Halloween Safety Tips

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to get prepared! Children love the spectacles that come with Halloween, but many fail to realize how susceptible they are to the dangers. As parents, we want our children to enjoy themselves, but it’s also our job to keep them safe. Here are some important safety tips to follow while you and your child go trick-or-treating this year!

1. Pay attention to the road

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal accidents caused by drunk drivers were more likely to occur on Halloween than on New Year’s Eve. That means that as you walk at night, you must take extra precautions. Never assume the right of way because many drivers have difficulty seeing trick-or-treaters. Also, try to use the sidewalk as much as possible and make sure you have a flashlight.

2. Plan your night ahead

Make sure you’re mindful of the weather, and plan costumes wisely. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of walking, and you want you and your child to be comfortable. Plan on where you and your child may want to go and set a curfew because staying out too late can be dangerous.

3. Travel in groups

You’re more likely to be safe with a group rather than trick-or-treating with your child alone. Consider going with your friends or neighbors if they have children, or your child’s peers. Even if your children seem mature, insist on them going trick or treating with at least 3 or 4 other people. Groups are also easier for drivers to spot on the road.

4. Home etiquette

When approaching a new house, make sure you practice proper home etiquette. When trick-or-treating, you can never be too sure if a house is open to trick-or-treaters or not. It’s best to go to a home that has a light on and seems occupied, and never enter someone’s home even if they invite you in.

5. Look at all candy before you eat it

Make sure you examine every piece before you eat it. Watch out for any sharp objects, weird marks, smells and colors. If your child has a severe peanut allergy, make sure to  look at every treat they have, especially chocolates. For younger children, be wary of hard candies because they can be a choking hazard.

Halloween at Silverline Montessori:

At Silverline Montessori, we understand that Halloween is a highly anticipated holiday within our students. This year, we’re hosting our very own Trunk-or-Treat event where there will be treats and special attractions to provide a fun and safe Halloween experience. It is free to the public, and all ages are open.

6 Kid-Friendly Places to Take Your Child to in Pearland, Texas

With Pearland being one of the more popular cities to live in Texas, the city has numerous activities for the entire family. Located only 15 miles from Houston, Pearland is within close range of a lot of Houston’s top tourist attractions.

1. Centennial Park, 3219 McLean Rd, Pearland, TX 77584

If you prefer having fun while spending time outdoors, this park is the perfect option!  It’s a very family-friendly park with a golf-course, off-leash dog area, and a playground with seasonal water play. Your child will enjoy getting some fresh air while having fun!

2. Space Center Houston, 1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058

If you want to further your child’s development in STEM, take them to the Space Center Houston! The Space Center is one of Houston’s top attractions and it hosts some of the best educational programs in the nation. Children will learn about a variety of topics including the stars, the planets, and what it’s like to be an astronaut!

3. Froberg’s Farm, 3601 Hwy 6, Alvin, TX 77511

Froberg’s Farm is a fun-filled farm that provides fresh produce, nuts, candies, and homemade goods. As we are heading into Fall and Winter, Froberg’s Farm offers a Fall and Winter Festival with themed holiday events filled with fun activities for the whole family.

4. Pump It Up, 310 Genesis Blvd, Webster, TX 77598

If you have an energetic child that loves to jump and run around, take them to Pump It Up! Pump It Up is an indoor playhouse with inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and play structures. With affordable prices and daily deals, it’s the perfect option for a fun-filled day out.

5. S.E.C.R.E.T. SPY GAME, 1500 Binz St, Museum District

Serving ages 6 and up, the S.E.C.R.E.T. spy game lets your child live out their undercover spy dreams. Children get to report for duty and go on secret missions throughout the museum. With state-of-the-art technology and detailed scenarios involved, this experience feels almost close to the real thing!

6. Code Ninjas, 12810 Broadway St Ste 160, Pearland TX 77584

If you’re looking for something educational to do with your child, then this is the perfect location for you! This playcenter combines technology, games, and having fun with friends all into one exciting day. If you have dreams of your child having a future career in engineering or technology, Code Ninjas will help your child get a head start by learning to code through a game-based curriculum.

Silverline Montessori in Pearland, Texas

Our goal at Silverline Montessori in Pearland, Texas, is to encourage our families to spend quality time inside and outside of the house. We believe that when children go to new places and experience new things, it can be an extremely rewarding experience for them. Throughout the school year, we hold several events for our students to expand their senses and offer them different perspectives.

Best Self-Care Routines for You and Your Child

No matter what age, practicing self-care is ideal for everyone! Self-care is defined as working to maintain or improve one’s physical and mental health. It’s best, as a parent, to create self-care routines for both you and your child. As parents, we all know that raising a child is one of the most difficult yet rewarding things that we can ever do, yet we undermine the effect that it has on our own mental health. Parenthood comes with a lot of stress, a lack of sleep, and a lot more responsibilities.

It’s important to take care of yourself so that you can be the best person you can be for your child. Children, especially, are unaware of how significant it is to take care of their emotional well-being, which is why they may act out, throw tantrums, and do things that might seem out of the “ordinary” to you! It’s best to kill two birds with one stone and help both you and your child practice self-care.

Here are some of the best self-care routines for you and your child to do together!

1. Mask days

When people hear the words “self-care”, putting on face masks is what usually comes to mind. Face masks are easy to make and there are so many different types you can try. The most commonly used ingredients are honey, avocado, egg, yogurt, and turmeric. Face masks have many benefits, including clearing up skin pores, and moisturizing, hydrating, and relaxing the skin.

2. Journaling

Encourage your child to journal! Throughout the day, we all face different emotions and experiences. What better way to cope or deal with those experiences than by writing our feelings down in a journal? Journaling is perfect for self-care because it helps to manage anxiety, reduce stress, and deal with depression. Children especially should be encouraged to journal because they are at a more sensitive age and period of development. Not only will it help them know how to acknowledge their own feelings, but it can aid them at becoming better problem-solvers.

3. Art days

Plan days with your child where you both paint your lives away on an easel. This helps your child to feel at ease because they’re expressing themselves freely with no restrictions on what to paint or draw. Art has a lot of positive benefits for children. Art can help a child with their creativity, self-esteem, and problem-solving skills.

4. Home cleaning “concerts”

One of the best things you can do for self-care is listen to music while cleaning your home. Music naturally is calming for both adults and children, and it promotes self-expression, and acts as a mood lifter. Having a clean house has a lot of mental health benefits as well, including lower stress levels, increased productivity, and boosted creativity. Doing chores while cleaning with your child will combine both benefits and leave you with a happier child and a cleaner house!

5. Nap time dates

Naps are quintessential for everyone. Naps help you to recharge, de-stress, and boost your mood. Having nap dates with your child is a great way to bond with them as well. Children love to sleep with their parents because of the feeling of closeness and security. You will both wake up feeling relaxed and refreshed!

 

Self-Care At Silverline Montessori

At Silverline Montessori, we encourage our children to learn self-care skills in addition to educational topics. When children learn how to deal with and identify their own needs, it helps them to become more independent and self-sufficient individuals in the long run.

Top Self-Affirmations You Need Your Child to Practice

Whether you’re a child or an adult, anyone can benefit from using positive affirmations in their daily lives. A positive affirmation is anything you say or think about yourself in a positive light to build self-esteem. When you repeat these words often, you can start to make positive changes to your daily life.

How we feel about ourselves affects our emotional and social development. It’s important children know how to create encouragement, love, and support within themselves because they will be more independent and less likely to seek validation from others. It’s crucial to start teaching children how to build positive attitudes while they’re young because it serves as a foundation for the rest of their lives, and it can play a huge part in building their confidence. At such an impressionable age, words can make or break a child’s self-esteem.

Have your child repeat these top self-affirmations every day!

1. I am beautiful inside and out.

Children often depend on their peers for validation on their inner and outer beauty. Teach them to have self-love, and understand that beauty is the eye of the beholder and what they think about themselves is what matters the most.

2. I am important.

Teaching your child to feel important will let them know their lives have meaning, and they have the potential to change the world. When children have something to look forward to, they become more self-motivated and eager to take on new responsibilities.

3. It’s okay to not know everything.

Children need to understand that it’s okay not to know it all because there’s always more for them to learn, and everyone learns at a different pace. Attempting to a be a know-it-all can act as a hindrance to their learning. If children think they know it all, they are less likely to listen to others and less open to criticism.

4. I know my talents.

Self-comparison is the thief of joy, and children often fall into that trap when it comes to evaluating their own abilities. Children often base their intelligence and talents based on what they can achieve academically and are often pressured by a sense of competition among other classmates. It’s important for them know their talents outside of the classroom as well.

5. I’ll be okay no matter what.

Even as adults, it’s hard for us to grasp the concept of thinking we’ll be okay when we go through mistakes and inconveniences. It’s important for us to both understand and teach our children that our problems won’t make or break us. Teach your child that mistakes always have a lesson. Approach mistakes as opportunities to learn something new and improve our results in the future.

6. Today is going to be a great day.

Teaching your child the importance of speaking a good day into existence breeds them into optimistic individuals. They will be less likely to have a bad day if they’ve conditioned themselves into only thinking positive thoughts. This will also improve their performance and relationships in the classroom.

Teaching Positive Self-Esteem At Silverline Montessori:

At Silverline Montessori, we take pride in helping our students become their best selves and fostering a high sense of self-esteem. It’s important to know that when it comes to raising a confident child, children need to understand that confidence comes from within. We help our students develop social skills such as collaboration and respect for others and encourage students to develop strong friendships with their peers. These healthy relationships make children feel confident and comfortable in their environment and in themselves.

Sparking your Child’s Curiosity

Curiosity is an essential driver of early cognitive and emotional development in children. It instills a thirst for knowledge and has a lasting effect on a person’s character and tastes. Because of that, it’s important for children to develop their curiosity in a conducive environment, and with the help of supportive influences.

But how exactly can that be done? Here are a few ways you can spark your child’s curiosity naturally and effectively through Montessori methods.

Create an experiential learning environment

 Children in the first plane of development, or birth to age 6, are in a stage where they want to experience things for themselves. Typically, this is when children want to dress themselves, brush their own teeth, etc.

According to Dr. Maria Montessori, “Our work is not to teach, but to help the absorbent mind in its work of development.” In other words, experiential learning helps children learn more about the world around them.

When your child wants to figure something out, assist them in learning how they can do it by themselves. Create a structure to reach their learning goals and allow them the freedom to act as individuals.

Model Curiosity

Children learn initially by observing the world, and the people in it. Every action and reaction you make creates an impact in your child’s development.

So, when something new or interesting comes up, investigate it further with them. If you don’t know the answer to something, let your child help you figure it out. Be curious, and let your child be involved in the process.

Don’t be afraid of questions

It is crucial to a child’s healthy development that they feel safe to ask any kind of question, and feel confident in their ability to find the answers. Answer as many questions as your child may have, and ask your child open-ended questions to stimulate their reasoning skills.

A different dilemma every day

 Find ways to keep your child’s curiosity active every day at least once. Whether it be an experiment from online sources, or a book about strange new topics, make an effort to discover what interests your child. Additionally, find materials that go into more depth about what your child is curious about

Ultimately, the process for developing a child’s curiosity is just as unique as the child itself. Pay attention to what your child is receptive to, and follow their lead.

 

Sparking Curiosity at Silverline Montessori

Silverline Montessori is devoted to the growth and development of each child’s full potential. Through our enriching programs, our students learn to follow their curiosity freely in a respectful, peaceful environment.

Screens: a Montessori Perspective

Screens are everywhere in this day and age. Mobile devices are crucial for working people, televisions are a major source of information and entertainment, and entire industries have been founded upon the world’s use of screens. Screens are so pervasive, but are they a good influence for a child’s development?

Let’s take a look at the greater discussion on the use of screens in early childhood.

The physical effects of screens

Research has shown that children spend an average of 7 hours a day looking at screens; basically, a third of each day is spent looking at bright lights behind glass panes. Because of how much time children watch screens, they must have an effect of some kind on children, right?

In fact, they do. For starters, screens tend to adjust our body and mind’s daily rhythm. Screens are bright, and that light goes through our eyes to the pituitary gland of the brain (that’s the part that affects our mood and alertness based on how much light the eyes receive).

As a result, the the body can be regularly tricked into staying up later at night than necessary. In some cases, this can contribute to mild insomnia. For a young child in the midst of cognitive and physical development, even the slightest bit of insomnia can have negative effects on their growth like slowing or stunting development.

Learning with screens

While too much screen time can hurt mental and physical growth, we shouldn’t ignore the learning potential for children that technology has to offer.

Mobile devices that have access to the internet are immediate sources of knowledge. If you can think of a question, there is most likely a link or website with the answer. From a Montessori perspective, this can be a great tool for children to follow their curiosity.

Children are naturally curious, asking many questions about the world around them. Technology nowadays can act as a guide, much like an instructor, for a child’s cognitive development. Just as your child’s curiosity is almost limitless, so is the wealth of information available at their fingertips within seconds.

Conclusion for parents

Technology can be a very helpful learning tool for children if used properly. Apart from over-usage or poor timing, the freedom of the internet can be overwhelming at times. With proper guidance and very clear boundaries in place, children can gain much from looking at their screens.

 

Screens at Silverline

At Silverline Montessori, we are dedicated to helping children become better prepared to succeed in the modern world. Our computer learning program blends seamlessly with a Montessori curriculum, so that children can find the balance between computing tasks and other activities.

Raising a Child with Empathy

Empathy is the ability to emotionally connect with another person by understanding and sharing their feelings. It can be considered one of the most important characteristics of social behavior and is something that should be taught early on in childhood.

Let’s look at the importance of, and how we can teach our children, empathy.

Why Empathy Matters

The ability to reciprocate feeli.ngs is an important social and emotional skill, for people of all ages.

For parents, empathy can be a highly effective teaching tool. Having empathy can maintain an emotionally positive environment in the household that is conducive to child-development. Being empathetic with your children also helps them learn to love and trust you more deeply, allowing for better communication.

For children, practicing empathy can help them become more aware of their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Not only does this help children control their own emotions more effectively, it also assists in creating and maintaining healthy relationships.

Empathy in 3 Steps

Teach your children to follow these 3 steps to empathy by modeling it when interacting with them:

1. Recognize: Take a moment to recognize what your child is feeling. This initial emotional connection with your child shows them that you’re on their side, not against them.

2. Define: Find out where the emotion is coming from by starting a dialogue with your child. This will let your child know that you are ready to listen to their feelings and that you understand them.

3. Solve: Offer a solution with your child’s emotional well-being in mind. If something must be done to improve your child’s feeling, give suggestions and ask if your child would be willing to do them.

At this point your child will be more open to changing behavior if necessary, because you have established your intentions to help and understand them using empathy.

 Practicing at Home

Practice makes perfect when it comes to empathy. At home, it is important to lead by example. Be empathetic in any scenario that applies. If your child is excited, ask them why and decide if praise or celebration is in order. If your child is sad, be open to talking about it and offer solutions to make them feel better. It’s all about communicating with your child frequently.

Talking and listening to your child, and being empathetic with them, can greatly help their emotional and social growth. Following the three steps of practicing empathy, and teaching them to your child, can make a world of difference in the long run.

 

How Silverline Teaches Empathy

At Silverline Montessori, we understand that children open their minds towards academic development when they feel comfortable and respected. Our caring, trained teachers take the time to learn each child’s name and guide them individually towards growth. Our teachers lead by example and demonstrate empathy every day by how they interact with our students.

Positive Reinforcement: a Montessori Perspective

Positive reinforcement, the idea that external rewards must be used to build a child’s confidence, is believed by many to be the best tool for guiding the growth and development of children. This is not entirely true. While positive reinforcement is a helpful tool in giving children feedback, it’s not the only means of development for them.

The Montessori method has proven to be an excellent guideline for teaching children to reach their fullest potential, but the Montessori perspective on positive reinforcement may surprise you.

The Montessori Method

Dr. Maria Montessori realized that the key to a child’s full development is intrinsic motivation. She noticed that, when left on their own to learn at their own pace, children have a natural desire to understand the world around them.

The Montessori method of teaching explains that the job of parents and teachers is to guide this desire to learn. Children motivate themselves to work towards intelligence, and we must not distract them from their path. In other words, there is no need to excessively offer children rewards for something they should motivate themselves to do.

Does that make Positive Reinforcement bad?

Not necessarily. While children need to drive their own learning, they still require your feedback. It is beneficial for children to receive some form of reinforcement, such as guidance or affection, in order to remain motivated. However, the Montessori perspective recommends avoiding certain methods of providing feedback.

Saying, for example, “Good job!” is a natural reaction to let your child know you approve of the work they have done. Unfortunately, this creates an emotional connection between your child and the task. Though seemingly innocent, this sets a precedent for your child to measure their own worth by the completion of objectives.

This can have a few negative consequences. Your child may begin to feel insecure about themselves when they fail, or they may become overly confident in their abilities. If your child is afraid to fail or take risks, they might avoid challenges and unintentionally stunt their own growth. If your child feels they can do no wrong, narcissism may present itself and hinder development as well.

To avoid these outcomes, the Montessori method proposes a different approach to positive reinforcement.

Positive Reinforcement, the Montessori way

According to the Montessori perspective, the ideal use of reinforcement comes in the form of descriptive praise.

This is a form of verbal reinforcement that focuses the evaluation of praise on the effort a child places on a task, rather than completion. This is done by describing the actions the child took and their consequences in a positive light.

For example, when your child shows you a drawing they made, a descriptive form of praise would be, “Wow that’s so creative! You put a lot of work into that.”

Instead of biasing the completion of the task, the praise reinforces your child’s ability to think freely and put effort into an objective. Reinforcing the work ethic, not the work, can be much more helpful in guiding your child’s development, and can have lasting positive effects.

 

How Silverline guides growth with the Montessori Method

At Silverline Montessori, our authentic approach to Montessori helps to guide students towards academic enrichment. With the help of dedicated and carefully trained teachers, students are able to reach their fullest learning potential and develop long-lasting skills.

Why Cursive is Still an Important Part of Curriculum

There was a time when in the front wall of the classroom there were giant blackboards, now there are smooth whiteboards and screens. In today’s era, where more and more technology is in use, it may seem that the age-old cursive writing is a dying art. However, recently we have noticed that more schools are coming back to practice penmanship. Research shows that just in the past year, Alabama and Louisiana passed laws mandating cursive writing in public schools. Last fall, New York city introduced cursive writing in their third-grade curriculum.

Benefits of Cursive Writing

The way a child first learns to write coincides with the style of cursive writing. When children first start writing, they typically make curves or loops, while straight lines, especially those that cross over each other, are actually very difficult for them to write. It is naturally intuitive for a child to make these curves and loops because they flow together easily.

Cursive writing has also proven beneficial for children with learning disabilities, like dyslexia, who have fewer issues with the writing style because they have less trouble identifying letters that they would normally mix up in print, such as b, d, and p. Left-handed children also find cursive writing easier because the start and stop nature of print does not flow like the fluid nature of cursive.

Cursive is a great tool for cognitive development because the act of writing in cursive requires the use of more than one part of the brain. When children write in cursive, the brain practices maximum efficiency through “functional specialization.” This occurs when our brains have to process more than one thing a time, therefore strengthening the brain and preparing it for more complex skills and tasks.

As children write in cursive, they are essentially focusing on several things: the formation of the letters, the sensation of writing, and reading the words. This exercise of forcing the brain to focus on several things at one time provides optimal results. Cursive writing is also a type of “haptic learning,” which involves the interactions of brain function, hand movements, and touch. Sensitive haptic learners benefit from the multi-functional practice of cursive.

Knowing how to write in cursive also expands to other aspects of a child’s cognitive development and has been found to improve other aspects of learning as well. Some studies have shown that children who practice cursive writing scored better on reading and spelling tests.

Historical Significance of Cursive Writing

Dr. Maria Montessori taught her students in cursive because it was simply the way writing was done at the time. Knowing what we do today about the many benefits of cursive, Montessori schools have wisely chosen to keep this tradition alive by incoroporating it in the curriculum and continuing to teach students to write in cursive.

After all, cursive is the language of history and many important historical documents in the United States were written in cursive. Without knowing how to read in cursive, students do not have the privilege of reading the original copies of such works like the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Cursive Writing at Silverline Montessori

At Silverline Montessori, we acknowledge all the benefits that cursive writing has to offer, which is why we start teaching it to our students beginning in first grade. One of our curriculum goals at the elementary level is to develop effective communication skills. We believe that cursive is a valuable tool in fostering communication skills.

Cursive writing has been a very interesting and critical curriculum component in our classrooms at Silverline. It’s restored a joy in penmanship among the children and parents. There are always writings posted on the walls for them to admire their own work.

Montessori Childcare: The Importance of a Prepared Environment

The “prepared environment” is Maria Montessori’s concept that the environment can be designed to facilitate maximum independent learning and exploration by the child. In the prepared environment, there is a variety of activity as well as a great deal of movement. A Montessori teacher serves as the preparer and communicator of the environment to the child and is responsible for maintaining the atmosphere and order of the prepared environment. A prepared environment gives every child the freedom to fully develop their unique potential through developmentally appropriate sensorial materials. The materials range from simple to complex and from concrete to abstract, catering toward every child’s age and ability.

Montessori classrooms are designed to offer lessons, activities, and tools that match the developmental needs and interests of each individual child. It is important to note that not every child will be interested in every available lesson. This is why children are allowed to choose the lessons they gravitate toward naturally.

Many parents may find themselves wondering what sets Montessori childcare apart from your average daycare center or preschool. For starters, as soon as you walk into your traditional childcare center, you will notice that is most likely lively, loud, and messy. On the other end of the spectrum, as soon as you walk into a Montessori classroom, you will notice that it is peaceful, quiet, and orderly. You may ask yourself, why are the two childcare systems so different from one another. The difference lies in something that Dr. Maria Montessori calls the prepared environment.

What is the Prepared Environment?

In her book The Secret of Childhood, Dr. Montessori described the goal of the prepared environment as follows: “The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult.” The prepared environment, therefore, is one of the core components of the Montessori philosophy. According to Dr. Montessori, the learning environment, and everything that the child comes into contact with should foster independent learning and exploration.

Key components of the Prepared Environment

Freedom – One of the main goals of a Montessori prepared environment is freedom of choice. This is achieved through giving the child freedom to exploration, freedom of movement, freedom to interact socially, and freedom of interference from others.

We believe in giving our little ones enough independence to choose their daily activities. Meanwhile, we as mentors, will keep a close watch and correct them where ever needed. It improves the cognitive (the process of knowing, thinking, learning and judging) skill.

Structure and Order – The idea behind this principle is to reflect the structure and order of the universe, so that the child can internalize the order of his surroundings and is therefore able to begin making sense of the world around him.

Beauty – It is also important to make the environment inviting for learning. The atmosphere, therefore, should be prepared beautifully and simplistically, in such a way that evokes peace, tranquility and harmony. The learning environment should also be uncluttered and well-maintained.

Nature and Reality – Dr. Montessori believed that nature should be used to inspire children. That’s why Montessori teachers regularly take the children out into nature and use natural learning materials in the prepared environment. These materials include real wood, metal, bamboo, cotton, and glass, rather than synthetics or plastics. The materials should also be real and child-size, so the child is able to work with the materials on her own without frustration and without having to depend on adult for help with movement.

Social Environment – The prepared environment should support social development by encouraging freedom of interaction. Montessori classrooms foster the development of a sense of compassion and empathy for others, thus causing children to be more socially aware.

Intellectual Environment –  Once all of the above principles are met, Montessori educators will be able to reach children through the intellectual environment, which develops the whole personality of the child, as well her intellect.

The Prepared Environment at Silverline Montessori

Love of environment: Our childcare facilities are purposefully designed with the child’s independence in mind. Classrooms at Silverline Montessori are filled with learning materials that enhance the senses of our children. We encourage freedom of choice while still maintaining structure and order. Our caring environment is well-prepared and dedicated to academic excellence while nurturing each child’s mind, body, and spirit for success throughout life.

The lessons and learning materials in the prepared environment are specially designed and set out on low, easily accessible shelves. In addition to child-height shelves, Montessori classrooms have child-sized furniture, fixtures, tools, and utensils. By keeping the environment child-sized and accessible, the Montessori classroom minimizes the child’s need for adult assistance and maximizes the self-regulated activity. True Montessori materials are presented to the child in the Four Avenues of Learning: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language and Mathematics.

 “Obstacles must be reduced to a minimum and surrounding should provide the necessary means for the exercise of those activities which develop a child’s energies” – Maria Montessori.