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Dear Downstairs Parents,

Each year I look so forward to our annual Winter Solstice Tea Party and Gift Exchange. We encourage children to veer from the habit of focusing on what they will be receiving for the holidays by instilling a sense of joy to have the opportunity to create and give gifts to those they care about. For the Gift Exchange at school, the children will draw a name from a bowl and then have the task of making a creative gift for their friend that they can enjoy and appreciate. Homemade gifts in the past included superhero capes, dress up jewelry, homemade playdough, and handmade soaps, to name a few. We will also be making, as a classroom, homemade gifts for you, their parents, in class. Think essential oils and herbal creations…

In addition to gifts being exchanged, I wonder what we, as adults in community, can do to make the world a better place for all. Our world seems as if it is becoming more challenging each day, and I am sure we can all relate to a sense of overwhelm from time to time. For me, I feel a sense of joy when I think about the Montessori curriculum and what it is designed to teach our little ones. Care of self, care of others, care of environment, care of plants, peace studies, and the celebration of different cultures throughout the world are just some of the areas that the Montessori philosophy emphasizes, and this fills me with hope. Each day, the children are in an environment that supports their whole selves, instills a love of learning, and gives them space to practice compassion for their self and their community. This helps me sleep a little better at night, knowing that our children are receiving this holistic education at such a young age. We hope these teachings instill life-long values and is only the beginning of their journey as responsible, mindful, respectful, gracious beings.

For December’s curriculum, we will begin our botany study by observing seeds, we will be looking into the Arctic biome, studying fish, and studying aquatics for our Earth Science piece.

Come January and in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, we will be exploring Peacemakers from Around the World by making a classroom book. More details will be coming soon, but in the meantime, please think of a peacemaker that you would like to research with your child. In the past, we have enjoyed learning about world-wide peacemakers such as Dolores Huerta, Mahatma Gandhi, Malala Yousafzai, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa and Thich Nhat Hanh, respectively. We enjoy this project as it is a time to reflect on people that so selflessly offered their self to causes much bigger than the individual in the name of peace and equality.

Thank you all for your support this year. We feel fortunate for our GPM community.



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