December 2017 News

Upcoming Dates
Dec. 18- Jan.1
No School/Winter Break
Jan. 5
January tuition due
Jan. 11
P.A.B. Meeting @ 6:30 p.m.
Camp Countryside enrollment begins

A MUST read…

The Authentic Child

What is the meaning of Authentic? Etymologically speaking, it is derived from the Greek root authentiko, which means “author”. The Authentic Child is a child who is allowed to develop or “author” himself.

According to Pia Melody (The Intimacy Factor: The Ground Rules for Overcoming the Obstacles to Truth, Respect, and Lasting Love. Harper Collins. 2004), there are five essential attributes of the Authentic Child. These attributes are deeply connected to the child’s inherent sense of self-worth.

Nascent reason (the inborn ability to recognize truth)
Appropriate immaturity (the ability to act one’s own age)
Exhuberant energy.

Maria Montessori became aware of the Authentic Child over 100 years ago. By careful observation, she found the intrinsic spiritual treasures that children own. As she designed her Montessori classrooms to meet the child’s developmental needs and interests, these spiritual treasures came to light, revealing to her the idea of the “Authentic Child”.

Montessori Education for Nurturing the Authentic Child: Development and Success

Traits of the Authentic Montessori Child
Joyful Learners
Internally Motivated

Children whose authenticity has been squelched by well-meaning but often hurried or stressed adults, display other traits such as being uncooperative, bossy, self-centered, insecure, disruptive, willful, withdrawn, externally motivated, and seeming to lack interest or concentration.

Unlocking the Secret of Childhood
Maria Montessori said “It is only the power of Love that can enable the adult to come close enough to the child to understand him. Love and humility will unlock for us “the secret of childhood.” (The Secret of Childhood. Ballentine Books. 1982) Montessori believed that we must nurture the true spirit of the child in order to unveil their true potential, thus leading to a more peaceful and prosperous world.


A very Happy Holidays to each of you, and your families, from all of us at CMP.
We are so happy to be a part of your, and your child’s lives!


CMP is happy and proud to announce, that as part of being a City of Madison child care provider, and through our accreditation process, we were awarded a $2300.00 grant that purchased new wood shelving for the classrooms, and 3 tablets and headphones for the morning and 4k/5k classrooms.


Rusty Dog
It is back…. by demand! CMP Fairtrade Coffee Blend by Rusty Dog. Please go to and click on group orders – password “group” and order away. CMP receives $3.50 a bag, PLUS a portion is donated to the Humane Society, and a portion to Fair Trade, we call that a win=win=win! We have worked out with Tom, that orders can be delivered straight to CMP for pick up! Pick up will be every other Thursday at CMP!


Seroogy’s Candy Bars

Starting Thursday, there will be 6 varieties of Seroogy’s candy bars for sale at Countryside.  Think holiday office gifts, stocking stuffers, or a treat for you!  The kids particularly like Shock Rock – they pop in your mouth!
If you’ve got a busy office, with lots of sweet tooths, consider “checking out” a variety box of candy bars and take them to your office to sell.  This chocolate is so good that, once people discover it, they will sell themselves!  Also, it will get your co-workers excited for our big, boxed candy Seroogy’s sale coming up!  See Debby for candy bar checkout.


Thank You!

* Daniela Rumpf for the front yard clean up around the signs
* Schmidt Family for haybales for the sledding hill
* Amy Holste for the 2017-18 phone directory preparation and delivery


Shop for Christmas and Support Countryside!
For anyone who didn’t get a chance to make it or didn’t get a chance to order while they were there, I’ve set-up a party link where they can shop online. I will donate 10% of the sales from orders entered here back to the school to support your wonderful work with children!  Here’s the link to shop the Montessori Mom’s Night Out event:

And don’t forget that with EACH $35 spent, you can choose TWO amazing specials. To get the special price, just add to cart and before submitting the order check the box for “discount this item”. Choose from the Mini Zipper Pouch at $5, Littles Carry-All Caddy at $5, Glamour Case at $10, Savvy Sleeve (padded laptop case) at $15 or Around Town Tote at $25 (normally a $78 item!).

I also have links set-up if people want to browse the catalog or holiday gift items.


25th Anniversary Gala
Countryside will be celebrating 25 years in 2018!  Get ready to celebrate with us! Plans are still being made (let Patty or Debby know if you’re interested in helping out), but be ready for a night out this Spring.  All current families and alumni will be invited.

November 2017 Newsletter

Upcoming Dates
October 31- Classroom Halloween Celebrations
(see classroom notes please)
Nov. 3- Tuition Due
Nov. 9- P.A.B. Meeting 6:30pm
Nov. 22-24- No School
Happy Thanksgiving!
Dec. 1- Tuition Due (5 weeks)
Dec. 1- Mom’s Night Out
6:30 p.m. @ CMP

Administration Notes

Our Fed. Tax ID# – 39-17-53172
If you need a tuition receipt, please leave a note with your tuition, for Debby.

Thank you for not leaving cars running in the parking lot and always holding the hands of your children.

You can prepay your tuition ahead of time- please leave a note when doing so, and thank you for doing it according to your invoice.

Please call any absences into: 244-5433.

CMP Illness Policy

Thank you for keeping ill children home, until they are well enough to participate 100% at school.  If your child requires cold meds, it is a good indicator to keep them home to prevent exposure to others, and get them on a healthy track.  Children need to stay home the following 24 hours after a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Runny noses, and persistent coughs make it difficult to enjoy school, please try and keep kiddos home when that nose or cough won’t quit. We thank everyone in advance in helping keep CMP a healthy safe place to learn!


Brrr… it’s coming!!

Yes, the colder temps and severe weather is at our doorsteps.  Please be sure to send your child with warm outdoor clothing, as we go outside each day.  Slippers are encouraged (or inside slip on shoes) to keep at school.  We discourage gloves unless your child is able to put them on by themselves.  TIP:  Begin practicing putting on snowpants, and boots when you can at home.  Also, don’t forget to check extra clothes boxes for warm weather clothing; pants, socks, long sleeves, etc. and -as always- label, label, label 🙂


Fundraising Update

Thank you for all the support of the many, many fundraisers at CMP this fall.  We know, it’s a lot, and appreciate all you’ve done to raise the funds for the driveways.  Please note that “in kind” donations are still accepted and can be made via check – please note the purpose so that a receipt and thank you can be sent your way.

Bucky Books – $660.00
Seroogy’s – $128.00
(still some more available to purchase if you like!)
Little Lamb’s Cookies – $900.00
Life Touch Portraits- the number is still coming in.

There is a wonderful catalog going home in your child’s mailbox that contains some great gift ideas for your Montessori preschooler and siblings.  MONTESSORI SERVICES.  CMP does not receive “funds” from this, but rather, teachers receive credit to use towards materials.  We offer this as a tool for you, as parents, in providing some great ideas for home and to share with relatives, etc.  Please use the code on the back so that CMP gets the credit.


If you are interested in helping put the gardens/ flower pots to bed, and doing some pruning to the area around the sign in the front – we would love it!  Jen Barry (Keon) and Daniela Rumpf (Fritz), will be at work, but would always welcome a hand.  Let’s get ahead of the weather and clean them out and cut them down.  Thank you!


Wish List

*Hay Bales – for our, soon to be, sledding hill
*small push brooms – for the playground
*Reams of Copy Paper
*Tissue Boxes
*Keurig Pods (for teachers)



Please be sure to look over and read about CMP and 4k, 5K.  If you have questions, see your child’s directress or an administrator.

Some things to consider while making that “What to do for my 4 year old child next year?” decision…

Imagine the child’s education as a house– the first year builds a solid foundation, and the second and third years erect the walls and, finally, the roof to top it off. The foundation is still useful on its own, but the house becomes a home, and much more significant, if one is allowed to build it to completion.

The Montessori materials give the child concrete sensorial impressions of abstract concepts, such as long division, that become the foundation for a lifetime of understanding.

Montessori gives children a foundation for abstract understanding, but the process is anything but complete as they begin kindergarten. Two-, three-, and four-year-olds absorb impressions from the world around them like sponges. Their learning is generally unconscious.

The Montessori primary program is designed as a three-year cycle.  Much of the material and exercises in the first year or two not only help the child achieve a direct, immediate goal (such as dressing and cleaning up after themselves, or learning the sounds of each letter of the alphabet), but also serve an indirect purpose of laying the foundation for future work and learning.  For example, the math material is a series of exercises that guides the child, starting with the most concrete and basic introduction to numbers and quantity.  Over the following three years the lessons build upon themselves, adding layers of abstractness and an increasing understanding of mathematical concepts, until the child is eventually able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide — with a deeply ingrained understanding of what those operations mean — using only pencil, paper, and his or her head.

Montessori for your FOUR YEAR OLD-

Important Facts

  • Staying at Countryside Montessori Preschool, your child will receive the same high quality education that they have been receiving the previous year(s).
  • Your child will likely have the same teachers as they have had, maintaining communication, consistency, security and, therefore, reaching goals quicker, without adjusting and transitioning time.
  • The Montessori Program and Schooling offered at Countryside Montessori Preschool for your four year old EXCEEDS all other programs academically, socially and emotionally.
  • Your child WILL be ready for their kindergarten year after completing their “four year old” year at CMP.
  • Your child CAN attend only half days and still achieve all standards (and then some and more) that are also offered in 4k public programs.  This year will excel your child past others in traditional programs.
  • Yes, your child can stay for extended day after 12:15 if you desire or need this time- BUT it is NOT required, nor will it impede on your child’s learning.
  • We, at CMP, support you through this decision making time.  As it is important for us, as a school, to secure all spots for the coming school year, we want to assure you that we will work with you to be sure your child has the desired spot at CMP, giving appropriate time for you to feel secure and confident with your decision.

“The child seeks for independence by means of work; an independence of body and mind. Little he cares about the knowledge of others; he wants to acquire a knowledge of his own, to have experience of the world, and to perceive it by his own unaided efforts.”
Dr. Maria Montessori


Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving Season!  Here, at CMP, we are so thankful for each and every one of you and the opportunity to be a part of your life, and share in the joy of learning and growing.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Patty, Alysia, Anna, Cory, Destinee, Grace, Debby, Kaitlyn, and Maestro Luis

October 2017 Newsletter

Upcoming Dates
October 3 – Picture Day
October 6 – Tuition Due
(4 weeks)
October 12- Pumpkin Patch
October 13- No School/
Teacher Inservice
October 19- Cookie Orders Due
October 31- Classroom Halloween Celebrations
(see classroom notes please)

Pumpkin Patch~ Eugster’s Farm
Pumpkin Patch slips and the $12.00 fee are due 10/5/17, in a separate check and envelope from tuition.
We will plan to leave from school around 9:00. All students and teachers will ride on a Rite Way School Bus.
Those parents/chaperones attending need to drive separately and meet us there. Please send children in appropriate outdoor, walking clothing. We plan to eat at the farm, so “bag” lunches & beverages are requested. (No heat ups, etc. please) Each child will bring home a pumpkin. Please be sure to take it home the day of the trip.
At the request of the Farm this year, they are asking all chaperones to refrain from any phone use, and from staying after the school trip commences, due to booked events following. They do welcome all in the coming weekends!

Teacher Inservice
Friday 10/13, school is closed for teachers to do site observations and studies and other programs, meet as teams, complete classroom/environment projects and prepare for upcoming Parent/Teacher Conferences. We thank you, ahead of time, for your continued support to our commitment to continuing education and bettering ourselves as your children’s educators and care providers.

Remember to “Like” Countryside Montessori Preschool on Facebook, AND ask to join Countryside Families also on Facebook to get connected!

Last Bucky Book Reminder!
Just $35.00, and full of great deals. Makes a great gift as well. Makes $15.00 a book to CMP’s driveway fund!
Available until 10/17/17!

Thank you!
Jenn Barry & Laura Jasiczek-for organizing and kicking off the first Parent Social and Drumlin Ridge Winery
Erica Smith-donation of playground chalk
Josh Schmidt-volunteering to do the pick ups of the Bucky Books
Jenn Barry & Sara Key-Picture Day helpers

Student Teachers
We are welcoming a student teacher in each classroom in the mornings this semester from Madison College. Please welcome and support them.
Not sure who they are? Just ask one of your child’s classroom teachers.

Remember to dress your child for success each day
NOTE: Suspenders, belts, and hard to fasten pants are hard for children.
We thank you for keeping shoes (and soon boots) simple and child friendly for at school. We will work on tying and lacing in the classroom, but try to avoid undesired stress in the coatroom. Thanks for your help on this!

Speaking of clothing… now is the time to prepare for the colder days ahead…
Check your child’s extra clothes box, check for warmer outdoor gear. Note: Mittens are best, rather than gloves, snow pants that are “bibs”, pull on boots (no laces, no liners please), and absolutely no scarves, neck warmers…Have slippers yet? They make a great gift idea for relatives too! Plan to leave a pair at school to avoid forgetting.

Illness Policy
If a child has any signs of fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or contagious disease (pink eye, strep, etc..)they need to stay home 24 hours/until the symptoms are no longer present.

If your child is sent home from school, they are to stay home the following day, for the full day.

If a child is not well enough to participate in every day activities, outside times, etc, then they should remain home.

We appreciate your co-operation and support in keeping your child and school a healthy environment.

“The child can develop fully by means of experience in his environment. We call such experiences ‘work’.”
~ Maria Montessori

September 2017 Newsletter

Upcoming Dates

Sept. 14
1st Parent Advisory Board (PAB) Meeting 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 19
New Parent Orientation
7-8:30 p.m. (no children please)
Sept. 21
All School Pizza Social/ Bubble Music Man
5:30 p.m. (no rain date)
Sept. 29
Parent’s Night Out
@ Drumlin Ridge Winery
(watch FB page and whiteboards in classrooms
for details)
Oct. 6
October tuition due

Welcome to new school year, officially!  We are off to a great start, and are thrilled you have chosen Countryside Montessori to be your partner in preparing your child for year of learning, exploration, fun, and growth.


* Please sign your child in, and out, each day with the time, and your initials.  Children may NOT sign or write on the attendance.
* Thank you for being observant and respectful of the pick up times.  We ask that you arrive 5-10 minutes before picking up to ensure
a timely pick up.
* Please do not use cell phones on the playgrounds, or coatrooms.
* Don’t forget to read the boards in the coatrooms, and clean out your child’s mailbox daily.
* Thank you for turning in your enrollment forms, address sheets, and emergency card (if needed updating, or new)

Driveway/Fundraising Update

It is so wonderful to have the new driveways and parking lots completed.  What a difference it will make each day, especially in the winter months.
We completed only one quarter of the goal, so we still have a ways to go!  Please note the “change” boxes in each of the coatrooms.  This is a great way to get your child involved, and can even be a fun transition into school some days.  Please look for other fundraisers that are happening in the coming months.  Note, that we don’t usually have so much fundraising activity, but we are serious in getting the rest of the funds raised.  Thank you for your continued support, none of this is possible without all of the amazing families of the past and present of CMP!

Pizza Social

A great way to kick off the school year, meet other parents, and say hi to some teachers.  Pizza is provided by the school, bring your own drinks, and a dish to pass. (a note will be coming out soon)  Bubble Music Man returns again for some wonderful entertainment for all.  This is an outdoor event, no rain date.

Volunteering at CMP

Hello! My name is Amy Holste and I am parent to Ezra (6), Ivy (3) and Violet (1). We are returning this school year with our daughter, Ivy on the middle floor! I am really excited to be serving on the Parent Advisory Board as Secretary and helping coordinate volunteers.

The yellow “Be a part of your child’s school”  form you received in the school paperwork packet is a great way to start this process. If you haven’t turned it in yet, or could use another copy, your child’s teacher has more. The sooner we hear from you and learn how you would like to be involved, the better we can form our team of strong parent helpers! You can expect to see volunteer communications via email, Facebook family group, classroom/coatroom sign ups, mailbox notes, and in the monthly newsletters.

Our school calendar has a number of fun social events and fundraisers all of which could use helpers. Some of these opportunities include Mom’s Night Out, Dad’s Night Out, Parent’s Night Out, Pancake Breakfast & Sledding Party, and a Gala celebrating CMP’s 25th Anniversary, Coffee and chocolate fundraisers, Scoopie Night at Culver’s, silent auction donation/solicitation. We also have needs through out the year for monetary donations and building and grounds upkeep jobs.

No matter the job that suits you best you can be confident doing it will be extremely appreciated and build a stronger CMP community! I really look forward to getting to know each of you and want to share one of my favorite quotes as a call to action “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” Helen Keller.

CMP Families Facebook Page

If you have not yet joined the CMP families Facebook page, please do so! It is a great way to get updateds on what’s going on at Countryside, for families to communicate, and inform others about other fun activities happening in the community!  Search Facebook for “Countryside Montessori Preschool Families” and join today.


We are in need of an individual(s) to clean out, trim up and spruce up the front areas by the street (around the sign, etc…)
We will also need volunteers to clean out the vegetable gardens in the later fall.  Please see a teacher if you are interested.
Note-this can be used towards your fundraising commitment if you’d like.

Bucky Books

Get this wonderful book, full of savings from CMP for $35.00 and CMP can earn up to $15.00 per book sold.  They make great gifts, thank you’s, and most often, pay for themselves pretty quickly.  Let a teacher know if you need more.  Checks can be made to CMP Fundraising.


5 Tips to Raising an Independent Preschooler

Fostering independence in your child should start at a young age
by Tina Santiago-Rodriguez . May 26, 2015

“Mama, can you get my toy for me?”

“Help me with my shoes, please!”

“I need some water, Yaya. Can you get me some?”

If you’re a parent of a preschooler, the abovementioned phrases could be just a few of the many “requests for help” that you hear from your child on a daily basis.

Of course, being the attentive and caring parents that we are, we often do whatever we can to help our children, counting it as part of what it means to “dote on” them.

Experts, however, discourage overdoing it and actually advise parents to begin fostering independence in their children from a young age.

In fact, renowned educator and physician Maria Montessori, who is famous for the Montessori method of education, once said, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” This is why Montessori educators set up their classrooms to help make children independent, and be able to do things for themselves.

Montessori preschool teacher and mother of one Mars Medina encourages parents to teach their children independence through her blog, She cites how Maria Montessori observed and theorized that independence is considered as a natural progression in children.

As a teacher, Mars says she easily observes this in the classroom as well. “We would often hear a child say, ‘Let me do it myself,’ or would often see a child insist on doing something on his own,” she shares.

“As such, fostering independence in preschool, through activities, language, mindset and environment, is only us responding to the child’s natural yearning and sensitivity to be independent,” she adds, “to create the man that he will become, in a setting that allows for the child’s safety, happiness, confidence, and success.”

Teach your preschooler to be independent
Helping your child learn to be independent is one of our important tasks as parents.

Michele S. Alignay, a psychologist and registered guidance counselor (RGC), encourages parents to remember that “the preschool stage is the best training time for later skills and tasks of kids.”

“Independence should be set [early on], as they will go to school and grow up encountering more difficult life tasks — and parents won’t always be there to do it for them!” Alignay emphasizes.

Meanwhile, Ma. Rowena J. Matti, educator and CEO of Galileo Enrichment Learning Program, Inc., says it is important to foster independence in preschoolers because “at this early age they should know that they are capable of doing things on their own.”

How to teach independence to your child
There are numerous things that parents can do every day to foster independence in their kids. Here are five of them:

1. Prepare their environment.
Maita Ladrido, an educational psychologist at Assumption College, advises parents to create “safe environments where it’s okay for kids to create, make mistakes and get messy.”

Doing so is one way to encourage independence, while keeping your “sanity” as a parent.

On a practical level, this could mean giving your child easy access to things like his or her clothes/shoes, toys, eating utensils and cups.

It can also mean allocating a specific place for them to play, read and do other things, and specific containers or spaces for keeping their toys and books (for easier packing away after play).

Drawing from her Montessori background, Mars suggests making the things kids need for independence “appropriate, available and accessible.”

“For example, in the classroom, we have small brooms and dustpans for sweeping, which are color-coded so the child knows which is for the floor and which is for cleaning the shelves/table,” Mars shares.

“On low shelves, we have small glass pitchers for pouring their own drinking water and other things they need to prepare their own snacks,” she adds.

  1. Assign chores.
    Aside from being an educator, Matti is an experienced mom herself to Bea and Celina, who are now teenagers. Her top tip for teaching independence to kids? Let them do chores (yes, even if you have household help).

    “Assign preschoolers simple household chores that you know they can do, like asking them to bring their plates to the kitchen sink after eating,” she expounds.

    “It must be something that the child sees adults do. He must feel that he is helping.”

  2. Praise the child’s efforts. 
    In addition to #2, Matti encourages parents to praise their children for accomplishing their tasks.

    “He will want to help more [when you do so],” she explains. “He will want to do more! Then eventually you can give the child harder tasks.”

  3. Let them do “self-care” tasks on their own.
    Mariel Uyquiengco, a U.S.-licensed Kindermusik educator, and co-owner of The Learning Basket, shares one of the things she’s been doing to raise independent kids: allowing them to do simple “self-care” tasks alone.

    Specifically, Mariel lets her two kids bathe themselves and dress themselves from an early age, among other things. She speaks about this in her workshops for parents too.

    “Kids should be encouraged to put on their own shoes as soon as they show interest, even if it seems like it takes forever for them to do so,” she adds.

    “Even toddlers can do it, too — and the look of pride and accomplishment you’ll see on their faces will be priceless!”

    5. Model everything.
    Mars says parents should never forget the importance of modeling, especially the tasks that we want our kids to complete independently.

    “Model first — or, in Montessori-speak, “make a presentation” — of how something can be done,” she explains. “This way, you are able to communicate the task step-by-step .”

“Another famous phrase we use is ‘Freedom within limits’,” Mars continues. This means that while children are free and encouraged to be independent, doing presentations or modeling the expected behavior helps set responsible limits while ensuring the success of the child.

Don’t give up
Teaching our kids to be independent can be difficult at first, but we should not let our challenges stop us from doing so because the fruits of our “labor” will be totally worth it. Whenever we feel like giving up though, let us remember this quote found in the American childcare column “Ask Ann Landers”:

“It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”


May 2017 Newsletter

Upcoming Dates

May 11  
PAB Meeting 6:30 p.m. @ CMP
May 11,12,13
Garage Sale
Happy Mother’s Day!
May 21
CMP Dine-out  Fundraiser @ Benevenuto’s
May 26
Tuition Due (2 weeks)
May 29
Memorial Day (no school)
June 1
End of the Year Picnic (BYOPicnic) 5:30 p.m. @ CMP No rain date
June 7
Last Day of School
Session I Camp tuition due
June 12
Session I
Camp Countryside Begins!

Dine-out Sunday, May 21st @ Benvenuto’s

On Sunday, May 21st, there will be a dine-out for Countryside at Benvenuto’s.  On that day, for any food, drink or gift certificates you buy, Countryside will get 20% of the profit.  This is another fundraiser for the driveway. Help us keep raising the temperature on those thermometers!  Watch your child’s classroomsfor posters and your their cubby for a flyer.

CMP Playgrounds & Gardens

We need help… (This is in “place” of the Parent Work Day)
*  Rotatill sandboxes and all vegetable gardens
*  Vegetables to plant
*  Paint the bottom white trim of the school house
*  2 hanging baskets
*  Annuals-  spikes, red geraniums, etc…
*  Arbor Vitae  (this is a great way to end the year as “in honor” of your student! )

End of the Year Picnic

Bring your own dinner/picnic and join other families and CMP friends outside on the back playground to celebrate the school year winding down.  Don’t forget a blanket to sit on too! 5:30 p.m. Thursday June 1st (no rain date)

Drive the Driveway

Change jars are being placed in the classroom coatrooms. It’s a fun way to get the students involved in collecting for the cause!  Thanks again to Matt Kemp for cleaning up the driveway!  BTW- Have a crow bar and some muscles?  We need the median/parking blocks moved back….


Packets will be out soon containing tuition invoices, checklists, and introduction letters.


CMP is almost full for the coming year.  If you have not turned in your Letter of Intent, $100.00 material fee, and 1st week tuition deposit, your spot is no longer secured.  Please be sure to do so right away.


Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Kids
by Sarah Rudell Beach (for original article w/links – go here)

We know mindfulness is good for us. Mindfulness allows us to be present in our parenting, choosing the skillful response instead of succumbing to our visceral reactions.
Mindfulness is also good for our kids. There is an emerging body of research that indicates that mindfulness can help our children improve their abilities to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset, and to make better decisions. In short, it helps with emotional regulation and cognitive focus. Do I even need to ask if you want that for your kids?
So where do we start? How can we teach these important skills to our children?

First things first…
Establish your own practice. You would have trouble teaching your children ballet if you had never danced. To authentically teach mindfulness to your children, you need to practice it yourself. You can read my guide to establishing a meditation practice here, or my popular post 40 Ways to Bring Mindfulness to Your Days here for some ideas to get started. Don’t let this step intimidate you — you’re probably practicing a lot of mindful habits already!
Check your expectations. A core principle of mindfulness is letting go of expectations, and this certainly applies to teaching mindfulness to kids. Are you expecting mindfulness to eliminate tantrums? to make your active child calm? to make your house quiet? If so, you are likely to be disappointed. While feeling calm or being quiet are nice side-effects of mindfulness, they are not the ultimate purpose.
The purpose of teaching mindfulness to our children is to give them skills to develop their awareness of their inner and outer experiences, to recognize their thoughts as “just thoughts,” to understand how emotions manifest in their bodies, to recognize when their attention has wandered, and to provide tools for impulse control. It is not a panacea, and it will not completely get rid of what is, frankly, normal kid behavior, like tantrums and loudness and whining and exuberance and arguing…
Don’t force it. If your kids aren’t interested in your lesson or activity, drop it. This is a good time for you to practice non-attachment to outcomes!
Don’t make mindfulness a punishment. This shouldn’t be, “You hit your sister! Go sit in the mindful corner!” ’nuff said.
Now that we’ve got the preliminaries out of the way, here are my suggestions for how you can begin to introduce mindfulness to your children.

10 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Kids

1. Keep it simple. With older kids, you can share the widely-used definition from Jon Kabat-Zinn.  But those are a lot of big words for little kids. I prefer to use the words awareness or noticing with my children {ages 5 and 7, for reference}. Mindfulness is noticing our thoughts, what our body feels like, what our ears are hearing, and anything else that is around us and happening right now.

2. Listen to the bell. An easy way for children to practice mindfulness is to focus on paying attention to what they can hear. I’ve used a singing bowl, for this exercise, but you could use a bell, a set of chimes, or a phone app that has sounds on it. Tell your children that you will make the sound, and they should listen carefully until they can no longer hear the sound (which is usually 30 seconds to a minute). I find that this exercise does have a calming effect on my children, and it’s a fun way to teach them to pay attention to their surroundings.

3. Create a mindful bedtime ritual. Bedtime is a great time to introduce mindfulness to kids. My daughter loves to do a short body-scan meditation before bed — she closes her eyes, and I tell her to bring her attention to her toes, to her feet, to her legs, etc. It is a calming way to return to the body at the end of the day. You can find several downloadable meditation scripts (including body scans).

4. Practice with a breathing buddy. For young children, an instruction to simply “pay attention to the breath” can be hard to follow. In an Edutopia video, Daniel Goleman describes a 2nd-grade classroom that does a “breathing buddy” exercise: each student grabs a stuffed animal, and then lies down on their back with their buddy on their belly. They focus their attention on the rise and fall of the stuffed animal as they breathe in and out. {You should definitely check out the video — it’s less than 2 minutes and explains the exercise and all the good stuff that it teaches kids!}

5. Make your walks mindful. One of my children’s favorite things to do in the summer is a “noticing walk.” We stroll through our neighborhood and notice things we haven’t seen before. We’ll designate one minute of the walk where we are completely silent and simply pay attention to all the sounds we can hear — frogs, woodpeckers, a lawnmower. We don’t even call it “mindfulness,” but that’s what it is.

6. Establish a gratitude practice. I believe gratitude is a fundamental component of mindfulness, teaching our children to appreciate the abundance in their lives, as opposed to focusing on all the toys and goodies that they crave. This post describes my family’s nightly gratitude practice — each night at dinner we each share one thing we are thankful for. It is one of my favorite parts of the day.

7. Try the SpiderMan meditation! My five-year-old son is in to all things superheroes, and the SpiderMan meditation is right up his alley. This meditation from Kids Relaxation teaches children to activate their “spidey-senses” and their ability to focus on all they can smell, taste, and hear in the present moment. Such a clever idea!

8. Meditate with your children. I cannot even tell you how many times my meditation sessions have been interrupted by my children. They know by now what mommy is doing when she meditates, so I will try to continue with my meditation even as they play around me. Sometimes, my daughter will sit down and join me for a few minutes. It’s beautiful.

9. Check your personal weather report. In Sitting Still Like a Frog, Eline Snel encourages children to “summon the weather report that best describes [their] feelings at the moment.” Sunny, rainy, stormy, calm, windy, tsunami? This activity allows children to observe their present state without overly identifying with their emotions. They can’t change the weather outside, and we can’t change our emotions or feelings either. All we can change is how we relate to them. As Snel describes it, children can recognize, “I am not the downpour, but I notice that it is raining; I am not a scaredy-cat, but I realize that sometimes I have this big scared feeling somewhere near my throat.”

10. Practice mindful eating. The exercise of mindfully eating a raisin or a piece of chocolate is a staple of mindfulness education, and is a great activity for kids. You can find a script for a 7-minute mindful eating exercise for children. This is a fun way to teach children to pay attention to and savor their food, and by extension, the present moment.

Above all, remember to have fun and keep it simple. You can provide your children with many opportunities to add helpful practices to their toolkit — some of them will work for them and some won’t. But it’s fun to experiment!  Teach mindfulness to your kids — it can help them develop emotional regulation and cognitive focus.

April 2017 Newsletter

Upcoming Dates

April 28th
May tuition due (4 weeks)
May 11th 
P.A.B. Meeting @ 6:30 p.m.

Welcome Back to Ms. Kaitlyn!

Kaitlyn returned back to
the middle classroom on Monday 3/27.
Ms. Grace is expected to be back in the upstairs
class on Tuesday April 18th.
Seroogy’s Update

We raised $1132.50 with Seroogy’s sales.  Thanks to all who participated!

It Takes A Village…

*We are looking for some volunteers to spearhead
the Vegetable Gardens at CMP.  There are 2, on both sides of the stage.  If anyone is interested, please see a teacher, or leave a note in the log book.
*We are also looking for some “stepping stones”
(log circles), seeds, and plantings for the gardens.*Would you like to adopt a “whiskey barrel”?  Generally,
parents/grandparents adopt a barrel and take over
donating and planting a couple spikes, geraniums, and
fillers.  There are 4 barrels.


Letters of Intent are Due, as are the 1st week tuition payments.

March 2017 News

Upcoming DatesMarch 9 & 10
Teacher Inservice (No School)
Parent/Teacher Conferences
March 16
PAB Meeting
6:30 p.m. @ CMP
March 31
Tuition Due

Important Calendar Note: Classes return from Spring Break on April 18th.
(school calendar is incorrect, it says 4/16/17)


Friday, APRIL 28th

Parents NIGHT OUT!
@ ALT Brewing.
Dear Parents,Over the years social media has became part of all our daily lives. Yet, it is fairly new to the parenting world. Yes, there are studies done and currently being done, but now we need to add the years to these studies.
We still don’t quite know what the actual long term outcomes will be. What we do know is everyone needs awareness, education and, most important, balance. I am as addicted to social media as the next person. Recently, I ran across this article that helped me look at my smart phone (as well as other social media that I use) and the effect it may have on children in another light. It gave me some education and awareness but, mostly, it gave me the presence, balance and foresight on something in parenting that one can do for their child to create a positive outcome. It is a one-page short read-powerful!

Ms. Patty

Your Smartphone or Your Life
by P. Donohue Shortridge, MA

On a crisp Saturday morning at a Denver farmers’ market, the smell of roasted chilies hangs in the air.  A wiggly 10-year-old girl waits in line at the burrito vendor’s cart, arm linked with her dad’s.  All skinny jeans, sweatshirt, and braces, she sways to the nearby music of a guitar and mandolin duo.
Food in hand, daughter and dad sit across from each other at a small cafe table.  She looks adoringly at him as she’s about to take her first bite.  In that golden moment, dad slips his phone out of his pocket. Her eyes pivot instantly to that thing, that mortal enemy that will once again rob her of her dad. Engrossed in his phone, he does not notice as his daughter draws back from the table, her eyes glaze over, and she looks distractedly at the moving crowd, accepting her not-unfamiliar plight:  At any moment, her dad may abandon her for his phone, exiting this intimate father-daughter space and going elsewhere.
This true story is one of many:  Anecdotally, parents use mobile devices in front of their children all the time.  Children have become used to their precious parent time being interrupted, without apology or permission, by their parents’ exiting at will to attend to their electronic life.  The device’s ubiquitous presence at the dinner table, on the nature walk, and during drive time and downtime signals to sons and daughters that they must compete with these inanimate objects for their parents’ attention or simply resign themselves to the shared attention.  Some act out, thinking negative attention is better than no attention.  Others adapt and imitate their parents’ behavior, begging for a mobile device of their own.  New research from Common Sense Media found that “almost twice as many children have used mobile media compared to two years ago and the average time children spent using mobile devices has tripled” (2013, p. 9).
Distracted parents model that it is acceptable not to be present when you spend time with your loved ones.  Children quickly learn that attending to a mobile device is an approved value.
But how do children really feel about their parents’ use of mobile devices in their presence?  In her book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, Sherry Turkle recounts one boy’s lament that he could understand it better when his dad worked at his desk computer than when he sat next to him with his mobile device in hand, physically there but not fully present.  Says Turkle, “Children have always competed for their parents’ attention…with parents being off with work, friends, or each other.  Today, children contend with parents who are physically close, tantalizingly so, but mentally elsewhere.”  (2011, p. 267).
Our children need and deserve our full attention when are with them.  So what’s a parent to do?

  •      Keep your smartphone out of sight when you’re with your children.  Better yet, turn it off and put it in another room.  If you do need to use it, excuse yourself and take the call elsewhere.  Make it short, come back quickly, and apologize for the interruption-because that’s what it is, an interruption of your in-the-moment life with your child.  The same goes for checking or sending voicemail, email or text message.
  • If you’re going to look something up on your device when with your children, ask their permission before doing so.  This is a good habit to get into whenever you are with another person.
  • Vow to break the habit of fooling yourself that your electronic gadget use when with your children is not a distraction. It is.  And it cuts deep.
Seroogy’s Chocolate
Seroogy’s Chocolate orders are due on March 24th. Please get out there and sell and buy some stuff for your kiddos’ (or nieces or nephews) Easter baskets, too!  All proceeds go toward the driveway fund.  We appreciate your support!
______________________________________________Join other CMP families in connecting on Facebook
There is a CMP site for this-Countryside Montessori Preschool Families.  Please go to it and request to be accepted.  It’s a great place for information and fun.

Have we told you?
Countryside was founded in 1993.  Since 1993, CMP has been a high quality early childhood program on the Northeast side.  Acquiring a 5-star rating, and many accolades from both the City and the State, it has been a desired school for many families for 20+ years! We are blessed to have you and your children!  Thank you!  We appreciate you and your commitment to your child and their most important start in life. The years of 3-6 are the building blocks and foundation for the years to come in their life.  Dr. Montessori was committed to the young child’s curiosity for learning and desire for consistency and security. We value your relationship with your child and to each teacher. Thank you for the ways you support CMP!  Whether it be through volunteering to fix something, donate materials, a little thank you note in the log book, bring in meals for staff dinners, or donate time on boards and committees-it means SO MUCH!

Check List
* sign in each day
* clean out cubbies/mailboxes
(thanks for the help on housekeeping!)
* hold hands in the parking lot, please
* Camp sign-up
* Letter of Intent
* visit, and please SHARE!
* SMILE-you are doing a great job!

“It is spring again.
The earth is like a child
that knows poems by heart.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke

February 2017 News

Upcoming Dates

February 14 – Classroom Valentine Celebrations (see teacher notes)
March 3 –  Tuition Due
March 9 & 10 –  No School (Teacher Inservice)
March 16 –  PAB Meeting @ 6:30 p.m.
Important Calendar Note: Classes return from Spring Break on April 18th.
(school calendar is incorrect, it says 4/16/17)

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Check your classroom newsletter for classroom Valentine’s celebrations.

Chocolate Fundraiser Kick Off

Look for a great little fundraiser coming your way! Seroogy’s chocolates will be available for adults to taste in the coatrooms, starting on Valentine’s Day, and order forms will be sent out via mailboxes, shortly thereafter.  Fundraising will continue through March 24th. You’ll need to get Easter candy, anyways. Why not buy it from a delicious, local chocolate maker, while supporting your school?! Then, encourage others to do the same! All proceeds go to our “Drive the Funds for A New Driveway” campaign!  We appreciate your help and support!

Drive the Funds for a new Driveway…Go Fund Me

As you have noticed, rather “driven”, CMP is in desperate need of new driveways and parking lots.  With the costs of
new A/C and Furnaces clearing out savings, we are looking for help.  This is a great effort, speared by the amazing PAB!  It is a worthy, and appreciated effort that will last a long time!  Please do what you can, and pass it on to others, family members, and businesses. The link is:

Facebook for Each of You

A great way to connect and keep it private.  Please go to Facebook, search for Countryside Montessori Preschool, and request to be accepted. We ask that you keep this site friendly and positive.  A way to connect to other families and share great information.



*Camp Countryside is filling up.  Please send in your registration and activity fee soon to avoid losing the spot you desire!

*Please be sure to sign in and out each day.  CMP closes at 5:30 p.m., so all students need to be picked up no later than 5:20 please.  Thank you!

*Letters of Intent are out and 2017-18 is expected to be on a  wait list soon.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Turn in your form and $100.00 material fee to a tuition box.



to Ms. Kaitlyn and her husband Josh
on the birth of their new baby boy- Wyatt!  She will return
to CMP at the end of March.

Get Well 

wishes to Ms. Grace.  Grace slipped on the ice outside her home Wednesday and will be having surgery on her leg.  She will be recovering at home with her family for the next weeks.

Seven Ways to Love a Child: A Valentine for Parents     By  Jennifer Rogers

A tired working mother stood in the classroom doorway, ready to depart with her two sons.  Separated in age by two years, the boys were as different in appearance as they were in temperament, but they were great kids. They enjoyed math and reading, laughed hard and punched hard.  They loved learning, loved life, loved each other.Mom’s secret:  “There are many ways to love a child,” she said. “I keep it simple.  I have expectations.  I accept mistakes.  And I celebrate the process.”Parenting is not consistent or predictable.  Loving a child is not always fun or easy.  Establishing a few flexible, healthy habits is a parent’s best demonstration of love
One:  Eat Together
Research has validated what most parents once understood intuitively:  Nothing is more valuable to a child’s physical, emotional, intellectual and social health than a daily family meal.  Sit at a table, turn the television off, use utensils and napkins.  It’s a simple act with profound implications.  The advantages for the life of a child far exceed the parent’s investment of time and energy.
Two:  Keep it Real
Wii is a fun distraction on a cold, rainy day. There are countless cable channels for kids, educational videos, electronic games designed to challenge and stimulate young minds.
None of these devices compare to time spent walking, talking, playing or reading with a parent.  There is no substitute for green fields, real sports equipment, friends, playgrounds and fresh air.
Children do not feel loved in virtual worlds.  To thrive, kids need to touch, move, feel and talk. They should experience the joys of conversation, the disappointment of defeat, and the drama of human relationship.  A child’s fine and gross motor skills develop through the use of her hands, her mind and her body.  Her vocabulary expands through the alternating, interactive use of her voice, her mind and her ears.  She is successful socially because she learns from her parents’ relationship how to love in the real world.
Three:  Mentors and Partners
Grandparents are treasure-troves of memories, ideas, observations and cautions.  Most grandparents remember some effective parenting techniques and will confess decisions they regret.  Experienced teachers can offer advice that is age-appropriate, reflecting their years working with specific populations of young people.  Parents of older children can anticipate phases and speak with the advantages of hindsight.
Parenting decisions are rarely quick or easy.  Age and person-appropriate expectations are seldom obvious.  Parenting without help is terrifying and dangerous. A brief, thoughtful conversation can be mind-altering, shifting a parent’s heart from despair, confusion or anxiety to optimism and hope.
Those fortunate parents with a committed, loved partner: hold on tight.   Children learn about love through observation and imitation.  Parenting is exhausting.  Find time and energy to fall in love again.
Four:  Read Together
Start young, and stick with it.  Literacy is an essential foundation to academic success.  Parents who read to and later with their children give them the best possible preparation for school, a firm foundation for learning, a ticket to travel around the world without leaving home.
Five: Welcome Failure
Parents who establish a friendly attitude toward mistakes and failures raise resilient children.  Loving a child who has made a mistake, failed a test, or fallen down on the field, means standing firmly in place while natural, appropriate consequences unfold.
A child’s confidence grows through independent experiences of failure, perseverance and success, her understanding that her parents believe she can handle the difficult situation she is facing.  Oddly enough, the most meaningful expressions of love for a child require parents to be silent and still, watchful, hopeful . . . but steadfast and smiling on the sidelines.
Six:  Assign Chores
A child first acquires confidence and a sense of competence by contributing to the daily life of his family.  Children who first experience work in their home understand that work and love flow simultaneously in happy families. A three-year old can fold napkins; a five year old can pull the trash can to the curb; an eight year old can wash the car weekly.  Chores and responsibilities should change as children age, increasing as the child grows in strength, knowledge and confidence.
Seven:  Maintain Authority
Many years ago I worked with a wise mother who had one preciously intelligent daughter, the only child in a loving marriage.  Among her many fine qualities, this mother was honest, open, and absolutely committed to raising a daughter who would grow to be as strong as she was born smart.
At a parent-teacher conference, she told me her daughter didn’t like being told what to do.  Faced with a direct instruction, she often told her mom, “I don’t like you any more.  You’re not my friend.”
Exaggerating her genteel southern accent, this fine mother said she had a fixed response: “Darling, I didn’t give birth to you because I needed a friend.”
Healthy children challenge authority and test boundaries, arbitrarily and repeatedly.  Most parents know this, yet feel exasperated, shocked, surprised and appalled when their children challenge and test.  Love for a child must include repeated expressions of parental strength and dominance, calm reminders that families are not democracies.  Children grow up feeling safe, loved and secure when they know their parents are in charge, looking out for the best interests of the children and the family.

January 2017 News

Upcoming Dates

January 6
Tuition Due
January 12 
Parent Advisory Board Meeting ~ 6:30 p.m. @ CMP
January 16
No School (MLK Jr. Holiday)
January 26
100th Day of School!
(Wear your PJ’s to school)
Camp Countryside 2017 Info/Registration begins
Letters of Intent for
2017-18 School Year

Important Calendar Note: Classes return from Spring Break on April 18th.
(school calendar is incorrect, it says 4/16/17)

Happy New Year!
I hope that all of you enjoyed your winter break and found some time to marvel in what the holiday season has to offer. On behalf of all of the CMP staff, we would like to extend our gratitude for the generosity you have shown us. We truly enjoy our jobs and appreciate the time we spend nurturing and educating your child.
Parent Inspiration
First take a deep breathe…..
Then ask yourself the following questions without judgement…..
-What were my best parenting moments in 2016?
-What were my worst parenting moments in 2016?
-And what did I learn? What moments or actions do I want to let go of or repeat?
-How does my lifestyle support this (ex: am I present, am I in a hurry)?

The Ultimate Questions: What kind of parent do I want to be in 2017? And what do I need to do in my life to support this?

In the New Year many people desire to create goals. We, too, as teachers at CMP have goals for your child…..
Montessori teachers have four principal goals:
• To awaken the child’s learning capacity and imagination
• To encourage his normal desire for independence and high sense of self-esteem
• To help him develop the kindness, courtesy and self-discipline that will allow him to become a full member of society
• To help the child learn how to observe, question, and explore ideas independently

At CMP the teachers closely monitor each student’s progress, keeping the challenge level high. Working with children over two or three years, the teacher gets to know each student’s family, interests, and strengths well. It is truly a partnership between parent and teacher when it comes to your child’s learning.

4k/5k Registration for 2017-18
This is the year you will see your investment in Montessori flourish more than ever!  CMP prides itself on hearing of the successes of our students that stay for this important year of growth.  Your child will have this final year at CMP to gain emotional and academic confidence and self esteem. They become leaders during a year that they would not otherwise have the opportunity to do so.  You and your student have a continuous year of communication with the same teachers and many of the same peers.  This consistency provides growth in the areas of math, language, and geography especially.  Did you know that our students that stay for this year graduate with high reading and math levels?  Please take time to speak to Cory, Patty or Debby on how we can assist you and your family in making this decision.
Camp Countryside 2017
The past few years, CMP has filled up very quickly. Please don’t delay in turning in your child’s registration and material fee.  We will open registration for the first 3 weeks to CMP students, and past students whom are eligible first, before enrolling new students.
Wish List
Have you heard of Himalayan Salt Lamps?  As a school community, we feel that these would be beneficial to try and explore the benefits.  We are in need of about 5. They are available on Amazon if you would like to purchase for CMP.
Doing some winter cleaning??  The “Little Library” in front of CMP is in need of some restocking.  These books can be any kind of books – cookbooks, novels, children’s books, parenting books, etc.
CMP-Safety First
Please use extra precaution during these cold months ahead….
Walking slowly and wearing weather appropriate boots. Please hang on to your children and watch them carefully as you exit our school since it is getting darker earlier and little ones are not easily seen from vehicles entering or backing out. Always make sure that your child does not run out of the building unescorted. Leave early during inclement weather to arrive safe and timely for pick up. Let’s work together to keep our children safe!
Besides your fabulous children, famous people who were Montessori educated
  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Founders of
  • Jeff Bezos, financial analyst, Founder,
  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • Thomas Edison
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Prize winner for Literature
  • Katherine Graham , Owner/editor of the Washington Post
  • Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, Editor, former first lady
  • Sean ‘P.Diddy’ (formerly known as Puffy) Combs, rap artist
  • Anne Frank, famous diarist from world war II
  • Prince William and Prince Harry, English royal family
  • T. Berry Brazelton, noted pediatrician and author
  • Julia Child, famous chef
  • Elizabeth Berridge, actress
  • Kami Cotler, actress
  • Melissa and Sarah Gilbert, actors
  • Helen Hunt, actress
  • David Blaine, street magician
  • George Clooney, actor