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"It is true that the child develops in his environment through activity itself, but he needs material means, guidance and an indispensable understanding. It is the adult who provides these necessities."


- Dr. Maria Montessori (1956)

January 25th, 2015

In This Issue: 

  1. On Being an MJDS Casa Parent: A Critical Time for Social Skills

  2. On Being an MJDS Elementary and Middle School Parent: 2 MUST Read Articles

  3. Protective Behaviours: We All Have the Right to Feel Safe All the Time

  4. Art in Nature

  5. A Poetry Reading and High Tea

  6. MJDS Upcoming Events

On Being an MJDS Casa Parent: A Critical Time for Social Skills


Before the age of six, human beings are in a unique period of learning and development.  At this time in our lives, certain information is absorbed by our personalities without conscious effort.  Young children learn to walk, talk and do hundreds of things without formal instruction or being aware of learning. Dr. Maria Montessori, described these stages as sensitive periods of development.  Read more about the five observable behaviours in your child....


Download the pdf here.

On Being an MJDS Elementary and Middle School Parent: 2 MUST Read Articles


As our children grow up we are faced with increasingly difficult decisions, one of them is finding the balance between supporting their need for independence and confronting our own fears and misapprehensions.   New research confirms what we know to be true:  children develop self-confidence, self-reliance, independence, and resilience to cope effectively with life's many challenges.  New research also tells us that   "In an attempt to be the best generation of parents ever that there's emerging evidence that the behaviour of the parents is one that's actually going to accelerate physical problems with their kids in the long run."

Kids Free to Explore and Play are More Healthy

Kids who were allowed at least some time to go out and explore on their own or with friends were between 14 and 19 per cent more physically active than kids who were always supervised. And while adults may have good intentions in protecting kids from potential injury or harm, there's no evidence that such danger has changed over time.  You can read and hear about this Toronto based research here.

Parenting Advice from "America's Worst Mom"

We know this sounds like we may be pointing you in the wrong direction, but after you read this article from the New York Times you will understand why we provided you with this link.


Lenore Skenazy, a New York City mother of two, earned the sobriquet "America's Worst Mom" for allowing her younger son, then 9, to ride the subway alone.


The damning criticism she endured, including a threat of arrest for child endangerment, intensified her desire to encourage anxious parents to give their children the freedom they need to develop the self-confidence and resilience to cope effectively with life's many challenges. Read more here.

Protective Behaviours: We All Have the Right to Feel Safe All the Time


So...how do you, as an adult develop the confidence to know that you can let go? How do you know that your child can assess risks and keep safe? What signs do you watch for? In her provoking and insightful presentation on Protective Behaviours Tracy Grisdale introduced the tools and skills we give your children to help them be safe and feel confident and capable. If you missed this workshop, make an appointment with Regina and she will explain the programme and share the highlights of evening. 

Art in Nature


In honor of Tu B'Shevat, the students of Magen David, Shalhevet, and Rimon explored the nearby forestry and created nature based sculptures inspired by the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy. The process of creating the pieces was just as important as the result, and represents a meditative relationship with nature and an appreciation for ephemeral beauty. 


Enjoy these two picassa albums with your children and share this wonderous moment of creativity.


                                 Kita Magen David                                     Kita Shalhevet and Kita Rimon

Natural art created by Upper Elementary and Middle School students

A Poetry Reading and High Tea


This past Friday Shalhevet and Rimon celebrated Robbie Burns Day by hosting a poetry reading.  The class invited all the MJDS staff and served tea and scones that they had made in the morning.  The students shared the work of their favorite poets along with poems that they had written themselves.  Some of the guests also shared favorite poems, or even wrote one on the spot.  The poems that were shared were in many different languages and from many different cultures, and the class had a wonderful time.  The whole event was a huge success and the students had a great time hosting, sharing, and listening.  There were even a few participants in kilts!





MJDS Upcoming Events

Saturday February 7 - MJDS Family Havdallah

Thursday February 12 - Professional Development Day - School Closed
PD Day Camp Available - Pottery with Shayne and Susie
Registration due February 3rd

February 13 - 16 - Mid-Winter Break/Family Day - School Closed