Purposeful Play

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By Sharon Vanella, Head of Early School

One of the most critical aspects of Montessori education is the relationship that this educational model has to child development, and really, to the neurology of the developing brain. Children are naturally inclined toward discovery and play. Beginning in infancy, babies delight in games like peek-a-boo, and once mobile, they begin reaching out to discover the world around them using all their senses. Picking up an object from nature or the space around them, children imagine the possibilities it contains by experimenting with it—banging on something, putting it in their mouth, and manipulating it in a variety of ways. These experiences begin to develop the neuro-pathways within their brains, thus initiating the process of learning.  

Montessori classrooms are sometimes criticized for being “too limiting”—not allowing for imaginative play. However, as Maria Montessori herself discovered, children gravitate toward realistic objects that allow them to explore their world with purposeful play. Make no mistake, there is imagination happening here, but at the same time, the children’s play is actually laying the groundwork for their future learning. Continue reading “Purposeful Play”

So Many Great Memories

By Sophia, Class of 2018

Courage. Dictionary.com says it “permits one to face extreme dangers and difficulties without fear.” Honestly, I don’t know if I agree with that. You see, very soon I, along with the rest of us in 8th grade, are going to have to make a change. We have all been here for a long time, some of us for our entire lives, and now we’re all going to high school, where we don’t know what will happen. We’re supposed to face this with courage and have no fear. Yet in all honesty—I am seriously terrified. Quaking in my boots. Thank you, but no thank you, I would rather just go crawl into a hole for the rest of eternity. This change absolutely terrifies me. I have made so many great memories at Charlotte Prep, and at first, I can’t say I looked forward to leaving. High school is a big deal, and I know just how many opportunities I will have to completely botch the entire thing. Then I think back and realize that I also had the chance to mess up at every turn during my years at Prep. If I made it this far, no sense in stopping now. Despite my fear, I know that without risk and change, you remain steady and safe, but nothing ever comes of it. Change brought me from my old school to Charlotte Prep, brought me to all my new friendships and experiences here, and I know that this change will bring me to even more exciting experiences and phenomenal times during high school. I wouldn’t have ever gained all the incredible memories I have at Prep if I didn’t take a risk and have the courage to try. So even though Dictionary.com says that for me to have courage I can’t feel afraid, I’m going to choose to accept my fear, and still have courage as I walk into High School next September ready for whatever comes next.