Does your preschooler sit too much?

Many parents and caregivers of preschool age children lament that their charges don’t sit still. But recent studies show that they may be sitting still too much for their own good. Lindsay Ungewitter, primary teacher at Pinewoods Montessori, has this to share.

The preschool years are a time of tremendous growth. The cognitive, social and emotional development of your child is greatly enhanced by a quality preschool education but what about the health of your child? Here again the right setting makes all the difference, not just in early childhood, but also in establishing habits that will last a lifetime.

The child-centered approach of a Montessori preschool classroom encourages the activity levels that are needed to keep children healthy. In fact, children attending Montessori preschools spent less time in sedentary behavior than those attending traditional preschools, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

“The participants in this study were preschool children aged 4 years old who were enrolled in Montessori and traditional preschools. The preschool children wore ActiGraph accelerometers. Accelerometers were initialized using 15-second intervals and sedentary behavior was defined as <200 counts/15-second. The accelerometry data were summarized into the average minutes per hour spent in sedentary behavior during the in-school, the after-school, and the total-day period. Mixed linear regression models were used to determine differences in the average time spent in sedentary behavior between children attending traditional and Montessori preschools, after adjusting for selected potential correlates of preschoolers’ sedentary behavior.”

In a Montessori classroom, most of the child’s time is spent in self-chosen activities. Not only are children allowed to move freely throughout the classroom but they are also encouraged to participate in physical activities such as sweeping, dusting, cleaning and gardening. Children take these skills home and these healthy habits help children stay more active all day.

With levels of childhood obesity on the rise, we can not ignore the importance of fostering activity in early childhood. A Montessori preschool is the best place for the development of the whole, healthy child.

About Pinewoods Montessori

Located in Hillsborough and convenient to Chapel Hill, Durham and Mebane, Pinewoods creates an environment where learning is natural, and where your child will joyfully and effectively develop independence and self-discipline. Visit our web site or call 919-644-2090 to learn more.

Students Experience Hands-On Coastal Marine Science at Fort Caswell

Pinewoods Montessori in Hillsborough travels to Fort CaswellThis past fall, the elementary students at Pinewoods Montessori traveled to Oak Island for an overnight trip to Fort Caswell. The students participated in the Coastal Environmental Education Program, which explored the flora and fauna of the tidal and estuary areas.

Following an educational program from material from NOAA, the US EPA and the NC Coastal Federation, the students fished for crabs, net-fished for plankton and then studied their findings in the lab. Elementary teachers JoAnn Rubin and Brittany Rodriguez assisted the onsite educators and seven parent chaperones accompanied the students.

“It was a one of a kind experience for the children, “ said Ms. Rubin. “They weren’t just looking at pictures of the ocean and the dunes. They were getting their feet wet and their hands sandy, seeing real science in action. It brings the subject matter to life — and brings them closer to the environment around us.”

Parent and chaperone, Patricia Berge, agreed. “It was fascinating to see students’ expressions as they discovered different types of plankton under the microscopes,” she said. As a high school science teacher, Ms. Berge had a unique perspective into the curriculum. “This type of experience allowed them to be genuinely engaged in their learning.”

The field trip also included a history hay ride around historic Fort Caswell as well as a lesson on the phases of the moon–complete with Oreo cookies to demonstrate.

About Pinewoods Montessori
Pinewoods Montessori School LogoPinewoods Montessori in Hillsborough, NC provides an authentic Montessori education in which children develop of love of learning within a safe, peaceful setting. To learn more, visit our web site or call (919) 644-2090.

Collaboration, Optimism and Community

Collaboration, Optimism and Community

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On Monday, December 17, 2012, the Montessori School of Raleigh shared holiday songs in the local community. Their first stop was another local Montessori school in urban Raleigh, Oak City Academy. In an effort to bridge the Montessori community and diversity of the schools, the visit is just the beginning of a growing relationship of collaboration between the two schools. Oak City Academy (OCA), a private Christian Montessori school located in the heart of Raleigh, aims to end generational and situational poverty by offering a transformational education. This approach to education blends the Montessori approach with the classical method of learning and instruction. The founders of the school, Danny and Kari Breed, believe that offering a transformational experience to their students will develop OCA students into innovative and competitive thinkers and servant leaders.  An even more compelling extension of this educational community, ingrained in the culture and presence at OCA, is the commitment to cultivate a community of justice.  In this context, this community looks like parents, teachers, administration, community organizations, churches, businesses and other schools coming together in community, seeing a need, and leveraging their resources to meet that need.

The diversity and mission of OCA–that all children demand the right to flourish–is supported by bringing together students from urban and suburban communities in an educational community through a 90% scholarship program.  Upper Elementary III Director, Justin Tosco was also attracted and intrigued by this idea of justice and equality. After meeting with Oak City’s Development Director, Tosco presented the idea to collaborate in caroling in the community at local soup kitchens. Ultimately,The Montessori School of Raleigh (MSR) offered their holiday songs as a gift and initial engagement. MSR is an independent school designed in its every detail to create confident, self-motivated and prepared children. Currently, OCA has Primary to Lower Elementary classrooms with plans to add a grade level every year. MSR offers classes ranging from toddler to Middle School. The two schools are optimistic about a growing relationship and robust discussion in their Montessori community.

For more information on The Montessori School of Raleigh:www.msr.org. For more information on Oak City Academy: www.oakcityacademy.org.

Ashlee Wiley
Director of Development
Oak City Academy

www.oakcityacademy.org