Follow the Child: Navigating Gender Expression through Montessori Philosophy

“Following the child” is the epitome of Montessori education. As teachers, we observe students to understand and address their learning needs as individuals. Bear with me as I put on my parent hat. My home philosophy is akin to my classroom one—follow my children. It doesn’t mean giving them everything they want when they want it, but it does mean giving them freedom to explore who they are. Following my children has taken on a whole new meaning when it comes to clothing choices. Everyone knows that my son is the one wearing a dress. From an early age, he wanted to wear skirts. I have always been an advocate for breaking through gender stereotypes, so of course I was going to encourage him t

The Power of Choice in Childhood

Childhood is often portrayed as an idyllic time filled with carefree days and little to no worries, stress, or responsibilities. However, imagine a world in which you tend to have very little say in most aspects of your day to day life—your schedule and activities are determined for you, you are typically told what to wear and what to eat, and on top of that, how to behave! When you consider this perspective, it is no wonder that young children engage in power struggles—they are simply trying to gain some authority and autonomy over their existence. One simple way to support children in their quest for authority and autonomy is to give them choices. It is important to integrate the opportuni

6 Questions with NMS Art Specialist Vanessa Irzyk

Why do you teach at NMS? I teach at NMS because I have the freedom to teach and flow with what interests the students. If I were to teach in a public school, I might have to be “art on a cart” without much space or storage for materials, or I might be the first one cut if there were budget issues. Here at NMS, I am able to design a curriculum that is fun and challenging for the students. My goal is to introduce students to a wide range of media and artists. NMS values professional development, so I was able to attend an encaustic (wax painting) workshop—now I can share that medium with my 6th graders. How do you design your curriculum? I have a set curriculum for 1st–6th grade with some wigg

My Experience in Design Lab at NMS

Jack, an NMS 3rd grader, wrote this piece as part his journalism internship. Read more about the NMS internship program here. Jack with his internship supervisor, Mason Sand, Director of Enrollment Marketing at NMS. Newton Montessori School is a very good school and has a very interesting class called Design Lab. Design Lab is a class where the children do activities such as woodworking, sewing, cardboard building, and Lego robotics. The lessons are divided into units. The unit this article is about is the Lego robotics unit. The creation we first made was a robot named Mylo. The second build was a dragster. The third build was a cargo bot, and the last one was a helicopter. My personal favo

Montessori Students Learn about Peace, Unity, and Identity through Cosmic Education

The stars, earth, stones, life of all kinds form a whole in relation with each other, and so close is this relation that we cannot understand a stone without some understanding of the great sun! —Maria Montessori Understanding Cosmic Education Cosmic Education is a term that Maria Montessori used as a sort of umbrella for the cultural curriculum, which encompasses science, history, geography, and biology. The cultural curriculum is the backbone of Montessori education because it meets the intellectual needs of the child, connects content areas in a logical and meaningful way, and also prompts the child to consider his/her own cosmic task. Maria Montessori believed that Cosmic Education pro

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Wellan Montessori School

80 Crescent Avenue

Newton Centre, MA 02459

Phone: (617) 969-4488   

Fax: (617) 969-4430

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Wellan Montessori School is a non-profit school which admits students of every race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, or political beliefs to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the students of the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or political views.