Prepping Young Children for Happy Holidays

IMG_2425By Sharon Vanella, Head of Early School

The holidays are upon us. This season brings about many sensory experiences: beautiful sights with holiday lights; smells of evergreen, candles, and favorite foods cooking; sounds of favorite songs and music; and flavors of delicious traditional dishes! It is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time for young children.

Children in our Montessori Early School (ages 2-5) are taking in everything around them through their senses, and their young brains are creating neural-pathways constantly through these experiences. You may find your young child is somewhat more excitable or emotional than usual as they process all of this sensory input.

Here are some tips for helping children through this wonderful-crazy time of year:

  • Try to stick to family routines, bedtimes, and mealtimes during this season.
  • Prep your children ahead of time by letting them know what to expect when changes occur.
  • Involve your children in preparation for family celebrations.
  • Don’t “force” your child to hug family members if they are uncomfortable – it is important that they know their personal space is respected and honored.
  • Utilizing a calendar or sequence of photographs can help children understand what is coming ahead.

However your family celebrates the holidays, we wish you joy and peace!

Make Your Own Volcano!

volcanoBy Mandy Dillashaw, First Grade Teacher

Looking for something fun to do with your child over winter break? How about making a volcano! This exciting science experiment is easy to make and fun to do.

The volcano could be made out of clay (it will need to dry before you use it), a mound of dirt from outside, or any type of cup or container. If you use a cup or container, you could build up the clay around it to make it look more like a volcano! If you use a mound of dirt or clay for your volcano, place a plastic cup in the middle; old film containers also work great.

Here is a step-by-step guide to making an eruption! Continue reading “Make Your Own Volcano!”

Looking Toward the Future with The Hour of Code

By Jennifer Stoltz, Technology Integration Specialist


As parents, we are charged with the daunting task of teaching our children everything we know. But sometimes the world changes faster than we can keep up. We suddenly realize the skills we polished and honed growing up may not meet the needs of our 21st-century offspring. That can be both humbling and intimidating.

That’s why Charlotte Prep is once again joining in one of the largest learning events in history, The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (December 4-10). More than 100 million students worldwide have already tried an Hour of Code.

Continue reading “Looking Toward the Future with The Hour of Code”

PREPing for the Flu!

faculty - Long_Kelly+AE1004By Kelly Long, RN, School Nurse

Each year millions of people are diagnosed with Influenza and Charlotte Prep is no exception. I begin seeing diagnosed cases of the flu around October or November. And once it’s here, it doesn’t want to leave! Consider our population. Our very young students have difficulty understanding personal boundaries—and there it spreads. Our older students love to share screens and take selfies—and there it spreads. Then they come home to you—and there it spreads. Continue reading “PREPing for the Flu!”

Trust the Process

By Sharon Vanella, Head of Early School

As we near the break for Thanksgiving, I have been reflecting a great deal on the process that the children are undertaking as they grow during this exciting and wondrous age span from 2-6. The children are settled into their classrooms, which are vibrant with purpose and discovery. Everything the children are doing is a part of a continuum that ultimately leads to adulthood. This crucial time is an ideal span for a child to be in a Montessori environment, which allows him to explore with his whole being, using all his senses. Maria Montessori carefully observed and recorded children’s development, and created a sequence of materials and lessons which engage the child and allow her to practice, step by step, every detailed skill that she’ll need on her path through life: practical, social, and academic.

Continue reading “Trust the Process”

Admissions Open House on November 19

By Vicky Wilkison, Director of Admissions

If your family is considering an independent school for the future, now is the time to be visiting schools and preparing to apply. At Charlotte Prep, we look forward to partnering with new families and helping them to navigate the Admissions process. Being a close-knit, small community, we love getting to know our applicant families well and helping them determine if Charlotte Prep is the right fit.

A great first step is to attend an Open House. Our next event is scheduled for Tuesday, January 9, at 9:30 a.m. Here you will have an opportunity to meet our faculty and staff, visit with parents and students, and tour the campus. Our Student Ambassadors love to share their Charlotte Prep stories and will be happy to answer your questions and give you a sneak peek at how we nurture young leaders who are well-prepared to succeed in high school. Continue reading “Admissions Open House on November 19”

What Is Appropriate Parental Involvement With Homework?

homeworkBy Nicole Girvan, Head of Lower School

Study after study has shown that when parents get involved, kids do better in school. According to the National Education Association, kids with parents who are actively involved in their education earn higher grades, do better on standardized tests, and are more likely to be enrolled in advanced placement programs. Students whose parents are more involved also attend school more regularly, successfully pass more classes, have better social skills, and have a higher overall graduation rate. This is a remarkable set of benefits arising from one small thing: parents who get involved with their child’s education. Continue reading “What Is Appropriate Parental Involvement With Homework?”