There was so much excitement when everyone arrived for Spring Day and saw our new seasonal decorations, as well as all our wonderful new Spring themed works on the shelves. We planted some vegetables and flowers then did a fun flower craft. We are very excited for the warmer weather!

The children all entered the school with such excitement yesterday, for their first day of Term Two. They were so eager to learn; some didn't want to go home or even play outside, as it meant leaving their new work activities. The joy of working with their friends and seeing their teachers was infectious and the happy atmosphere continued today. It is amazing to see children with such a love of learning, who truly enjoy being at school. 

We are very excited to announce the arrival of our new Spelling program. This program is based on the Montessori approach to writing and reading and was developed by Muriel-Dwyer who was a student of Montessori. Maria Montessori's original language program was based in Italian so this adaption helps to facilitate the learning of the complexities of the English Language. This approach is based on the philosophy of learning to write before reading. So the child learns to form the words before reading them so they truly understand their construction and spelling. This program has a series of coloured coded levels which break down every possible phonetic combination and spelling rule into manageable sets. The children progress logically through these sets at their own pace. As they move forward they build up their knowledge of spelling patterns and vocabulary. 

It is amazing to see how excited the children are to work with this program and how they are progressing through the levels. Each child works through a set at a time, building the word with the moveable alphabet letters, then reading and matching the words to pictures. Then reading the words without picture cues. Finally, the child does a series of activities utilising only the words learnt in that set. It is eye-opening for the children to recognise the various patterns and their joy is unmistakable when they master a set of spelling patterns. 

The rainbow colour coding of the sets creates simplicity and isolation fo difficulty, while also adding beauty and fun to the environment. 

We have invested in a very exciting new letter program for the Montessori Country Kids Preschool classes. This beautiful letter program was created by Cathie Perolman for Montessori schools. It focuses on the phonetic sounds of the letters and encourages phonological awareness. The children move through different coloured levels, each of which contains a set of specific letters. These sets are chosen based on the sounds and structure of the individual letters. As they move through each level, they play a series of games. This starts with just sorting the different letter shapes to promote visual awareness. Then the child plays a Bingo Game with their friends to help them remember and recognise the letter shapes. The third and fourth activities focus on associating the letters and things that have that letter as their initial sound by matching objects and pictures to their letters. Then the child plays a fun Dice game to find all the pictures with a specific letter sound. The next activity is the X out game where the child identifies the picture that does not belong to a certain letter. The final games are for word building and help to consolidate all the skills learnt before the child moves onto the next set of letters. 

The children are very enthusiastic about this program and even the youngest ones are starting to work on the games as they are so interactive. They especially love the collections of miniature objects that go with each letter set. 

It is wonderful to see children so excited about learning letters!

Meet Nichole

Montessori Country Kids is excited to welcome Nichole as a member of our Elementary team. She is a dynamic, experienced Montessori teacher who has a thirst for knowledge and a passion for the Montessori Method of Education. She is delighted to be able to join our MCK Elementary Team.

Renovation and Upgrade

Montessori Country Kids has very exciting news as they have recently renovated and upgraded their Elementary classroom environment. Utilising modern research into sensory integration and neuroscience, environment has been designed as a calming, sensory neutral space which promotes focus and learning. With curriculum areas including a collaborative reading corner and a dynamic outdoor learning space, as well as areas for art, science and other cultural subjects.

Education is changing

In this time of uncertainty and stress, I just want to ask you all to think about what education truly is. In this age of technology and Google, education is changing. No longer is the focus on memorising facts and regurgitating them on tests. Rather the drive is for education to be about preparing children to live in the world. Education should not just be about learning information, rather it is igniting within the child a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge, developing the wisdom to think for themselves and follow their interests to explore the world around them and create a better future for themselves.

Give them Words

In South Africa, we are facing a crisis of literacy with many children and even adults being unable to read or write. We are all searching for strategies that can magically solve this issue as quickly as possible. However, one question we should be asking is “How can someone read without words?”How many words do we use in a day, an hour? How many words are we exposing our children to?

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