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Parents Mini-Conference: "Sustaining the Light in Your Child"

Friday, March 15, 2013
Hilton Orlando Destination Parkway

As a parent, you are a guide, role model, nurturer, caregiver—and a vital force in ensuring that your child's innate love of learning is forever kindled.

To support your efforts, we invite you to join us for a special, 1-day line-up of events led by distinguished educators and child development experts. Along with other fellow parents, you will:

  • explore strategies that you can employ to help your children reach their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive potential.
  • enhance your understanding of how learning takes place in the Montessori classroom.
  • discover how key concepts of the Montessori approach—order, independence, cooperation, and respect—can be applied beyond classroom walls.
  • learn how you can "fuel the flame" of your child's unique identity so that she may build a creative, caring, and responsible adult life.

The Parents Mini-Conference will take place at the Hilton Orlando Destination Parkway, 6001 Destination Parkway, Orlando, FL, 32819.

Current and potential Montessori parents—as well as parents pursuing other educational options for their children—are all welcome!

The Parents Mini-Conference is an initiative of the American Montessori Society 2013 Annual Conference.


Special, reduced registration fee: $75

If you will be attending other conference events (including on Friday), regular registration rates apply.

Register online or use this registration form for mail or fax.


8:00 AM - 9:30 AM: Workshop (Select 1)
Montessori 101: What is Montessori?
An overview of how learning takes place in Montessori environments, explaining the ways in which these experiences shape children to be lifelong learners. Read more >>

Beyond "I" Phrases: Conflict Resolution Strategies for Adults
Learn to resolve conflict in a way that solves problems, strengthens relationships, and increases your confidence and competence as a peacemaker. Read more >>

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM: Morning Break
Browse the AMS Bookstore and Exhibit Hall for books, souvenirs, and a vast array of high-quality educational toys and materials for home or school. Or, relax and meet new or old friends under an umbrella overlooking the hotel's lazy river.

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Keynote Address
"Fueling the Flame Within: Montessori Education and the Development of the Self," by Dr. Steven Hughes
Pediatric neuropsychologist and director of The Center for Research on Developmental Education, Steven Hughes, PhD, will explain how the unique environment provided at each stage of human development supports the formation of particular aspects of "executive functions," the essential cognitive capabilities that lay at the root of self-regulation and all goal-directed behavior. Read more >>

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Lunch Break
Enjoy a sit-down meal or something à la carte—there are lots of options within the hotel including poolside fare with a tropical twist.

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Workshop (Select 1)
Electronically Connected, Personally Disconnected
What happens to the young child's developing brain when electronic media overloads it? What happens to the personal interaction between parents and children when adults are electronically distracted? Explore these topics and learn to personally connect with the children in every situation. Read more >>

Learning with Dinosaurs: Inspiration Through Interest Explore the ancient Earth through the eyes of the dinosaur, offering an engaging way to help children learn about history, geography, biology, geology, language, and even spelling. Read more >>

Fractals: Lessons for Studying the Interconnectedness of Our World
Explore fractal patterns found in art, science, and nature and see the interconnectedness and wonder of the world around us. Read more >>

Eat, Play, Read: Helping Parents Create Strategies for Success
Three basic things parents can do at home to help children succeed socially, emotionally, and academically are play together, read together, and eat dinner together. Come learn what research reveals and gain resources for building a movement around it. Read more >>

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Afternoon Break
A perfect time to have a refreshing glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice from the Hilton Orlando Marketplace and to exchange ideas and contact information with other participants before attending your final workshop of the day.

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Workshop (Select 1)
Babies' Days: A Look at Infant & Toddler Classrooms through Short Films 
Short film vignettes offer a peek into the day-to-day lives of babies and toddlers in Montessori environments. You’ll learn about the use of sign language, grace and courtesy in feeding, independence and dignity in hygiene activities, and more. Read more >>

Bringing Maria Montessori's Life and Work Into the Classroom
Learn how Dr. Montessori's life and work—already ingrained in the materials, the environment, and the quality of interactions in a Montessori classroom—can be highlighted to children across every level. Read more >>

Fostering Young Children's Emotional Well-Being 
Examine the relationship between children's emotional development and the architecture of the brain. You’ll learn about new research into brain plasticity that shows the role “brain sculpting” plays in emotional growth. Read more >>

Strategies for Sustaining a Love of Learning in Montessori Elementary Students 
Explore traditional Montessori ideas and a list of new ones based on current research to support and nurture intrinsic motivation, particularly with students who appear unmotivated to learn. Read more >>

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