Montessori Matters

November 30, 2018

Simply a Reminder

A Montessorian Takes a Quick Look at Holiday Gifting - by Karen Holt

Black Fridays, Small Business Saturdays, Cyber Mondays – what’s a parent to do? The rush is on, and when does it stop? Not until you drop... the day after Christmas when all the boxes and wrapping paper have been thrown away, the toys that had missing pieces have been trashed, and the stuffed animal that accidentally got chewed up by the pet dog got swallowed.

However, it is hard to break the expectation. Our children (mine did too) expect there to be a lot under the tree when they rush into the room on Christmas morning. How can we make a transition to a more ecologically, mentally, and spiritually sound holiday season when the hype seems to get worse every year?

Here are two favorite material suggestions for both boys and girls that do keep giving year after year:

  1. Wooden blocks – all shapes and sizes that can grow in complexity year after year (which also can be preserved to hand down to your children. Imagine your grandchildren still playing with the same set of blocks as their parents once did -- talk about a gift that keeps on giving!)
  2. Legos – Today, there are seemingly endless sets available.

The key for toys with many pieces is to do what Montessori teachers do in the classroom: find containers to house them and control the chaos.

While on the topic, in every Montessori home of young children there should be two or three bookshelves where toys can be rotated on and off to maintain interest and order. However, avoid toy boxes at all costs! It’s easy to simply toss toys into a box come pick-up time but this creates inherent disorder and a disregard for things in general.

And of course, don’t dismiss the gift of memories made at home. Just wait until your college-age children come home for the holidays. They will ask you to make their favorite meatloaf, play the same holiday music as they have year after year, sometimes even read their favorite holiday story – all of which are immaterial yet will be worth so much to them in the future.

Understanding that this Christmas may be a transition time from heavy reliance on material things – you can still simply wrap a box that contains tickets to the Peace Center, Biltmore House, or downtown ice skating. Boxes that contain a puzzle to be put together, a day hiking trip for the family on the Blue Ridge, a cooking day with Grandma. How about a whole-family visit to an animal shelter to help feed, exercise, clean cages, etc. (First prerequisite understood: no animals allowed to come home. Ha!)

Keep it simple; value the time spent together as a family and not the money spent that can haunt you come January.

Not my quote, though I wish I had said it: “Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.”

Dates to Remember

December 4- Elementary Parent Education Night

December 6 - Middle and High School Parent Education Night

December 6, 7 - Make-up Pictures and Reshoots

December 7 - Photo order forms due -- see note below for more information

December 18 - Winter Holiday Program

December 19 - Early Dismissal

December 20 - January 2 - Winter Break

Nurse's Notes

Brrrrrrrrr, winter weather is officially here. This is just a reminder that with the change of seasons, please remember to send appropriate winter weather clothing with your student to school. Montessori must follow strict guidelines on outdoor play during the winter months and it is crucial if your child is to participate in outdoor play that he/she has the needed hat, gloves, mittens and coat and closed toe shoes to make it a safe outdoor experience.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Wishing you and your family a healthy and blessed holiday season!

Susanna Merriman, RN


Trust begins with a warm handshake and a smile. Ms. Kirby greets a Primary 3 friend as she walks to the classroom to start her day.
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Hands-On Activities

Students in Toddler 1 practice hand-eye coordination and concentration using a variety of Montessori-style manipulatives.

Human Coordinate System

Middle school students study coordinate systems using human-sized coordinate planes.

Primary Book Character Day

Last month, Primary students dressed up as their favorite book character and brought their favorite book to show their friends. Unfortunately, rain prevented them from their annual parade through the school, but that didn't stop them from having fun showing off their outfits to their classmates!
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Lower Elementary Biography Presentations

Lower Elementary students researched a historical figure and presented them to their classmates. At the beginning of November, they dressed up as their figure and paraded through the campus for everyone to see!
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Thanksgiving Donations

The Middle School delivered all of the Thanksgiving donations that were collected throughout campus over the past few weeks to the Soup Kitchen and Clean Start. They were given tours and shown how the organizations will put the donations to use helping our community.
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Operation: Share the Warmth Tree

As the holiday season approaches, we look to the spirit of giving and service to others. Once again this year, MSA will be sponsoring the “Operation: Share the Warmth” Tree.

Here’s how the service project works. I will be placing a Christmas tree in the front office of the Montessori Administrative building during the Thanksgiving break. The Christmas tree will only have a ribbon on the top of tree and lights. Our students, families, MSA classrooms and clubs are asked to provide the decorations.

The decorations should consist of new mittens, gloves, socks and scarves. If you have gently used jackets, coats and shoes they will gladly be accepted. Some of you may remember how beautiful the tree looked last year, all decked out in warm clothing finery!!!

The tree will remain on campus until the December 19th when the school closes for the Winter Holiday. The items will then be donated a local charity organization, Anderson Interfaith Ministries. This project allows our Montessori students and families to provide the basic need of warmth to those who may not have the ability to stay warm during the cold winter months. Thank you in advance for your generosity!!!

Susanna Merriman, RN

Spring Benefit Pre-Sale

Make sure to mark your calendars for this year's Spring Benefit! The event will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 6:30-11 P.M. at the T. Ed Garrison Event Center. Pre-sale tickets are on sale now for $135 until December 21 after which they will be on sale for the full price of $150. Each MSA family may purchase one ticket at the pre-sale rate. Each ticket admits two guests to the event.
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Fall Photos

Fall photo proofs and order forms went home this week. As mentioned on the order form, the photos are also available online at this link. The online site may include additional shots of your child, and it does include additional ordering options for the proofs including alternative media options for prints (E-Surface, Metallic, and Black & White), canvas prints, aluminum prints, greeting cards, coffee mugs, coasters, keychains, puzzles, phone cases, cutout statuettes, and more. If you see anything you would like to purchase but prefer to place your order through MSA to avoid shipping costs, feel free to note what you would like to purchase on your order form or email Please be sure to specify which picture(s) you would like to purchase. The due date for paper order forms is Friday, December 7.

If you wish for your child's portrait to be retaken, Mr. Dabney will have his camera equipment available for reshoots on the mornings of Wednesday, December 5 and Thursday, December 6. Please email Mr. Dabney and your child's teacher(s) to schedule a date.

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Montessori School of Anderson

Our mission is to nurture the whole child, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, preparing students for academic excellence, lifelong learning and responsible, caring lives.