Who is the Center For?
The Montessori Parent Child Center in Boston’s South end is a unique and special place. While you probably have heard of the esteemed Montessori teaching method before, the Montessori Parent Child Center is the first center in New England to offer classes that parents attend with their child. Also, this program caters only to families with younger children (two to 36 months old). Since research shows that the first three years of life are a period of incredible growth for children I knew I had to learn more about this program and apply. “Because the first Few Years of Life are Forever” is the program’s brilliant tag line.
What is it Like?
I have been attending the weekly 90 min classes with my toddler son since the fall. This Program has helped support many of my son’s growing skills including those of investigation and his solo gross motor coordination. Montessori teaches us the fine balance of standing back, but guiding the child when necessary. He is also learning the importance of delayed gratification (i.e. wait your turn and help get the snack table ready etc.) Which let’s be honest, these skills are difficult to teach a toddler. Imagine your toddler meticulously preparing his snack table complete with place settings for his classmates (filled with seasonal fruits and vegetables) and waiting patiently until the group says “Bon Appetit” to eat his meal? Sounds amazing, right?
Watch this video (scroll to 2:10 min) which I personally found very impressive. Ariane Le Carboulec, the founder and director of the Montessori Parent Child Center helps guide families in the class. Parents receive helpful tips throughout and receive weekly reading articles.
Ariane has also provided me with the guidance to bring certain aspects (i.e the ones that I am comfortable with) of the Montessori lifestyle into our home for our sons. In addition to her weekly Montessori classes she offers parent coaching and room organization sessions. While the Montessori book I read was very helpful, the combination of the classes and the book have helped to provide my family with a wonderful framework for our children. So if you think about it the class is a learning opportunity for children and their parents (i.e a 2 for 1 special!) The program is a commitment for families. Like any learning opportunity, you get what you put into it, therefore preparation, dedication and commitment to the program by parents is very important. Luckily all of this is an easy labor of love and a special bonding time for families. The program also offers potluck dinner discussions for parents where you can talk through topics such as toddler discipline (I have yet to make it to a dinner due to my hectic schedule but I have heard that they are wonderful!)
The application process involves a phone interview with the director, Ariane. She will tell you more about the program (so you can see if it is a fit) and get to know you. There is also a mandatory orientation for parents.
For more information on admissions and life at the center, email [email protected]