This week we started a summer of week-long camps. This is a new concept for Studio June and pushes us outside our box a little. Why is that? In order to create summer camps, we needed to make sure we are still fulfilling our mission to bring Montessori to more families in an authentic way. There are a few key Montessori concepts we considered as we were designing our camps:
- Does it build community?
- Does it offer opportunities for concentration?
- Does it support language development?
- Are there meaningful opportunities for purposeful work?
- Does it support the child’s independence?
Here is how we answered those questions:
- Build Community: By creating a small group of 6 families that come together daily we are able to support the building of new relationships. Children share in a community snack and sit together at a large table, sharing a family-style meal. The parents and children come to know each other, work together, and make connections to set up playdates outside of Studio June.
- Concentration: We designed a 1.5 hour class that allows the children to explore at their own pace. During the work period children, explore, choose independently, and work with
an activity as long as they wish. Our eye-hand coordination, practical life, and language materials encourage engagement and repetition.
- Language Enrichment: All of our language materials and framed art on the walls are themed to the weekly topic. We took the concept of using a season or Holiday to focus sets of activities and developed language opportunities for a specific theme. For example; Trucks and Trains week has objects and cards for different train cars, objects for different types of trucks (including a replica of a taco truck – very appropriate for Houston), and road and railroad signs.
- Purposeful Work: Because the activities have real purpose, the children are drawn to them, and challenge their skills to complete the tasks over and over again. We see this in window washing, hand washing, flower arranging…all staples of a bustling Montessori community for young children.
- Independence: In order to maximize independence we have provided each child with their own cubby, labeled with their name, and a truck unique to their cubby. Here they can keep any belongings they bring to Studio June and paper cuttings or paintings they make during their time here. Children are encouraged to carry items on their own, set their own place for snack and serve themselves during snack. We see the independence growing everyday.
If you have not had a chance to sign up, our June camps are full however, we have a few openings in our July camps; Feathered Friends, Fun in the Kitchen, Furry Friends, and Garden Plants and Critters.
For those of you not in the Studio June area, we have created a weekly mini camp you can do right at home. Check out our weekly newsletter to follow our camp schedule and bring it home.