May 2018 News

 May/June 2018
Dates to Remember

May 4th  
May tuition due  (4 weeks)
May 10th
P.A.B. Meeting 6:30 p.m.
May 28th 
No School (Memorial Day)
June 7th
End of the Year School Picnic
June 13th
Last Day of 2017-18
School Year
June 18th
1st Day of Summer Camp

25th GALA Celebration a HUGE Success!

What an evening to remember…great food, music-provided by CMP parent Cory Swadley and his band The Lower 5th, and, best of all, the auction/bids that earned money for the parking lot. There was an amazing Tribute Video that brought tears and laughs to many eyes.  It touched the heart of all present, and we would like to share it with all of you. We are still working on getting it up, but are planning on making it available on the CMP website to view! Watch the Countryside Families Facebook page for an update.

The event raised $2000.00+, and was enjoyed by many.

Thank you to all who helped out, attended, donated, and shared to the tribute page.

SPECIAL THANKS to:  Lucy McLellan, our MC for the evening, and Video Master Jen Reagles & Erin Vincent – co-chairs and creators of this wonderful event.

A special new logo, celebrating CMP’s 25th year was designed and presented to Patty and Debby by Hallie Zillman.  CMP plans to have t-shirts created and for sale soon.  Stay tuned for more info!

End of the Year School Picnic

June 7th at 5:30 p.m.

Bring the family and a picnic dinner to celebrate
the end of the year on the backyard playground.
(No rain date)

Want to still give or donate time before the end of the
school year?  You still can!

*  K-cups for teachers (any flavor!)
*  Rotatill the gardens
*  Adopt a planter- there are 5 total.  Any great annual
is appreciated, the bigger, the brighter, the better!
*  Ask your child’s classroom teachers if they are in need
of anything…

Study Confirms Putting Kids To Bed Earlier Is Better For Mom’s Mental Health


When I was pregnant with my first child, a friend’s dad told me “congratulations, you’ll never sleep again.” I laughed, and naively thought that my kid would be different.

Two kids later and sleep ranks up there with potty training as one of the toughest aspects of parenting. Nobody seems to get enough, and the struggle is daily.

Early To Bed Is Best For Everyone Involved
But a study confirms why all those bedtime battles are indeed worth it. When kids go to bed early, they are healthier and mom is happier.

This may seem like common sense, but science has confirmed its truth with the Growing Up in Australia study, during which researchers tracked thousands of families beginning in 2004. Every two years, these families took part in a series of interviews that allowed researchers to check in on the state of their physical and mental health.

Analyzing the sleep and lifestyle data they collected, researchers found that children with early bedtimes—those asleep by 8:30 p.m.—had “better health-related quality of life.” And their moms had improved mental health, too.

Jon Quach, the lead author of the study, spoke to Today about the findings. “So mums and dads, getting kids to bed early is not just great for them. It’s good for you, too,” he said.

Makes sense to me. There’s nothing quite as sweet as the silence that falls on my house shortly after 8 p.m. That evening quiet time is a gift. A space in the day to recharge, relax and watch “The Bachelor” in peace.

Having kids is a mental and physical feat. When you add the mental load of jobs, marriage, home maintenance and some semblance of self-care to the list, it’s no wonder parents have some excess stress and fatigue in their lives.

Kids Who Go To Bed Earlier Tend To Sleep Longer
In addition to happy mommies, there are some real benefits to children as well. A U.S. poll featured on the National Institutes of Health website suggests that children who go to bed earlier also sleep longer.

And kids need a lot of sleep. Just look at this chart from the National Sleep Foundation, which shows the recommended number of hours of sleep kids should get each night: (link to original article and charts)

What Can We Do To Get Our Kids To Bed Earlier?
First of all, researchers say we need to limit before-bed screen time. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the blue light emitted from screens can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, increase alertness and reset the body’s internal clock to a later schedule. Yikes!

To be safe, they recommend a digital curfew that would limit the use of TV, tablets, phones and computers one to two hours before bedtime.

The National Sleep Foundation also recommends a consistent bedtime routine. In our house, this includes a soothing bath and a good book. But whatever you choose to incorporate into your bedtime routine, know that a regular routine can set you and your child up for success. And this can start as early as infancy, so the sooner you can establish a routine, the better!

Other helpful hints for a good night’s sleep include ensuring your kids get plenty of exercise during the day, avoiding caffeine and keeping their rooms dark.

April 2018 News


 Upcoming Dates

April 6
Tuition Due
April 21
7pm CMP’s 25th
Anniversary Gala
May 10
PAB Meeting

Don’t delay, get your tickets today to enjoy and celebrate CMP!  Great food and music.
Camp Countryside & 2018-19 School Year
If you haven’t already turned in your camp, and school year fees, please do so right away to ensure your child’s spot. CMP is filling up for both of these times and we don’t want you to miss out.
Safety Reminder
A reminder to continue to be mindful and careful in parking lots. No cell phones please, and hold all children’s hands at all times.
Looking for volunteers to assist with our gardens and planters!  If you are interested let a teacher know please. We are always taking donations of flowers and vegetable plants/seeds.
The Peaceful Classroom
Parents and observers often ask how do the children in the classroom function so peacefully? There are actually many reasons. They are all based on the foundation of respect. The environment is intentionally set up for success. The teachers are educated and embedded with the value of respect for the child and family. The materials are aligned with the individual needs of the child. Clear expectations of kindness and listening create excellent relationships and an atmosphere for learning.

One simple tool we use daily in our classrooms which has become the foundation for the emotional literacy and conflict resolution skills which CMP’s students practice confidently is the “Peace Object”. Each classroom has their own, which may be a peace rose, the peace turtle or even a peace table. This object is used whenever there is a problem or simply to give each a turn to speak. The holder of the peace object speaks from the heart and is given respectful attention by an individual or the rest of the group. When the conflict is resolved, the object is carefully returned to its special place. Even the youngest children will get the peace object and work out differences with or without an adult’s help. At some point the need for the object fades as the children become more able to speak respectfully and listen to each other.

March 2018 News

Upcoming Dates

Parent/Teacher Conferences
March 24-April 1
Spring Break (no school)
April 21
CMP 25th Gala!
(Do you have your tickets?)
May 4
May tuition due
May 10
PAB Meeting 6:30 pm


WINTER ADVISORY-If Madison Public Schools Close, CMP does too.  Please check local radio and television stations for listings.  We do NOT list our name, rather follow MMSD’s decision. IF Madison Schools close, Countryside is closed too.


The plan is in action-Buy tickets now!

Celebrate 25 years of Countryside Montessori! Music, dinner, drinks, a silent auction and of course great company! 

Saturday, April 21st
North Street Cabaret

Ticket information online!

Please consider donating an item
to the silent auction! Do you have a special talent or interest to share?! Do you know a local business that might be willing to donate a good or service? Look for item donation forms in each coat room!

Committee co-chairs: can be reached at

Jen Reagles (aka Lilah’s Mom)    

Erin Vincent (aka Caitlin’s Mom)


What happens at Countryside inside your child’s classroom….Montessori classroom work cycle

As Montessori teachers at CMP, we try to share with you what your child does at school.  Each child is on an individual learning path and does multiple lessons per day. Your child is learning so much sensorially, through many hands on materials, living and learning in the moment. Specific lessons are given to each child during the Montessori work period based on what they need to learn at the time of their developmental growth.

What exactly is the Montessori work period, also known as the work cycle and why is it so important?

A Montessori work cycle is an uninterrupted block of time. During this time children are able to explore the prepared environment and engage with materials of their own choosing. The time is meant to give them opportunities to enjoy the work they love, while also cultivating basic life, social and academic skills. CMP teachers honor this time and utilize it to give lessons or presentations to your child.

Children move around the classroom selecting work (educational material). Montessori teachers track and guide a child if not going to a certain area and may need it to grow. The child may work on a table or the floor, with a special rug laid out beneath them. After selecting a work from the shelves, they bring it carefully to the workspace of their choosing, and use the material as they have previously been taught. Children know they are responsible for putting the materials back neatly and selecting their next work independently. Children are welcome to work on their own and may engage in what is called parallel play. Or invite friends to join them in a group work.

The work cycle gives children a chance to develop autonomy, make choices, and find genuine joy in their work. This sets the stage for their future. Meaning how to be a critical thinker, how to make a friend and that school is a positive place grow and learn.

January 2018 News

Upcoming Dates
Jan. 11th
PAB Mtg. 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 15th
MLK Jr. Day ~ No School
Jan. 25th
100th Day of School Celebration
Feb. 2nd
February tuition Due (4 weeks)
Feb. 3rd
Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser and Sledding
Feb. 14th
Class Valentine Celebration

TAX ID-  #39-17-534172

If you do need a year end receipt, please email Debby.
Receipts are generally sent 3-7 days from request.


CAMP Countryside

Our Camp sign up will begin at the end of this month/beginning of February. Please note that spaces are limited, and we encourage families to sign up as soon as possible. There are 3 sessions available for the summer, and an activity fee for each one.  Please submit the activity fee for each session when turning in registration.  First enrollment is given to current enrolled children, then opens to past students.


Did You Know…

Montessori is an amazing education philosophy that began over 100 years ago, and is credited for so much advancement and nurturing of the minds of many leaders and inventors. Did you know your preschooler is learning Geography?  Not only do we teach that we are a community member in our classroom, but in the larger world as well.  That is a responsibility of taking peace forward – teaching children to respect the world and truly “own” it through information and care.  We start at concepts such as land, air, and water, landmarks, bags full of small cherished items from lands near and far (always taking donations for that, by the way…:)), and Maps – a treasure our older students beam with pride as they are challenged and complete the beautiful work of map making.

For more about these lessons, and others, we as a CMP Staff, want to offer you one more way into your child’s classroom life.  We will be displaying a lesson in the coatrooms that you can see and look at in awe, at what these small, but mighty minds are doing each day.  See your child’s classroom teacher with questions on what is put out.  As always, keep in mind – “Process… before product…”  “Each child is an individual”, and learns at different paces and choices.  Each have their own strengths and weaknesses.


Letters of Intent

As CMP begins its 25th year of caring for and educating children…! Letters of Intent for the 2018-19 school year will begin in the next few weeks. We expect this school year to be full once again, and with a wait list beginning. Please see your child’s teacher or email Debby with any questions or concerns. We honor and appreciate your choice and want to assist you in continuing to make the best choices possible for your child.



A huge, heartfelt THANK YOU to each and everyone of you!  The thoughtfulness, and generosity bestowed on each of us this past holiday season, and quite frankly, so many ways each week, is amazing, and we so appreciate your acknowledgements, cards, and gifts that you shared.
We love teaching and care for your children and serving each of you!
With Love,  CMP Teachers


Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser and Sledding

Join other Countryside families on Saturday, February 3rd, at 8:30am, at Lakeview Lutheran Church, 4001 Mandrake Rd. (just up the street!) for a pancake breakfast fundraiser, followed by sledding, if there’s snow!  More details will be forthcoming.  Look for sign-ups for food donations by the sign-in sheet on each floor, starting soon.  Since this is a fundraiser, all food that is not donated will need to be purchased from the ticket sales, so please donate, as you are able.  Laura Jasiczek, is heading this up and could use a few volunteers to help out with breakfast prep and clean-up after. Please contact her at, if you can help out.


Winter Reminders!

-Thank you for sending your child ready to play outdoors each day.  We ask that you help your child practice getting dressed at home, as we do at school. RE: Independence feels great!

-Slippers make a great transition into the classroom, and boots are not allowed.

-As illness’ creep in, please keep your child home from school when sick and showing symptoms. A full 24 hours after the symptoms clear is what is requested.  We know this can be hard, but it is necessary in keeping all children and teachers healthy.

-Winter driving weather can be tricky.. please plan ahead and have a back up if necessary.  We want all to be safe.  A reminder to please arrive at least 5-10 minutes from your pick up time to provide time for a fast exit to avoid disruption with the next programming or school closing.

-If Madison Public Schools Close, CMP does too.  Please check local radio and television stations for listings.  We do NOT list our name, rather follow MMSD’s decision.


Remember to buy your coffee from Rusty Dog

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

There are 6 varieties of Seroogy’s candy bars for sale at Countryside. 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.


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.


Creative Ways to Say “No” To A Child

Kathryn Kvols

Saying “no” to your child can be difficult. Sometimes we end up feeling like a broken record that says “no” all the time. Sometimes our kids just wear us down. Yet saying “no” is a necessary ingredient to help children grow and to be able to say “no” to sex, drugs and other dubious things we want our children to refuse when we are not present. Here are 19 variations of saying “no” to add to your parenting repertoire.

For younger children:

  1. Give them an alternative. “Walls are not for coloring. Here is a piece of paper.”
  2.  Tell them what to do instead i.e., “Water needs to stay in the tub.”
  3. Use distraction.
  4. For a youngster who has something you don’t want her to have said, “That’s not a toy. However, this is a toy you can play with.”
  5. Sing, “no, no, no.”
  6. Say it in a funny way, i.e. “Never in a million trillion years!”

For older children:

  1.  “That’s not an option.”
  2. “I am unwilling….”
  3. “That’s not appropriate.”
  4. “I am not ready for you to do that yet.”
  5. Ask, “What do you think you would need to do before I would be willing to say yes to that?”
  6. Ask, “What do you think? Is this a good choice for you?” (If you choose to use this, make sure you are willing to abide by their answer.)
  7. Ask, “What are your other options?”
  8. “No, but I would be willing to…”
  9.  “I appreciate your asking, however…”
  10. “This is not negotiable.”
  11. “Yes, as soon as (task) is done….”
  12. “I’d love to, now’s not an option, let’s go put it on the calendar.”
  13. Do the unexpected!  

Of course there are times when you should say, “no” and mean “no”. At those times it is helpful to make direct eye contact with the child and in a firm and neutral tone of voice, say the word “no,” ONCE. Some children do best with a brief reason why they are being told no. However, it is essential that this explanation is very short. Keep it short to avoid turning this into a lecture. Do not get into an argument. If you do, your child will learn that if he wears you down, you will give in.

February 2018 News

Upcoming Dates

Feb. 9th
Dad’s Night Out
Feb. 14th
Class Valentine Celebration
Feb. 23rd
No School- Teacher Inservice
Feb. 24th
Pancakes & Sledding
Mar. 2nd
March tuition due (5 weeks)
April 21st CMP 25th GALA!

Congratulations to CMP from the PAB
CMP has met the rules of eligibility and standards of quality for re-accreditation from the City of Madison.  That means that they are eligible to continue to serve children funded through the City child care assistance program, receive child care grants, and receive consultation and training from City staff. The accreditor had this to share about her visit, “Across the center the genuine strength  was observed in the quality of adult-child relationships. Staff strive to know each individual child as they identify their unique strengths, needs, and challenges. The adult-child relationships are genuine, warm, and caring. Children are happy, active, participants in their learning progress at their own pace.” Of course we already knew it, but it is good to hear such praise about our wonderful teachers at CMP. Go ahead, heap a little praise on them at drop off and pick up! They deserve it!

Your Kiddos are in Good Hands!
Also, CMP is in 100% complete state licensing compliance. For the Countryside staff this is always the goal. But reality and achieving every little standard is nearly impossible. Safe children and safe building. The liscensor left saying she loves the zen feeling.

CAMP Countryside
Don’t forget to put in your enrollment and activity fee, spots are filling quickly.  There are 3 sessions to choose from, you can choose, one, two, or all three!

A big shout out of thanks to all of you for helping make CMP a healthy safe place to learn for all! We really appreciate the way parents have been keeping children home when ill, and not feeling well, as well as keeping them home that extra 24 hours to ensure they are ready and healthy to return!

School Year 2018-19
Letters of Intent and the tuition rates were sent out via mailboxes last week for this fall.  We are anticipating to be full with a wait list, so please send in your completed form, $100 material fee and first week deposit.  First week deposit can be turned in now, or by 4/1/18.  If you have any questions, please be sure to ask, we are happy to help.

February is Literacy Month
Be sure to check out your local libraries for great books, and your class Scholastic for those books you want to purchase.  Did you know, that reading to your child 20 minutes a day or more will make them a better life long reader?  Don’t forget to read in front of them too, enjoying reading can be a fun family experience!

CMP Tax ID #

Leadership Year
The last year at CMP is called the “Leadership Year.”

This is the time when the oldest students in the class polish their academic skills, build their confidence and enjoy being leaders in the school community. The curriculum is planned in 3-year cycles so the 3rd year brings together all of the foundations previously laid.

For instance, in Montessori early childhood the geography curriculum begins with sensorial experiences associated with each continent – the music, games, foods, dress, plants and animals of each continent. The 2nd year student has now learned about continents and other examples maybe plants or animals and some characteristics of each. The 3rd year student reads additional resources about the continents, animals, etc. writes and creates stories and shares new details with the class such as the varieties of poison arrow frogs in South America.

In addition the child in his Leadership Year learns to find answers to questions and to approach each new challenge with executive functioning skills that allow him to organize tasks and utilize past experiences to solve new problems and refine his/her reading and writing skills.

The typical 3rd year student at age 5 – 6 in early childhood has the opportunity to work through the math and language curriculum to a 2nd or 3rd grade level. These lessons are given using concrete learning materials unique to Montessori that give him the experience of working out relationships using real things in order to solidify his understanding. The child will not have this opportunity again outside of an early childhood Montessori classroom. Leadership Year is an opportunity for growth, independence and responsibility. Please speak to your child’s teacher if you have questions.

“The child can only develop fully by means of experience in his environment. We call such experience ‘work.’ Such Experience is not just play . . . it is work he must do in order to grow up.”

— Maria Montessori, MD


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.