'Work-With-Me' at Guidepost at Mahwah
'I am capable’ is more than a Guidepost Montessori slogan: through Guidepost at Mahwah's Work-With-Me events, parents are welcomed into the classrooms to see that it's true—their children are profoundly capable.
When parents walk into a Montessori classroom, they often take note of the simple, beautiful materials adorning the shelves. Not only do these materials create a calm and inviting environment, but they also facilitate learning through hands-on experiences that allow children to develop skills like coordination and problem solving and build a strong foundation for literacy, math, and so much more.
Erika Cueller (Head of School) and Aga Skiba (Assistant Head of School) at the Guidepost in Mahwah, New Jersey, wanted parents on their campus to have an opportunity to see and experience the Montessori materials in action. While events like Silent Journeys and Curriculum Nights offer a window into the classroom, allowing parents to get an overview of how these materials lead children from the concrete to the abstract, they noted that something very powerful happens when a parent is working with their child in the classroom, directly engaging with the materials.
This was the inspiration for the Work-With-Me Series that launched at Guidepost at Mahwah earlier this year.
Through the Work-With-Me Series, parents are invited to participate in an afternoon session where they work with their children on a specified activity—from flower arranging to food preparation. Materials are set up and stations are thoughtfully arranged for parents to join the classroom and do a typical Montessori activity with their children.
Something magical happens when a parent gets to participate in a Montessori classroom with their child. With flower arranging, parents witness their child developing and practicing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, paying attention to every detail as they create a beautiful arrangement. With food preparation, they see their children acquiring practical life skills like measuring, cutting, assembling, and cleaning up after themselves.
In every case, parents are impressed by the level of their child’s independence. As Erika shared, “I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard parents say, ‘Wow, I never knew [my child] could do that!’” At this event, parents get the opportunity to see that 'I am capable’ is more than a Guidepost Montessori slogan. They can see that it’s true—their child is profoundly capable. And more—they see how the classroom materials and Montessori guide have prepared their child for independence and success.
With an emphasis on exploration and discovery, rather than rote memorization, Montessori materials offer distinct opportunities for children to develop this sense of capability, independence and self-motivation—all while being guided systematically from one level of understanding and achievement to the next.
We love this example of how the Work-With-Me Series offers Guidepost parents an opportunity to witness and participate in this process, and we can’t wait to see how this inspires more events and parent engagement at Guidepost at Mahwah and all of our campuses across the globe!
To learn more about Guidepost at Mahwah, visit their school webpage.