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February & March at The Montessori Field School

It's that time of year when there are so many wonderful things blooming, literally and figuratively, that it's difficult to even find a moment to publish a blog post! February brought with it many warm days and the children took full advantage. They basked like lizards in the sunshine and even removed their shoes/socks to enjoy the feeling of grass beneath their feet. Unencumbered by heavy snowsuits, they took on greater physical challenges. The primary children discovered a special spot where they could leap from one low branch to another. Risk taking is so important for children during their development. It allows them to understand what it feels like for something to be inside or outside of their comfort zone. It helps them understand the limits of their bodies. Studies show that children who have the opportunity to learn about themselves through small, carefully calculated risks as far less likely to engage in risky behavior as adolescents or young adults (when the consequences are much higher!).

February also brought a series of prescribed burns at Mount St. Francis. The children loved watching the firefighters from a safe distance and enjoyed emulating them through their play. In the days following a burn, they delighted in the treasures found in the newly accessible field: snail shells, turtle shells, and sometimes even animal bones. As time passes we continue to enjoy seeing nature reclaim the fields as new, green life literally rises from the ashes.

These children who seemed so young and small at the start of the school year have grown strong and resilient! Their hikes are longer and they carry their packs with the confidence of a thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail. Some of the hills that they tackle on the trails are no small feat (those of you who hike out at the Mount know the ones!). Nothing supports gross motor development quite like forest school: strong muscles, balance, coordination, and grace. Gross motor mastery is the foundation for fine motor control; how could we expect a child to skillfully hold a pencil if they haven't had the opportunity to coordinate their whole body?

As the coming of spring literally beautifies the world around us, we too have been doing our part to steward our space. Families came together for a Family Volunteer Day to tackle projects around Base Camp. We also worked on our gardens, spread grass seed, and painted a beehive for a local beekeeper. You can enjoy that beautiful project in the corner of the field just behind the yurt!

The elementary children have been learning so much at Base Camp and beyond. We have enjoyed field trips to The Speed Art Museum, Derby Dinner Playhouse, a tour of Corydon, ice skating, a Louisville firehouse, the Frazier Museum, and three Jeffersonville museums (The Steamboat Museum, Historic Fire Engine Museum, and Clark County Museum!). The children are learning so much about our local culture and history, while at the same time practicing etiquette as they represent MFS in the larger community. The world is our school!

It's hard to believe that we're now wrapping up the 2023-2024 school year and looking ahead to the start of a new year together. We are accepting applications for both the 2024-2025 school year and the 2025-2026 school year. We are committed to keeping our program small and highly personalized, so encourage prospective families to get those applications in early! Can't wait to see what nature gifts us with over the next eight weeks together (hopefully a few more morel mushrooms!!).

Heather & The MFS Staff

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