Julia's Garden Newsletter ?: Baby Chicks, New Faces and Places for Staff Members, Last Week to turn in books for Book Drive, Fall Tuition Reminder, Foreign Languages, Lower Elementary Program and more!
Dear Garden Families,
In the Garden 👒
What amazing weather we have been having! Everyday seems to be the perfect day to be outside playing, having a picnic, enjoying the wildflowers or — enjoying baby chicks! Last week, each house was able to experience petting so gently a baby chick during Outside Time. It was the sweetest thing to see our children take such great care in handling these small animals. Soon, Chocolate, Leafy, Sweetie Pie and Butter Dot will return to campus permanently and join their big sisters in the triangle coop. When they are big enough, they will be released into the run and Julia’s Garden will have a total of 10 chickens in the coop. Welcome, little flock!
In the Classroom 🗂
The Main House has been working on reading and writing skills, and the Full Day children have proudly completed their world maps. The Main House has also been taking full advantage of all that Springtime offers by starting their days with outside play, then returning at noon to dine al fresco on the Pavilion. This week, the YCC has turned a developmental corner and the whole class is experiencing toilet success. They delight in their accomplishments, cheering with pride. We are so happy for them and their progress!
Casa’s work has been focused on the solar system and Ms. Elisabeth recently introduced the numerical rods. The older children have greatly enjoyed the lesson and practice it daily. New songs about Springtime were learned this month and the children listened to Vivaldi's “Spring” during Circle last week while closing their eyes, pointing out the instruments they heard. What a delightful way to celebrate the changing of seasons!
Staffing Changes 👩🏻🏫
Next Fall, Ms. Elisabeth will be heading up our afternoon program for non-napping children in the Casetta, Extended Day Clubhouse. We are grateful for her leadership and know she will do a fantastic job getting this much-needed program off the ground. With her absorbed in this role, a new guide will be leading Casa next Fall. We are happy to welcome Ms. Danielle Kimball from the Post Oak School in Houston, Texas to our team! Danielle, who will be both living on campus with her family and leading Casa for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 school year, has 10 years experience leading an AMI primary classroom. She will be assisted by Louise Mackay, who has been working at Julia’s Garden in the Hay House this year. We are very much looking forward to what Danielle and her expertise will bring to our community and Ms. Louise is looking forward to teaching in a 3-6 environment, where her formal training lies. For those of you enrolled Summer School, you will get to know Danielle as a Summer guide in the coming months. More information about Danielle and her role at Julia’s Garden is coming soon, stay tuned!
In the Main House, we have another change in staffing for Fall: Ms. Lindsay will not be returning to Julia’s Garden after May. This Summer, Lindsay will be an official graduate with a Master’s Degree and License in Social Work from San Marcos Texas State. She has accepted a job where she will help develop a garden curriculum for adolescents with eating disorders starting in June. She attributes her inspiration to do this work to her experiences at Julia’s Garden where she discovered the importance of connecting children to the earth. We are proud of Lindsay, and although we will all miss her very much, we wish her the best in the next chapter of her life and career. Thank you, Ms. Lindsay, for all of your hard work and love. We will always hold a place in our heart for you here at Julia’s Garden.
Book Drive - Last Week to Donate, and to WIN!📚
The last week of the Book Drive is upon us! If you have not yet signed up to donate it is not too late to make a contribution. There are still plenty of beautiful books to choose from and the lists on the fences are up-to-date so you can easily find an available title that appeals. If you order from Amazon on Monday (World Book Day!) or Tuesday, you will still have time to enjoy them at home before turning them in on the 30th. Don’t forget to include your child’s name inside the cover as well as the year they first enrolled at Julia’s Garden so we can always remember who the gift was from. We are excited about the growing number of books for our new library and can’t wait to announce the contest winner!
Lower Elementary Program at Julia’s Garden 🏫
Looking ahead to Fall 2019, we are excited to inform everyone on our progress thus far with the Lower Elementary Program. The program will serve 15 - 18 children, ages 6 - 9, in a low ratio, Montessori-inspired on-campus classroom. The program we are implementing follows the Curriculum for Excellence, a system that began in Scotland in 2010 and has been highly successful in educating children ages 3 - 15 years. It is organic in structure, process and project-oriented, with an emphasis on foreign languages, music education, nature-based learning and sustainability. The curriculum incorporates traditional school materials with a Montessori approach, making it the perfect place for our graduating primary children to land. Be on the lookout for an enrollment packet, as well as an announcement about an information session, that will help you learn more about what the program includes. In the meantime, you can read more about CFE at the link below:
Spanish & Mandarin in the Garden 🇨🇳🇲🇽
Everyone has had such a fun time learning Mandarin from Ms. Siu Gi and Spanish from Ms. Courtney that we decided to include both languages in the Casa and Main House curriculum next year! Starting Fall 2018, Spanish and Mandarin will be offered as part of your primary child’s weekly morning program and daily Spanish classes are included in our Lower Elementary program. Expansion from 0-6, practice from 6-12 and refinement from 12-18 in regards to foreign language is a large part of the CFE mission and one of the reasons we choose this curriculum to serve our elementary-aged children. Julia’s Garden is strongly committed to incorporating foreign language as a base element in all of our communities and will continue to improve and expand in this sector over the next 3 years.
Upcoming Dates and Reminders 🎗
April 25th - Indie’s Birthday (forgot to include it in the last newsletter!)
April 26th - Fall 2018 Tuition and Paperwork Due
April 30th - Last Day to turn in books for the Book Drive
May 1st - Book Drive Ends
May 24th - Last Day of School! 12:00 Community-Wide Singalong & Pot Luck Lunch, Early Dismissal for all houses at 1:30 PM
I hope everyone enjoys these candid pics from our Spring Days! See you all Monday 😎
Julia's Garden Montessori 🌸
“I did not invent a method of education. I simply gave some little children a chance to live.” - Maria Montessori
Look at these busy bees! Main House Full Day children proudly complete their world maps during afternoon lessons.
Bodhi helps prepare morning snack and snags a sample on his way to join his friends; later, Aiden and Max collaborate on dish washing while Aspen delights in sorting work.
Chris works on writing and Max, the trinomial cube. Lana and Fiona find themselves and friends in their class picture. Ezra refines motor skills using a pencil and finishes up his metal inset booklet.
The chickadees are here! Max, Ruairidh, Aiden and all of the Main House children had a chance to “pet” these little gals.
Playtime is all the time in Spring!
The wildflowers that the children in Casa planted last Fall have come up! Ants-on-a-log making for snack time above and we see Ella being honored in a traditional Montessori Birthday Circle. Happy 4th Birthday, Ella!
Peek a boo! Juno and Violet say “hi" and Ethan focuses on bubble blowing. All of the children from the Hay House, YCC and Casa come together on the playground in a great community moment above.
Felix, Ethan and James collaborate on building a block tower in front of their newly crafted Teepee Hut. Later, Max has his turn to pet Butter Dot and so does Ms. Elisabeth!
Potty party! The children in the YCC love rockin’ undies and rockin’ out! Beau is tickled beyond words at seeing the baby chicks and Indie gently pats a feathered friend. The Hay House & YCC children were outside anxiously awaiting their arrival!
From chicken little to chicken big: Preston helps to feed mealworms to our gaggle of hens while Varenna questions the chance meeting. Hunt and Indie help water the garden and the Hay House children lend a hand to Oscar, collaborating on bubble work.
An impromptu Springtime picnic at the Hay House - we must enjoy this time and the opportunities the weather presents! Elijah helps to feed the chickens and Liam makes sure they get their grub; Senna bonds with Butterscotch on a nature exploration hunt during Outside Time.
Elijah picks a poppy and enjoys a ride with Violet on the teeter-totter. Liam swings into action and Orion practices scrubbing the door during outside time. Jane takes a break, enjoying the sounds of Spring.
Jane explores the Spring-theme inside the Glue Box and Orion chooses watercolor work. Penelope watches with interest as her friend, Sloane, rolls scones for Snack. Liam cuts apples and, later, Penelope gets her own turn baking on the block.
Beads, sewing, sorting - this group has got it down! Sloane and Liam expertly work with their handmade sewing cards while Kai and the crew string a seemingly endless supply of bead necklaces during the Work Period.
Julia's Garden Newsletter ?: Garden Day Fun, Spring Has Sprung! Book Fair April 13th, Fall Tuition Reminder, Save the Date for Last Day of School Celebration and More!
Greetings, Green Thumbed Community!
In the Garden 🌱
We are still celebrating that fantastic turnout we had on Garden Day - what an event. Our starts and seeds are taking off due to the longer light hours and all of the love offered by our volunteers. Three cheers for Megan Kendrick and the entire Garden Committee! We now anxiously await the crops that will soon emerge: tomatoes, squash and basil will replace rainbow chard and cilantro . . . our herb beds have never looked better, and all JG children are hoping for a strawberry or two. Peaches will ripen in the May sun next month and a dewberry harvest is very soon on the horizon. Stay tuned for Springtime sweetness!
Our Spring Egg Hunt was also a super success, many thanks to helpful parent, Jenn Aquilia, for hiding those eggs in record time. It was excitement overflow as they scrambled across the morning dew for the first of many egg hunts over the weekend. Another thank you to Casa parents, Jennifer McKeon and Amina Garrison who brought the craft supplies for their Spring Egg Hunt and Bunny-Making activity. I think it’s safe to say that all JG kids had a ball welcoming Springtime!
In the Classroom 📚
All of our children have been beautifying their cottages with the sweet smell of flowers. These days, each little table has a poppy or rose bloom to adorn it: the practical life activity of Flower Arranging keeps small hands busy with a sensorial, multi-stepped activity that is rich in color and experience. This work also involves the independent act of going outside during the work period to collect flowers. At this point in the school year many of our children are capable of this responsibility. If you would like a peek at the beautiful work your children have been doing this is a great time to sign up for a classroom observation. April will be our final month to schedule parent observations so if you are interested participating please contact administration so we can be sure to get you on the calendar.
In the Community ☀️
Our Book Drive is in full swing! Thank you to everyone who jumped on board and signed up to donate titles this week. Remember, you have until April 30th to bring books to Ms. Natalie at drop-ff. Some houses have gone the extra mile and put their sign up sheets on realtime GoogleDocs to keep track of their inventory. This is going to be close one, but in the end everyone is a winner!
Don’t forget to attend our Book Fair this Friday 13th at The Book People from 3:00 - 5:00 PM. Attending the book fair is a great way for you and your child to choose titles together for the school’s library. The titles highlighted in yellow are for sale at The Book People and 20% of each purchase will be donated to the Julia’s Garden Fund. We also are encouraging you to make an inscription with your child’s name and the year he/she began at Julia’s Garden as a forever keepsake of his/her time spent with us.
We ordered custom bookshelves for our library over the weekend, thanks again to the Julia’s Garden Fund for providing our school with this opportunity. We hope to unveil both books and shelves on May 24th at our final community singalong of the semester. Community singalongs this semester have been a student and staff only event so far, but on the last day of school parents are invited to attend. Please note that dismissal for all communities will be at 1:30 PM that day. Mark your calendars and get ready to sing and celebrate!
Last Day of School Community Sing-Along Celebration
May 24th, 12 NOON - 1:30 PM*
Casetta & Pavilion of 1702 S. 3rd Street
Lunch and Music Served
*early dismissal at 1:30 PM for entire student community
April rains birthdays! This month, we celebrate Ms. Elisabeth’s birthday on April 4th, Ms. Savanna on April 7th, Ella McKeon’s birthday is April 16th, Ms. Louise’s birthday is April 27th, Beau’s birthday is April 28th and Nixon’s is April 30th. Happy birthday to all our April amigos!
Spanish Mondays 💃🏾
Speaking of amigos, Spanish classes with Ms. Courtney have added enriching cultural exposure to our children’s weeks. Colors, numbers and animals are all lessons being built upon and since most of the class is presented entirely in Spanish, children are also beginning to understand simple words and phrases. Our second session starts April 16th. If you would like your child’s Spanish experience to continue, please be sure to let administration know this week. !Gracias!
Announcements, Dates and Reminders📝
Friday, April 13th Book Fair at The Book People 3:00 - 5:00 PM
Monday, April 16th Second Session of Spanish Begins
Thursday, April 26th Fall Tuition Due
Monday, May 1st Book Drive Ends
Thursday, May 24th Last Day of School, Singalong Celebration at 12 NOON, Early Dismissal at 1:30 PM
Enjoy these candids and the week ahead!
Julia's Garden Montessori 🌸
“I did not invent a method of education. I simply gave some little children a chance to live.” - Maria Montessori
Garden Day recap! Thank again to everyone for their organization and participation!!
Everyone always looks forward to singing “Row Row Row Your Boat” with Ms. Natalie; Indie and Hunt join hands and sway along to the beat. After singing, it’s time for homemade play dough at the work table with friends. But the biggest hit at the YCC this week? Cardboard building boxes, of course!
YCC and Hay House friends both enjoyed wet n’ wild fun with bubbles and splashing around the grounds; after all the waterworks, Orion puts all of the dampness out to dry. Jane enjoys Spring-themed collage work and Penelope delights in a whole basketful of fresh farm eggs to share with her friends.
Violet mixes up some rosemary and olive oil in preparation for a special snack time treat. All Hay House youngsters delighted in harvesting artichokes and Liam washes up after the harvest. Jane teaches Violet how to fist-bump above. Lessons given from older children to younger ones is one of the most precious gifts of a Montessori education.
Frankie finds joy in exploring the Red Rods this week and the children in Casa are more focused than ever on their lessons. Friendships are solid and practical life activities are engaged upon impulsively and with fervor. Here we see Sam, James and Max all grabbing a tool and pitching in to clean up after snack while Juno clears.
More springtime fun! Zahra collects eggs for muffin-making, then Juno, Max, Sam and James help stir the batter. Carrot muffins were a hit, but the best part was washing dishes outside in the beautiful spring weather with friends.
Poppies are sprouting all over the Garden and the children delight in selecting them for flower arranging. Birthday Girl Ms. Elisabeth gets a cameo shot from the other birthday girl, Ms. Savanna, and Juno, Max, Zahra and Felix all experience the scent of fresh picked flowers.
Egg and bunny crafts then an egg hunt to follow. Casa kids delighted in these carefully planned activities that celebrated the arrival of Spring.
Eggs were the theme across the board last week and these children collected their share of pastel prizes.
More eggs! Lion gathers yet another basketful; the chickens are surely happy in their new nesting boxes! In the Main House this week we had a gorgeous turnout for our final Wine + Wisdom event of the year. Mrs. Meagan delivered insight on the importance of having patience, along with the growth, that occurs between ages 3 and 7 in a Montessori classroom. Thank you, Meagan, for the inspiration, education and the entertainment. It was a magical night in the Garden!
M-Th 9AM -4PM
Bouldin Creek, ATX 78704