APF Events & Offerings


Journey and Discovery

Work directly with Montessori Lessons and Materials to better understand your child's education.

How can you get a glimpse of how the beautiful and inviting Montessori materials transform your child? How do you know that learning is taking place and that Montessori is the right choice for your family? This workshop is a unique opportunity for a "hands on" experience with the Montessori materials. It is meant to give you a snapshot of what happens day-to-day in a Montessori school from the day the 18-month-old joins the Toddler Community until the night of commencement for the twelve-year-old. You attend one evening for a journey which progresses through all four levels where you begin to get a sense of the differences between Montessori and traditional education models. Return the next morning, where, under the guidance of the teachers, you will work directly with preselected materials to discover Montessori from the perspective of the child. Each session ends with a lively discussion. It is required that parents attend once in the first two years of their child's time at Aidan.

IMPORTANT: This program is designed to be undertaken as a whole. You must attend both Friday evening and Saturday morning sessions. Childcare is provided on Saturday only.

Caregivers' Basics

Bring your caregiver on board with Montessori philosophy and practice.

How beneficial for your child would it be for your care provider to be "on board" with the Montessori education you have chosen? In these sessions, caregivers (nannies, babysitters, au pairs, grandparents) receive instruction in basic tenets of Montessori practice, have a chance to observe a working community of children and discuss the importance of choice, independence and concentration.

Class Observations

Watch your child's Montessori community at work.

Tempted to peek in and see what’s happening in your child’s classroom? Well, no need to be sneaky - you will be officially invited to see first-hand what your child does during the day. This experience is designed to deepen your understanding of your child’s development as well as to affirm the educational choice you have made for them. All parents - Toddler, Primary, and Elementary - will receive an invitation to come to school and observe and/or interact with their child(ren) as is age appropriate. Observations last approximately 30 minutes and take place in the weeks prior to or immediately following the Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences so you will be able to discuss your visit with the teacher at that time.

All reservations are made through SignUp Genius. Denise Merkel,

Director of Education and Coordinator of APF, will send the link for scheduling observations in your child's class to initiate this process.


Learn from and with your Elementary child about favorite Montessori lessons

Have you seen what great works your Elementary child is doing this year? You are encouraged to enter into the Elementary Montessori world and have your child explain their current work. Elementary faculty will be available for additional explanations of particular lessons and materials. Sign ups will be organized by email at the class level. These sessions are intended to aid in your understanding of Aidan's pedagogy and how your child is learning. Please note that this is not an opportunity to meet with your child's teacher about individual concerns - but that you are always welcome to contact them directly if such a conference is needed.

Elementary Parent Information Classes (EPIC)

Helping Parents Maximize Their Children's Elementary Experience.
This program is designed to help parents and guardians of Elementary students get the most out of their partnership with the school during their child's years of second plane development at Aidan Montessori. Monthly sessions, 45 minutes to an hour long, are scheduled for different times of day - sometimes in the morning after drop off, sometimes in the evening after ASP.  These sessions are designed around key content and information that parents need to know and understand to help their child get the most out of their Montessori education. EPIC topics include technology and social media, field trip and camping trip chaperone training, how to understand the use of testing at a Montessori school, the transition from Aidan to Middle School and High School, guest speakers, and more. Evening meetings for EPIC will have childcare available for Elementary- and Primary-aged children and siblings.

Family Harmony Podcast

Listen to sage advice concerning emotional intelligence and family harmony.

Got about 11 minutes? Listen to any of the Family Harmony Podcasts, each of which addresses a different aspect of emotional intelligence. These lively recordings are created by parent, Catherine-Amelie Meury, combining a chorus of voices: Aidan parents, children, teachers, administrators, school counselor, and APF Coordinator. Topics include an explanation of the RULER program, family meetings, and writing a charter. Fears, “flooding,” and managing friendships and are produced in conjunction with the NYCEH course.

Click here to view and listen to episodes to date.

How to Enjoy Living with a Preadolescent Child (HELP)

Gain insight into the attitudinal and hormonal changes of the 6-12 year old.

Is your child a new passenger on the Second Plane of Development or a long time, frequent flying 6-12 year old? Learn the characteristics of this age and devise strategies for dealing with the attitudinal and hormonal changes of your used-to-be sweet child. Through high drama and silly comedy explore the irritability, forgetting, power plays and the joys of this new phase. Attendance at both sessions is recommended.

Montessori in the Home

Transform your home environment the Montessori way.

How can the Montessori lessons of Practical Life support a less cluttered and more collaborative family life? Watch this space as we amass links to articles, sites, podcasts, and videos which will complement your reading of How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin. Analyze the rooms in your house and then meet to receive support and deeper insight using a template from Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. Together we will formulate a plan to allow your child to be an independent and contributing member of the household utilizing the skills he is refining at school.

Montessori Parent Night

Learn More about Primary Montessori pedagogy.

Trying to get a handle on what your child is doing at school? These practical, teacher-led sessions demonstrate how the materials and activities of the Primary curriculum, within the context of the prepared environment, satisfy your child's sensitive periods now and what benefits can be garnered for the future. Learn more about the progression and integration of the Montessori pedagogy. Guaranteed take away bonus: a list of 10+ things to do at home! Open to all parents of Toddler and Primary children.

Nurturing Your Child's Emotional Health (NYCEH)


Recognize, validate, and respond to your child’s emotions.

What strategies are best for cultivating healthy emotions? Aidan's School Counselor, Jessica Kwerel, in consultation with Denise Merkel, Director of Education, will guide you through John Gottman's handbook, The Heart of Parenting, as it relates to the RULER program implemented in our classrooms, to help you understand the importance of Emotional Intelligence. Learn to recognize, respond to and validate your child's feelings. Become practiced in ways to be empathetic, to set limits and to problem solve using his five steps of emotional coaching. Dedicate yourself to the five Friday morning sessions; the reward will be an enriched bond between you and your child.


Siblings in Harmony

Learn to create peace and tranquility between siblings.

Want to facilitate peace in your family, save your own sanity, improve your children’s interactions with each other and learn how to deal with the bickering? You will be guided over three classes (with homework) towards that elusive tranquility with humor and real life predicaments. To make the point that it really is possible to lessen the battles in number and intensity, you will be using concepts from Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Best Friends for Life by Dr. Laura Markham, and Siblings Without Rivalry by Faber & Mazlish.

For questions regarding the Aidan Program for Families please contact Denise Merkel at APF@aidanschool.org.

APF Calendar