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.”


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