Southern NH Montessori Academy


What is Montessori, anyway?

Parents exploring the vast choices for their children’s education often ask "What exactly is Montessori?" As a long time Montessori parent and educator, I would like to share with you eleven points that that

will introduce you to the incredible wonders of a Montessori education – that you can read in 5 minutes!

At Southern NH Montessori Academy, we follow Dr. Montessori’s methods to support the learning and growth of children from birth to middle school; nurturing each child’s individual strengths and interests, and encouraging them to explore the world with joy and curiosity in a safe and peaceful environment that has

been specifically designed to support their complete development: academically, socially, and emotionally.

A child’s early months are an incredible time of great sensitivity and growth, where they bond with others and discover the world around them. Our Infant program at Southern NH Montessori Academy is a peaceful, loving place where babies can explore and feel secure. Each child in our care is nurtured with affection and respect by gentle, experienced Montessori teachers. Babies can explore based on their curiosity and mobility, learning trust, as well as language, sensory experiences, and active exploration.

Here is a great piece from Aubrey Hargis, called “I’ve Got 5 Minutes. Explain Montessori To Me.” She writes: As Montessori teachers and parents...

1. We follow the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952). She was a medical doctor, a teacher, a philosopher, and an anthropologist. Her progressive view of children was way beyond her time, and her writing is still very relevant today. Interested in reading some of her
work yourself? You should! Try The Secret of Childhood for starters. Read more about her life and take the Montessori challenge for fun.

2. We understand that children of different ages have different needs and abilities. We study child development theory (for example, sensitive periods) and make sure that our classrooms and homes have developmentally appropriate activities and expectations. When something new is discovered about the growing brain, we are taking notes, ready to back it up with our educational practice. (More often than not, the research simply confirms the Montessori method!)

3. We observe our children. The child has so much to teach us about learning. By watching closely, we can modify our lessons and materials to best suit the child's interests and growth. We try to anticipate what the child will need next and make sure that this experience is available for when the child is ready to explore the subject or skill. We call this "following the child".

4. We believe that the environment itself is the best teacher, and we prepare it like a mama bird would craft a proper nest for her babies. Rather than dictating what a child should learn and when, we design the classroom or home to fit the needs of the child, rich experiences balanced by beauty and order. This takes a great amount of effort, but we are rewarded when a child enters and is inspired to learn. In a typical Montessori classroom, you would see objects in baskets, trays, or boxes arranged on a shelf attractively. Each work contains a purposeful work that is designed to teach a specific concept. (Pssst: We don't randomly select concepts to teach, remember? We base them on our observations of the child.)

5. We model grace and courtesy (good manners), treating our children as we wish ourselves to be treated. We use calm voices when teaching and speak with respect in regard to the children's feelings. We carry ourselves with poise and handle objects with care. We believe that the children are acutely observing us even when we aren't aware of it, and they will mimic our behaviors and attitudes. We know that humans aren't perfect, but we really try to bring out the best in ourselves.

6. We recognize that children are unique individuals who are not likely to master the exact same concepts or have the same interests at the same time. We celebrate this uniqueness and allow each child to develop at his or her pace. We believe that learning is a natural process that develops spontaneously. When we place our trust in the child, we are often surprised at the immense amount of learning that takes place through the child's interaction with his or her world.

7. We do not use rewards and punishments to force children to comply with rules or to combat ill behavior. We believe that each child is on the way to developing self discipline and that the rewards should be intrinsic (within oneself) rather than externally imposed. When a child misbehaves, we first examine the reasons why the child is exhibiting those behaviors (hungry ? tired? overstimulated? testing boundaries?) and then we contemplate whether a change in the prepared environment would help or if we need to teach certain problem-solving skills to prevent another occurrence. Never do we use shame or humiliation. We try to help the child understand appropriate behavior in a social context in a gentle, firm manner.

8. We believe that children learn best when they are free to move their bodies throughout the day. Children have physical rights. They should not be constrained to desks. They should be allowed to move around in their environment, visit the bathroom as often as they like, and work in a variety of sitting or standing positions. We want to teach our children to respect their bodies and control their movements, and by allowing this freedom, we feel that this helps the growing brain learn more effectively. We encourage this independence, but also teach respect for others. No one's freedom should infringe upon another's right to concentrate.

9. We believe that the materials a child works with (one could just as easily call them "toys") should be carefully chosen to support the current developmental stage. With few exceptions, natural materials are preferred, and the works themselves should be arranged attractively on the shelf. Concrete experiences are always offered first and abstract thinking presented later, when the child has a firm grasp on the concept. Maria Montessori herself developed and sanctioned specific materials for learning that are considered classic and essential to a Montessori classroom. You might want to take a look at the pink tower, the moveable alphabet, or the golden beads. Oh, and yes, we call it work and not play. Really it's just semantics, so don't let it bother you.

10. To Montessori teachers, presenting a lesson to a child is an art form. For example, for the 3-6 age child, we captivate the child's attention by talking very little during the lesson and instead making our movements slow and deliberate. This allows the child to focus on our actions and remember the little details that may be forgotten if we were speaking at the same time. One of the classic Montessori lesson techniques you might want to investigate is called The Three Period Lesson.

11. We believe that education can change the world for the better. We are advocates for peace. The children themselves represent a "bright, new hope for mankind". We feel that the work we do as educators, guiding children toward self reliance and compassion, is incredibly important in the grand scheme of future life on Earth. How our children are treated as babies is going to impact our entire civilization when they are all grown up and making decisions that affect others. We are humbled by the great possibilities that exist within the tiniest of humans, and we respect their inner wisdom.

Still confused? It's okay. Montessori philosophy is as vast and deep as the ocean. Start by going to the beach. Feel the wind on your cheeks and listen to the waves crash. It's okay that you don't get it all at once. Then pick something to study. Starfish. Dolphins. Jellyfish. It doesn't matter what you begin with because the animals inside the ocean are interdependent. As you do your research, you will begin to understand the power of the entire system.

Welcome to Montessori!

From Debra’s Desk.

Learn more about Debra A. Repoza-Hogan; Founder and Head of School through her


Cultural Care Au Pair

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On Sun Sept 10th local au pairs and their host families met at the Bedford Safety Complex for a fire safety meeting and tour of the station.  This meeting was hosted by Cultural Care Au Pair and members of the Bedford Fire Department.

According to Local Childcare Consultant, Christine Miller, educating au pairs on fire safety is part of Cultural Care Au Pair’s ongoing Continuing Safety Education Program (CSEP).  “This program requires local childcare consultants like me to review safety education with au pairs on several topics throughout their year-long stay in the United States. One of those topics is fire safety and who better to help us learn than fire fighters themselves,” said Miller. 

The au pairs at Cultural Care Au Pair also complete an intensive online training course and spend 4 days at our Au Pair Training School in New York reviewing child safety and development and earning a 2-year adult and pediatric CPR/AED and first aid certification before they arrive in their host family’s homes.

The au pairs in Christine’s Bedford area group represent the countries of Brazil, Columbia, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Poland, Italy, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Miller, a resident of Manchester and mother of three, supports area parents and au pairs, advising them of educational opportunities, as well as organizing fun activities for au pair monthly meetings and two host family events each year.

 “I am always looking for ways to make safety training and education fun for our au pairs,” said Miller. According to Miller, “the training on Sunday covered everything from calling 911 for emergencies, what an emergency consisted of, and what a firefighter looks like with all of his gear (for the host children).  For the au pairs and host parents, the training covered planning escape routes and agreeing on a meeting place in case of a fire, getting the children out of the home quickly and safely, and using a fire extinguisher.  The au pairs even got to practice using one. For added fun, the host children got to see what it was like to use one of the fire hoses and everyone took turns goingfor a ride in a fire truck!  The Bedford firefighters did a great job making it fun as well as educational for all.”

“When you invite an au pair into your home, programs like these assure that you leave your children in the most capable hands possible. It is comforting as a parent to know that your children are with a caregiver you can trust.”

For more information on inviting an au pair into your home, call Christine Miller at 603-867-3199 or visit

Vanessa Lyn Photography


Vanessa Lyn Photography is a newborn, child and family photographer based out of Bedford, NH and serving Southern NH and Northern MA. 

Newborn sessions are a wonderful way to capture those first few weeks of your little one's life. My style at Vanessa Lyn Photography is natural, simple and organic. I love to use neutral and muted tones with minimal props. My goal is to focus on the new, beautiful life that I am photographing.

Thinking about booking your session? Feel free to contact Vanessa with any questions.

Nini Bambini

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Nini Bambini is a unique maternal wellness resource and boutique that has helped thousands of people become stronger and more confident parents, friends, and individuals.

We offer comprehensive classes to prepare you for labor and birth, help you navigate the early days of parenting, and support you and your little ones from birth to age three, and beyond.

Nini Bambini is a warm and informative place for parents to come together with their children to grow, learn, and, most of all, to just be.

We are continually growing to better support our community of moms and families with personalized, holistic resources through each critical step.

We want only the best for our community of moms, which is why our boutique is not only filled with some of the world’s most beautiful brands, but also with one-of-a-kind gifts handmade just for us by New Hampshire artisans (other moms we know, cherish, and love). So if you are looking for something beautiful, something functional or something completely unique to give to someone special – we are the place for you!

Stop in and check out our boutique often, as we bring in new products regularly. You don’t have to be a member to be a part of our amazing community; however, becoming a member of Nini Bambini is the best way to stay on top of everything that we have to offer.

From classes to new products, join today and reap the benefits!

Visit our website • Call the store 603-666-6464 • Come see us 18 Constitution Dr Unit 9 Bedford NH

Pine Hill Waldorf School

Soon after you give birth, you realize that you are now responsible for another human being.  It is your immense responsibility to teach this perfect baby. You start by repeating ‘Mama’ over and over. You move on to clapping, doing it again and again until you see your not-so-little baby clap back with a giggle. From then, it is continuous learning--walking, riding a bike, tying shoes.  The learning happens at different times, at each child’s own pace.  You also teach your child what right and wrong, songs that were once sung to you, and how to be a balanced, healthy person. There comes a time for your child to get complimentary education, and finding the right home away from home can be challenging. Luckily there is a beautiful school located in Wilton, NH that is as close to home as it gets.

Pine Hill Waldorf School celebrates each child’s education, academically, physically, emotionally. They foster a family-focused plan of care so each child feels comfortable just as they are. Play-based multi-age Kindergarten focuses on sensory integration, daily and seasonal rhythms, and the child’s blossoming imagination. The magical location, in the midst of 300 acres of vibrant, beautiful woods, is surrounded by farmlands and water. This provides a perfect setting for learning, and Kindergarten students spend about half of their time outdoors. Waldorf curriculum emphasizes allowing the children space and time to grow, explore and discover. It is the right fit for any child who loves to learn by doing.

Waldorf education's developmental approach fosters a curious and creative mind and teachers use an integrated, hands-on approach to learning. Beyond core academics, the school day challenges students to think creatively and work with their hands through outdoor activities, textile crafts, woodworking, foreign language, instrumental music, Eurythmy, and movement education.

A 337-seat auditorium is filled throughout the year with class plays, concerts, seasonal festivals, performing arts and the Hilltop Circus, presented by our middle school students.  Pine Hill offers a safe haven for kids to be kids. Where their education is learned firsthand through doing, not sitting.

This isn’t just school, it is a sanctuary. A joyous place where imagination is celebrated.  A place to discover, to be nurtured, to interact, to create. A place to learn. As parents, it is impossible to do all of the teaching. Pine Hill Waldorf School offers parent-child classes as well as preschool and kindergarten for 3- to 6-year-old children.  Pine Hill Waldorf School offers parent-child classes as well as preschool and kindergarten for 3- to 6-year-old children.  Children are inspired and engaged to learn more about themselves and the great world around them.

Come, be inspired.

How LANACare Organic Wool Nursing Pads Changed My Life

Despite being over 4000 miles away from any supportive family or friends, I told myself, when having my first baby – I’ve got this made – I’m a nurse and a midwife. I know what to do.  But as it would turn out, life had its lessons to teach me.  I now tell the professionals I work with, “You’re a mom and a human being, first, and your profession second”.  We are often the ones who place unrealistic demands upon ourselves for perfection.   

Two babies later, I can say I’d rather go through my labors back-to-back, than to repeat the difficulties I went through breastfeeding my first-born.  But that experience propelled me in new life direction.  I eventually became an IBCLC (Internation Board Certified Lactation Consultant), driven to help moms like myself, knowing that timely breastfeeding and lactation intervention can make a world of difference for mother and baby.

When my children were born, I also learned about the wonders of wool, and what an amazing textile it is.  I had such deep wounds from breastfeeding, that I could barely tolerate anything against my skin.   Disposable pads stuck to the wounds, and ripped them open just when they seemed to start to heal.  But in my stubbornness I persisted with breastfeeding.  Then I saw an ad in a Scandinavian mothers’ magazine for wool nursing pads developed by a Danish nurse.  My curiosity was aroused. I was using cloth diapers, and was familiar with wool, but never as nursing pads.  Wool nursing pads turned out to be my life saver.  The two pairs I bought carried me through breastfeeding both of my children.  I could wear them directly against my skin, without pain. They wicked the breastmilk away, and allowed my skin to stay dry and breathe, healing the wounds and absorbing milk leakage. From the time I began using the pads, breastfeeding turned around for me.  Six weeks into my painful ordeal, I could finally place my baby to my breast without wincing in pain, and my breasts began producing enough milk to feed my baby, without need for supplementation.   

When most people think of wool, they think of big, bulky itchy sweaters, intended to keep you warm against the cold.  I learned that a lot of the scratchy fibers are a result of the chemicals used to strip the lanolin from the wool (much like the brittleness that happens to your hair as a result of dying and perming).  When wool is left in its natural state, containing its natural oil, lanolin, it feels creamy soft, especially the softest type of wool, Merino.  Organic wool, free of chemicals, such as pesticides or those used to strip away the oily lanolin, feels soothing against the skin, and provides an additional protective layer.  Natural wool provides warmth, but because it also breathes, it maintains a comfortable temperature against the skin, in both cold and warm temperatures.  And with its super-absorbency, wool soaks up moisture, and will feel dry until it’s fully saturated, absorbing as much as 30-40% of its weight before feeling wet.  When it does feel wet, it remains warm – no cold, clammy textile to further chill you.  As I learned all of this about wool, I pictured sheep grazing on chilly, damp green hillsides in the UK and New Zealand – and realized that it made sense that nature would provide sheep with such a natural solution to their habitat. 

And as if that isn’t amazing enough, wool is self-cleansing.  As the wool absorbs moisture, the lanolin is activated to cleanse away odors and bacteria. Furthermore, wool is nonflammable.  There’s not another single textile that can claim these wonders.  To me, wool became synonymous with health and comfort.  I was so convinced by its benefits that I started my own little company importing the products I found so amazing and wonderful (going against my conviction in college to not study business, rather do something important for humanity, like become a nurse – which I DO love!)  I’ve learned that you can use both professions – nursing and business- to benefit others!  Again, life has so many lessons to teach us, and things we may interpret as painful and negative, may just be the universe nudging us in that direction we might not otherwise willingly choose to go.  It’s all part of the rich fabric of life. 

Janice Emanuelsson, RN, IBCL

Certified Swedish Nurse-Midwife

Owner of Danish Woolen Delight

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