of freshmen at Stanford University. Incoming students were brilliant and accomplished and virtually flawless, on paper. But with each year, more of them seemed incapable of taking care of themselves.

At the same time, parents were becoming more and more involved in their children’s lives. They talked to their children multiple times a day and swooped in to personally intervene whenever something difficult happened.

From her former position at one of the world’s most prestigious schools, ­Lythcott-Haims came to believe that mothers and fathers in affluent communities have been hobbling their children by trying so hard to make sure they succeed and by working so diligently to protect them from disappointment, failure and hardship.

Such “overhelping” might assist children in developing impressive résumés for college admission, but it also robs them of the chance to learn who they are, what they love and how to navigate the world, Lythcott-Haims argues in her book, “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.”

“We want so badly to help them by shepherding them from milestone to milestone and by shielding them from failure and pain. But overhelping causes harm,” she writes. “It can leave young adults without the strengths of skill, will and character that are needed to know themselves and to craft a life.”


Her book tour is taking her to more school auditoriums and parent groups than bookstores. She tells stories about overinvolved mothers and fathers and shares statistics about rising depression and other mental health problems in young people, which she hopes will spark change in communities across the country where helicopter parents are making themselves, and their children, miserable.


“Our job as a parent is to put ourselves out of a job,” she said. “We need to know that our children have the wherewithal to get up in the morning and take care of themselves.”
So are you a helicopter parent? Here are some of Lythcott-Haims’s tests:
1.Check your language. “If you say ‘we’ when you mean your son or your daughter — as in, ‘We’re on the travel soccer team’ — it’s a hint to yourself that you are intertwined in a way that is unhealthy,” Lythcott-Haims said.
2.Examine your interactions with adults in your child’s life. “If you’re arguing with teachers and principals and coaches and umpires all the time, it’s a sign you’re a little too invested,” she said. “When we’re doing all the arguing, we are not teaching our kids to advocate for themselves.”
4.Stop doing their homework. Enough said.

And how can parents help their children become self-sufficient? Teach them the skills they’ll need in real life and give them enough leash to practice those skills on their own, Lythcott-Haims said. And have them do chores. “Chores build a sense of accountability. They build life skills and a work ethic,” she said.
To read this article in it's entirety, please click this link.                              https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2015/10/16/former-stanford-dean-explains-why-helicopter-parenting-is-ruining-a-generation-of-children/?ref=yfp

Author Emma Brown writes about national education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids. 

Published with permission from the Washington Post, November 2016.



(or rather the lack of them in our school)

report card


Dr. Montessori said that "Education, as it is commonly regarded, encourages individuals to go their own way and pursue their own personal interests."

Children in traditional schools are not encouraged to help one another or to prompt their classmates who don't know the anwers, but only to worry about their own grades at the end of the year and to win prizes in competition with fellow pupils. Eventually, these poor selfish little creatures find themselves in late life like separate grains of sand in the desert; each one is isolated from his neighbor and all of them are ????. If a storm comes up, these little human

particles possessed of no life-giving spirituality are caught up in the gusts

and form a deadly whirlwind. 


Montessori was trying to help us escape from this sort of ???? as grading and academic competition leads to some results that are anti???? to a competitive stance. If a student knows he is being graded, his creativity dies...if he still cares, he will make choices that are safe ones and not take risks in his learning. He will not choose a project or answer that could result in failure. He will do what he already knows how to do, what will result in a predictable, positive result.


Thomas Edison said, " If you want to increase your creativity, increase your rate

of failure." Now which individual has a more competitive edge, the one who

makes safe, predictable choices or the one willing to take creative risks?


We don't give grades as we want students to learn because of their own desire

to do so. We want them to be internally motivated, not externally. We want them

to become self-confident, creative risk takers. We want them to develop the belief

that each and every person has value, can succeed and that success of others

is to be celebrated rather than envied. It is valuable to take the time to help

others succeed.


Ultimately, our success as individuals is not best measured by our relative

standing in society, but in the society itself that we help to create! 

the importance of internal, intrinsic motivation as the power behind learning; as opposed to external, extrinsic rewards. Young people are hardwired for learning. Their brains are still in formation for years after they are born. During this time

they are uniquely receptive to learning. There is a spirit, an inner voice which directs them to learn. We don't need to make them want to learn. If you watch

them in our classes, you can see the joy in learning which they already possess. 

Our students already work to learn.  If one asks "How much do I have to do?",

our answer is "How much can you do?". Often students will set goals for themselves that are far more than we would require. Do our students possess the skills that enable them to compete? They develop these skills and are willing and able to strive for excellence in all that they do!







As you know, we are currently in the middle of Standardized Testing with our students. Our goal is to ensure that the work we do in meeting Hillsborough County standards will naturally coincide with our Montessori materials and curriculum.


Firstly, all Montessori trained staff are instructed to review and understand the curriculum standards of the county in which they are located. Many years ago, I was invited to a pilot project at USF along with many public school teachers. A goal of the project was to turn the Hillsborough County/State requirements into a "child friendly language." The end result of the project is what we now call our "curriculum books." Each child has his/her own book that he/she reads and interprets; each spring it is taken out and the child reviews his/her year and checks off what is needed/required within the curriculum framework.


For example, a Kindergarten child would likely check off:

In writing- I can talk or write about what I am asked to.


A third year might be asked:

 In writing- The words and phrases I have chosen seem exactly right to capture my thoughts and feelings.


A sixth year might comment:

In writing- I recognize and understand elements of an author's craft (including but not limited to symbolism, figurative language, flashback, forwarding, etc.) I read and discuss literature with differing viewpoints to enhance perspective. I discuss the meaning and role of point of view in a variety of texts.


As we progress through these books with the children, we are giving practice testing sheets to each, relative to their grade level. Simultaneously, we are teaching test-taking, and the conditions the children will be working under such as: working individually without the ability to ask for a repeated lesson or help if they don't understand and working in an allotted time frame.


The testing gives us a "picture" of a week in your child's life in a test environment. You, as Montessori parents, know we base our views of your students on a daily and ongoing observation basis.


The tests are sent to a scoring center in Princeton, N.J., and when the results are returned, we as administrators look at each child's test profile. The individual profiles will display strengths and/or weaknesses. As a school, we look at each child's Mean National Stanine and Grade Mean Equivalent. We record our performance at each grade level in all areas of study (i.e. reading, vocabulary, language mechanics, math, computation, science, social studies and spelling) and maintain a five year average of our scores as well.



In 2003, David Kahn, a prominent Montessorian, asked Dr. Kevin Rathunde to take on the project of comparing Montessori and traditional middle schools. Dr. Rathunde is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Studies at the University of Utah who focuses his research on adolescent development in the family and on lifelong education and learning. Kevin Rathunde has had a long standing interest in flow theory and issues of motivation and optimal experience. David Kahn suggested to him that the Montessori philosophy has many commonalities with flow theory.

Rathunde began reading the Montessori literature and discovered the connection between the flow experience and Maria Montessori’s emphasis on spontaneous activity. He noted that “Flow is an intrinsically motivated, task focused state characterized by full concentration, a change in the awareness of time, feelings of clarity and control, a merging of action and awareness, and a lack of self-consciousness. The experience is triggered by a good fit between a person’s skills in an activity and the challenges afforded by the environment.” These “experiences are intrinsically rewarding, and they motivate students to repeat an activity at progressively higher levels of challenge.”

Maria Montessori believed that children’s spontaneous concentration revealed the essence of being human. She said, “It has been revealed that children not only work seriously but have great powers of concentration...Action can absorb the whole attention and energy of a person. It valorizes all the psychic energies so that the child completely ignore[s] all that is happening around him.”

Design of the Study: Dr. Rathunde studied five Montessori schools that included 150 students in the 6th and 8th grades (60% male, 40% female). He compared the Montessori student to 160 students in the same grades from traditional middle schools (45% male, 55% female).

The data collection included a method called the Experience Sampling Method. Students were given programmed watches that signaled them eight times a day between the hours of 7:30 am and 10:30 pm for seven consecutive days. When the watches beeped, the students took out response forms and answered questions about how they were feeling the moment, where they were, what they were thinking about, and other questions about their momentary experience. Both groups participated for a week and then their responses were statistically compared.

The questions measured the following variables: 1)Affect (general mood or happiness); 2) potency (energy level or excitement); 3) salience (feelings of importance); 4) intrinsic motivation (sense of enjoyment and interest); 5) flow (optimal level of challenge and skill); and 6) undivided interest (enjoyment and importance come together). Dr. Rathunde chose students who were “matched” in terms of parent education, ethnicity, parental employment, socioeconomic family resources, parental involvement, number of siblings, number of intact homes and similar grades. This helped eliminate other factors that account for differences in responses.

Results: Dr. Rathunde used a statistical technique known as multivariate analysis of covariance to assess the differences between the six variables collected using the Experience Sampling Method. This procedure allowed him to determine, in an objective manner, whether there were significant differences between the two groups and to adjust or “control” for any differences that were due to other factors such as background variables.

The statistical analysis revealed that there were strong differences between the two groups.
1.) Montessori students reported a significantly better quality of experience in academic work than the traditional students, 2.) Montessori students reported significantly higher percentages of undivided interest, higher motivation and higher levels of importance with regard to schoolwork. 3.) Montessori students reported more conditions where the challenges and skills used while doing academic work were above average.

Discussion: First, the results address a problem of traditional middle school where the focus is on performance goals in such a manner that the importance of intrinsic motivation is undermined. The developmental and psychological needs of the adolescent are emphasized and valued in Montessori education; thus middle school students are more engaged in the educational process and this results in higher levels of achievement.

Other studies have shown that high skill, high challenge, motivation, and intrinsic motivation (all qualities found to be highest in the Montessori students) predict superior talent development in adolescent students. Several studies confirm that the high level of interest and intrinsic motivation evident in the Montessori students of this study result in superior student achievement.

Taken from www.montessori-mag.org/A-Comparison-of-Montessori-and-Traditional-Middle-Schools

    Transitioning to Middle School

As a teacher and administrator for so many years, I have received the following questions countless times. “What about the transition?” “How will the students manage when they leave us?”
“When is the right time to leave?” “How well do they transition?”

After the sixth year when the children leave our Montessori environment and enter “middle school”, observations that have been sent back to us from the staff at their new school indicate that the children work seriously and possess a strong sense of excitement about their work. They take great pride in their academic work and work well with their peers. They seem interested in what they are doing and have great powers of concentration. Montessori graduates exhibit high motivation with regard to schoolwork and have excellent time management skills. Our informal findings seem to echo those of Dr. Kevin Rathunde in his 2003 study comparing Montessori to traditional middle schools. (For more information on this study, read our web article entitled “A Comparison of Montessori and Traditional Middle Schools”.)

Maria Montessori noticed the students had “experiences of deep and total concentration ...[which were] intrinsically rewarding and motivated students to repeat an activity at progressively higher levels of challenge”. She called this the “true essence of a human being”.

One might ask why the three year cycle is so important? At MCHHP, we place a lot of emphasis on whether children are ready to move from one cycle to another. In the first year, the student experiences his/her class as a family unit. In the second year, the child is firming up lessons and becoming secure in his/her abilities and environment. In the third year, the student experiences mastery of the subjects. Especially important is the opportunity to be a leader in their class. The third year is the culmination of their education in that class! The six year old going into the six to nine year class, the nine year old moving to the nine to 12 year class, and the 12 year old all have the opportunity to complete the full cycle of activity. Think of the third year as the concluding chapter. Leaving early is like a book without its final chapter! Each year is a crucial part of the cycle and should a child leave early from that cycle, he loses the cumulative benefit of the experience. Yes, a school of 700 students is quite different from ours, but the young child/adult/adolescent is physically and emotionally ready for that change and challenge after completing his years in Montessori!

Amanda would like to share with you a short video filmed at Secret Garden Montessori last spring & finished editing this summer. This film focuses on the importance of the Three Year Cycle.  You may access this video at vimeo.com/46107251.

Finally, if the above reasons don’t convince you, we conclude with... THE TOP 10 REASONS CHILDREN SHOULD COMPLETE THE 9-12 CYCLE:(Based on feed back from the children themselves, the parents of graduates, school officials where our students have moved, my 20+ years of observing Montessori children AND lastly as described by Maria Montessori herself)

10) They get to make all the announcements at our school events AND get to be the “resident” face-painters at the school social!

9) The children are taught by the same teacher for 3 years…a directress who knows that child, his capabilities, his moods and can teach to the individual.

8) The environment allows for deep concentration that leads to higher levels of self-motivation.

7) Students are intrinsically rewarded and don’t rely on others to “feel” good.

6) The child experiences being the youngest, the middle and then the eldest throughout the 3 cycles developing socially, emotionally and academically within the security of the Montessori environment.

5) They develop deep friendships in a consistent environment.

4) They develop a voice and are free to use it.

3) The children are learning in what becomes to them a family “unit” where they feel safe and loved and are EAGER to learn.

2) They are the school leaders and the ones that every other child in the school looks up to!

1) The 12-year-old child has been given the opportunity to learn, grow, be challenged, and challenge themselves, to be helped and to be the helper, to be nurtured and to be the nurturer. He or she is confident and READY FOR ANYTHING!

An Excerpt from Parent Night - Sept. 27, 2012

Dear Parents,

This is an excerpt of the recent Parent Night at school explaining a day in the life of your Montessori child here at MCHHP. As a parent, you may wonder, “What happens when my child walks through that blue door? How are they taught? How do they learn? How do they manage their time?”

When your primary child walks through the door, he enters the classroom and shakes the teacher’s hand upon arrival, looks her in the eye and says “Good morning.” Your child then chooses a specific work, based on the materials he or she has learned to use properly. When completed, your child is responsible for replacing the materials back where they belong. The directress will work with the children individually or in a small group to introduce new materials and lessons when the child is ready. This continues for the three hour work cycle. Then the class sings group songs or has story time, after which they visit the bathroom prior to lunch.

Lunch is a time to learn about personal space, how to sit and eat properly, and how to tidy up after themselves. This is followed by playtime and washing up. The morning friends then go to car line while the afternoon friends select a mat for a twenty minute rest time with quiet music of one of the composers they are studying. Afterwards they start the three hour work cycle again. This time, the older friends repeat or work for a longer time on academic work. They finish the day with a job assigned by the teacher and are then dismissed. This continues for the complete three year cycle until they are ready to transition to lower elementary.

Your lower elementary child will also work through lessons, while gaining understanding and independence to follow their interests. Simultaneously, he or she will master what is “expected” (Florida State Standards). They keep a work journal recording time, name of lesson, material and subject. Spelling should be correct and handwriting accuracy is encouraged. This journal is a record for the child as well as the adult. Group lessons can be given as a whole class or a small group. The elementary class tends to have less individual lessons but they will sometimes be offered when necessary to meet the needs of your child as an individual.

Your lower elementary child grows in time management skills throughout the three year cycle. Newer students are given guidance in work choices, older children complete unfinished work, and all are guided to spend time in every subject. The class creates a class contract and job list. They look to each other to solve problems. The prepared environment is theirs and they like to maintain it, keeping it orderly and tidy. They come to the adult only after they have tried to resolve situations independently or as a class.

There is a homework component at this sub-plane of development, ages six to nine. The use of Junior Great gives the child the opportunity to study a variety of written works such as poems and folk tales; these lessons broaden their studies with different styles and challenging topics that may include lofty language and sentence structure. They work in a facilitated group with an adult who provides structure and offers ideas. However, the students are learning from each other for the most part. They will also experience vocabulary workshop and independent reading time during this phase of development. Your child continues for the three year cycle in this class until they are ready to transition to upper elementary.

The upper elementary environment at MCHHP is designed to meet the characteristics of the child in the stabilizing period of the second sub-plane of development, ages 9 - 12. The child’s intellectual demands are in full swing with a growing logical and reasoning mind, a quest for intellectual stimulation, a strong sense of justice and fair play, and the need to increasingly belong and fit into their social group. At the beginning of this three year cycle, the child has transitioned into the most stable and strongest time of their lives. At the end of this three year cycle, when they leave this environment, they will again be in transition, catapulting them from childhood to adolescence. So these three years are important in building an independent learner!

When the children who are new to the class first come, they need a great deal of support in managing time. The child needs reminding that time is something that is necessary to manage, rather than letting it get away from them. Many lessons are given by the adult who must demonstrate how to “think through” their day. As the friends approach their second year, this way of planning becomes more second nature. Periodic checks are necessary. Independence in this process is evident in the third year of the cycle, where few reminders are required. At this point, the children begin to plan long range for the whole group, as with the newspaper, outings. etc.

Daily routine begins with a teacher greeting, then: Check board for lessons and class meetings. Plan for the day’s work on weekly planner and check priorities on monthly calendar (Blue Planner). Make choices for work during the three hour work cycle. Be prepared for lessons which may be given during this time.

Friends must use time wisely, stay on topic, and adhere to due dates, both long and short term.

Possible work choices include all subjects- Math, Geometry, Biology, Geography, History, and the Languages, as well as the Arts. Lessons in each subject are given each week. Children are expected to practice lessons given in each subject as well as pursue their own interests in those subjects. Periodic conferences are held to make sure the child is pursuing areas of interest. Children are always welcome to sign up for conferences with the teacher on her calendar. Montessori lessons are paramount to the child’s intellectual and social growth as they are designed for just that!

Each week, for the most part, the children also work in Vocabulary Workshop, Junior Great Books, and the ever popular Sunshine Math (or other problem solving work). One unit per week is typically given, allowing the children to work at their own speed as needed. The children are also required to adhere to the requirements for their age according to state standards.

Homework is also given. It is our responsibility to prepare the children for continued education after their nine years with us, therefore, homework becomes a necessary component of learning “responsibility”. Homework is given Monday through Thursday and is expected at school the following day. The children record what is required in their Homework Composition Books with the adult directing them. If there is some problem with the homework, the children or the parents are allowed to write a letter to the directress expressing their questions/concerns. The directress will address these concerns the next day at school. She will write responses, if necessary, and the child will try again that evening to complete the work.

Work given is work that can be done independently by the child; however, parents should also discuss the work given to support their child in their learning. The child’s discussion of their work is part of the learning process. Parent involvement is key to the child’s learning and developing their full potential. Independent reading is critical each evening and time requirements are given. The amount of time spent reading directly correlates to achievement at this stage. Books are provided throughout the year to guide the child’s reading development, and at times, the child is also allowed to make a free choice. In upper elementary, the child is reading to learn. This is a different kind of reading than they are used to and it does require a conscious effort. Higher order thinking develops through their reading. Application, analysis, and synthesis of information is crucial during these years.

After lunch, the process repeats itself through another three hour work cycle. Lessons are given five days a week, throughout the day beginning at 7:45 am, so attendance is critical to the child’s learning process. Since the learning takes place in a social setting with interaction between peers, it is impossible to gain the full spectrum of the conversation that took place in a make-up setting.

In the third year, a special leadership role is evident and the child takes on a new role in the environment. Confidence, planning and follow through are a natural part of the learning, and the child takes on a teaching role that further builds their confidence. Many of you may have noticed this in your child’s third year in lower elementary. In upper, much the same phenomenon takes place, but on a larger scale. In upper elementary, the entire student body looks up to the individuals who will be the graduates. Their peers and the administration look to them to set the pace a s leaders for the rest of the school. This is a powerful confidence builder. It is a time when the child realizes the responsibility of all they have learned and their work is actualized. Imagine the gratitude and the sense of self that is realized! This is when the child is fully prepared for the next environment.


The Three Year Cycle is a clearly defined educational unit with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Progression through the three stages within the unit provides tremendous benefits to each child. The third year in each environment becomes the culminating experience academically, emotionally, socially and developmentally. A cycle that is not allowed to come to fruition is a cycle that is incomplete.

THE PLANES OF DEVELOPMENT Dr. Montessori wrote about The Planes of Development. First Plane: 1 - 6 years of age. This plane is characterized by a great transformation of the individual. This plane is sub divided into two categories: Ages 0 -3 and 3 - 6.

Ages 0 - 3 Stage. Dr. Montessori called this stage The Absorbent MInd/ Unconscious Stage. More growth occurs during this Plane of Development than at any other point in time. The child will never again grow with such intensity. It is extremely important that the child be mentally nourished during this phase because this First Plane sets the stage for future Planes of Development. The child is forming his own intelligence on an unconscious level as he incarnates and absorbs from the environment in which he lives. The knowledge and impressions become fixed in the mysterious mind of the child. The child absorbs by his/her very own power! Bit by bit he constructs his mind as he takes in everything around him. A wealth of knowledge and impressions are stored during this unconscious period. The child will pass from the stage of unconsciousness to consciousness as a result of movement. The absorbent mind has been at work and when the child is ready to move he already has these vast impressions. Now he works through the use of the hands as he passes into the conscious stage.

Ages 3 - 6 Stage This stage shows the child in a great transformation and construction, however now he has reached the conscious level. The child now constructs through his senses. His mind and body are developing and working together. The child now has a memory and a will. He brings to the surface things that he has already absorbed.

SECOND PLANE OF DEVELOPMENT: 6 - 12 years of age. Ages 6 - 9 Stage The child at this stage is very stable. He is in a state of calmness and eager for mental work. He now has a reasoning mind. The child is interested in the whole universe. Peers are now important. The child creates a code of ethics for himself. Curiosity is paramount now as the child questions everything. He is interested in fairness and justice.

Ages 9 - 12 Stage At this stage the child creates a code of ethics in relationships within his peer group. He exhibits “hero” worship. He undertakes “big work” and works for long periods of time. His inner sense of order begins to emerge and sometimes does so at the cost of external order.

THIRD PLANE OF DEVELOPMENT: 12 - 18 years of age. Ages 12 - 15 Stage This is the age of puberty. A great transformation occurs again for the child with regard to the physical and mental characteristics. He becomes introverted and at times self conscious. He is sensitive to experiences and facts with regard to society and life in general. National and International news is important to him as he is able to see himself as one unit within a complex world. At this time the child can be sensitive to criticism.

Ages 15 - 18 Stage This is the stage of adolescence. Clothes, money and personal appearance become vital to the child now. He is creating and trying to fit into a social life of some kind. This is a time of possible rebellion. It is an unstable period where the child requires much support from those around him. Much psychic transformation is happening during this stage.

FOURTH PLANE OF DEVELOPMENT 18 - 24 years of age The child now grows only in age. He is fully developed.

Every Plane of Development prepares the child for the next plane. We cannot treat children the same way all through life. They must be treated differently at each plane. Education that takes into consideration the Planes of Development has a maximum benefit for the child. In Montessori, the children are grouped in three year cycles, wherein they have the benefit of remaining with the same teacher who can observe and assist the child through the entire cycle. Having the same room and the same teacher frees the child to concentrate on the learning process within a comfortable setting without the constraints of getting to know a new adult or a new community of children year after year. The teacher knows and understands the child and the needs of each individual child. Additionally, the mixed age group in the same room offers the opportunity for the younger child to observe the older child. The older child acts as a leader and shares with the younger child.

Clearly, the child is a unique individual during each plane of development. In the Primary environment the child is given the keys to his world, growing in independence within a secure and academically challenging environment. In the Elementary years the child is given the keys to the universe, with academic lessons that enable him to make a successful transition to the high school system. We believe a Montessori education where children progress through each three year cycle results in the formation of an individual who is intellectually, socially and emotionally well-adjusted to enter into adulthood.



Hot Lunches are here! 

Hot lunches have returned to
Montessori Children's House of Hyde Park.

We will use two vendors for our optional hot lunch program.  

On Thursdays, students will be able
to enjoy delicious meals from Evos.

Parents now have the flexibility of ordering one week and/or multiple weeks at a time.  The weekly Sunday midnight deadline is for the upcoming week only.  Additionally, if parents forget to order by Sunday, they can still place a late order up until 7am the day of service but the only menu option at that point is the 3pc chicken strips for $10. 

Click here to see details on how to order from Evos website.


On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, students will be able to
enjoy meals from Wholesome Tummies Cafe. 
Click here to see details on how to order from WTCafe.

Bon Appetit!