Southampton Montessori School Tour

Carolyn Means - Friday, July 27, 2018

The campus of Southampton Montessori School is a little gem tucked in the neighborhood surrounding Rice Village - a sprawling collection of shaded cottages on both sides of Robinhood at Morningside.

The school is a Houston Montessori institution that fostered the growth of many of our finest Montessori schools. I have worked with numerous Southampton children over the fourteen years of my practice when families are looking for the next school after their child is ready to leave the 3-6 year class. Montessori children are already lovers of work, able to focus, and possess a strong foundation in reading and math, so they transition well into traditional programs.

The charm of Southampton is immediately evident as one enters the office with its soft pink and white colors and charming decor. Each classroom is well furnished with Montessori materials.  Children were busy with practical life activities, on task alone on their rugs, or having a lesson in small groups. The large playground features a darling playhouse, huge climbing structure, plus a swimming pool that is the hit of the summer camp. Southampton also has a lovely gym with hoops and a shiny floor to serve the day and after-school program.

Children from several public and private schools come after school by bus to Southampton as well as in the summer. The teachers are certified in Montessori methods, and this is not always the case in "Montessori" schools. The only drawback to this wonderful school is the long waiting list for the 2-year old class. Right now, the children get places according to the date they are registered, so consider getting on the list when your child is an infant so you have a choice when your child is ready to begin school. 


When Children Lose Control

Carolyn Means - Friday, July 20, 2018

Any headline like this from the weekend's Wall Street Journal, July 7-8, 2018will get my attention because self-control and learning go 

hand-in-hand. Self-control, often called emotional regulation, is one of those "soft skills", an "executive function" that schools look for when considering students for admission. 

Teacher recommendation forms ask the current teacher to rate the degree to which a candidate exhibits emotional control in many areas of school life. This article reflects on research about the connection of school success and self-control. "Growing research finds that children who are able to regulate their emotions perform better academically and are more successful socially than those who don't. In adolescence, strong self-regulation skills can help to buffer against impulsiveness and risky behaviors." 

A 30-year study at the University of North Carolina by Dr. Susan Calkins suggests that parents are key role models for their children in how to behave. A study of German families found that when parents helped their child reframe a situation with a more positive view, the child was better able to cope with disappointment and adopt this strategy in the future. "Self-regulation offers big payoffs as we age, including better physical and mental health." Children need tools for handling life's challenges. If you wish to learn more about this topic, contact me and I will send you some excellent resources. 

Thrive Academy - A New Houston School

Carolyn Means - Wednesday, July 18, 2018

My life's passion is for children to find joy in learning. I often use the phrase, "I want to find a school where your child will thrive." So how excited was I when Dr. 

Chris Zaddach, Interim Head of School and Admission Director, invited me to coffee to hear about a new school with the awesome name of Thrive Academy! Thechild who could be a perfect fit for this school is entering Grades 1-8 and has yet to find joy and success in school. Thrive will offer a low stress environment where there is a tolerance for movement, conversation, creativity, and achievement in a rich curriculum. This could be a child whose abilities are overshadowed by poor communication and executive functioning skills that often result in anxiety, discouragement and lower than expected achievement. The school has been dreamed of and backed by a strong group of parents and professionals. Thrive Academy is located at 1231 Wirt Road, just north of I-10 on the campus of the Houston Mennonite Church. Read the flyer on the Thrive Academy Facebook page for more about the mission of this new school. 

The British International School of Houston

Carolyn Means - Monday, July 09, 2018

Recently I had the great pleasure of touring The British International School of Houston - which is actually located in Katy on N. Westgreen Blvd. Definitely not the former British School, BISH is now owned by the Nord Anglia School group, and they really know how to design a school.

The building is four stories high and architecturally stunning with an atrium featuring the "Bomba" - a huge cafeteria on the first floor.  The family I was touring with was greeted by the Head of School, the Assistant Head of School, several members of the Admission staff, the heads of several athletic programs and the chair of the music department. All questions were welcomed and answered transparently. The school can serve students with a range of academic abilities from age 2 to high school.

There is a learning center for all grades and differentiation is a common instructional strategy. Students come to TBISH from across the globe or across Greater Houston for the excellence in education, the quality of the IB Diploma plus the State of Texas diploma, and the expansive array of extracurricular offerings. Partnerships with the National Jr. Olympic Swim Team, MIT, and Julliard, The Texas Medical Center, NASA and local offices of world-wide energy corporations enhance programs across the school. The distinctive international community is stimulating and reflects the world this generation of students will encounter. The school provides bus transportation to some areas of Greater Houston, so this should be a school to visit regardless of the location.  

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Nothing is more important than your child's education. SCHOOL SOLUTIONS in Houston, Texas, offers educational consulting services to help parents make the right choice for their child’s school. As an Educational Consultant and founder of SCHOOL SOLUTIONS in 2004, I have helped over 1000 students find the right fit at over 90 different Houston private and public schools, from preschools to high schools, including special needs schools.

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