Monday, March 20, 2017

Creating the Montessori Environment

This is a post I have been meaning to write for a long time. As a second generation Montessorian and thirty year practitioner, I feel very strongly about the authenticity of a Montessori learning environment. Creating such environments for children has been my passion since the beginning of my career and an aspect of the practice that never gets old for me. This is the first of a series I plan to post here at The Children's House to inform and inspire those searching for ideas and methods for creating a space for children to explore and experience the joy of learning. It's a big task, I know, and my hope is to illicit help and wisdom from all the other Montessorians out there who have dedicated their time and energy to creating these environments in schools and at home. Please join in the conversation with me and share what you are passionate about--photos encouraged.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cooking in the Children's House--Jiao Zi

Here's what's cooking this week--
Ingredients                     50 dumplings                               


  1. To make the filling mix the pork with the soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Stir carefully, always in the same direction, to create a thick paste. Add the rice wine and oil. Mix in the same direction. Cover. Let rest 20 minutes.
  2. To prepare the cabbage, sprinkle with the remaining salt to help draw out the water. Add the ginger, scallion, and pepper and knead for at least 5 minutes into a thick paste. Combine with the filling.
  3. To make the dumplings, put about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each skin, holding the skin in the palm of one hand. Moisten the edges with water, then seal the edges with 2-3 pleats on each side and transfer to a lightly floured board.
  4. To cook the dumplings, bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large pan. Drop in about 20 dumplings at a time, stirring gently with a chopstick to prevent them sticking together. Cover, the return to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover and add a generous cup cold water. Return to a boil, then cover and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep hot while you cook the remaining jiaozi. Serve with dipping sauce.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Happy Chinese New Year of the Rooster!

We always feel so connected to the larger world when we celebrate the Lunar New Year at MCH. It has become a highly anticipated tradition for us and a bit of a rite of passage for the oldest students who lead the parade. At this year's celebration we listened to our teacher, Shana, play the erhu, sang Chinese songs and had a short presentation by the extended day students about the legend of the Chinese zodiac animals. We feel strongly about giving children a global experience through our unique world languages instruction. Participating in this holiday celebration gives our students yet another way to feel connected to places far a way from our little Minnesota town.
Happy Year of the Red Rooster!

Yes, our own MCH roosters got a special treat, too!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Third Year--Montessori Kindergarten

It's that time of year at MCH when parents of our second year students begin the decision making process for re-enrollment. We applaud and support them in this important process. It can seem like an overwhelming responsibility to choose the best class for your child. We hold a special meeting just for them at our school or online to offer guidance and explain which choice we feel is the best for our Montessori students. While not everyone can stay for the third year at our school, our hope is that those who can will do just that. It is a gift that will pay huge dividends in the child's outlook on learning. We feel so strongly about it that all of our scholarship money in the past has gone to making the third year choice an easy one for parents. As an authentic Montessori school, we are committed to the three year cycle in the classroom and to offering the best possible Montessori primary education to each child. We serve the Watcher (3 year old), the Worker (4 year old) and the Teacher (5 year old). It is both our mission and our pure delight.
Here are some of the videos we'll share at our information meetings: