Author: david

February 14, 2017 /

It is hard to believe it is January until I began writing these notes – 60’s, 70’s and now 30’s!! The children have been doing a great job dressing in layers so they are ready for the cold mornings and warm afternoons – will we ever have any snow?? We have eaten lunch outside a few times this month!

Janus – inspired insights of learning from the past, your children still prove to be resilient. Our small band of students are working hard on the foundational skills of basic behavior which we practice daily – they try!

1. Enter a room gently without talking.

2. Stop, Look, Listen – before joining a lesson, interrupting the speaker or when the bell rings.

3. Courteously – Look at the Speaker who looks at you.

4. Acts of Kindness encourage friendships.

5. Laugh at your own mistakes.

6. Follow through on the activity you start.

7. Move up and down the stairs quietly.

8. Enjoy your day! It is a Gift to use!

Let’s see if they are able to take these skills home with them? Let us know.

We have another new family that has joined us. Please welcome: Kendon and Lauren with their daughter Audrey who is 4. Which brings our number up to 12! A few visitors for our Open House and a few more phone calls.

I will be sending home a new family page which will help when the children ask to have play dates ~ along with our upcoming – Valentine’s Day.

A quick note – please NO store bought valentine cards, if you want your children to participate in giving their friends cards on February 14th – only homemade ones. They can be simply made. We have already started creating a few designs at school. We are also working on rhymes – can’t wait to see what they will come up with on their cards.

Hopefully you heard about our dancing for National School Choice Week – a bit of a controversial subject but one that got us up and out and moving to some music. Enjoy the scarves!

As always a few articles to read and keep, enjoy your children’s diary!

February 14, 2017 /

December 2016 Notes

Life, is full of surprises, brings changes in weather and human behavior. Learning at Boxwood goes forward amid the hum of Christmas decorating, inside and out. Very busy hands and minds!!

Our Boxwood bush ‘tree’ is filled with bright lights to cheer us when day turns to dark. Rhyming does not stop, nor do our Acts of Kindness! The ’16 school year has advanced our brave and tireless little band.

Looking forward to what 2017 has in store for us~

We wish you a

Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year!

Boxwood Staff

February 14, 2017 /

November 2016 Notes

Amid the changing needs of growing children, we are reminded almost daily of the subtle power of consistency. When we keep the pattern  of procedures and expectation high, as well as predictable, children thrive! Behavior is smoother, rewards of patience and learning are high!

This month has seen a lot of changes from outside chores and activities to settling in and buckling down on the inside chores and activities. Artists are popping up everywhere (cover page) along with a few mathematicians in the group.

Parents please remember to use upper and lower case letters when writing for the children at home. We are encouraging them to learn the difference and try to use them in the correct place. There are not many books or magazines found all in capitol letters unless texting and wishing to yell at someone ; )

We have attached a handy phonetic chart for you when teaching the different sounds to your children. It is important to be consistent so that they will learn it correctly. Handwriting is another tough one – pencil grips are key, forming letters starts at the top or middle not bottom of a letter or number – work in progress with sand and sand paper letters.

A BIG thank you to Mrs. Ann and Mrs. Amelia, Amelia Grace and Bitsy for helping out at the Resource Fair. It looks like Boxwood may have a few prospects that visited our booth. We are having an Open House – Wednesday the 7th of December from 10-12 and another one in January on Tuesday the 17th. Please pass around our colorful scarecrows to invite friends to come ~

Children should continue to dress in layers. When wearing boots have them bring along a pair of shoes for inside use or they can put on their slippers…

February 14, 2017 /
October 5, 2016 /


September has been a very busy month discovering all the spaces we have at Boxwood and slowly introducing the children to the many activities. The children seem to enjoy having a lesson on a new item and learn patience while waiting for the right time.

There is so much to cover in such a short amount of time yet we are taking it slowly so as to normalize the children which will benefit us all in the long run. A bit of time daily (morning/afternoon) is spent keeping our school clean, neat and prepared (inside and out). Do your children have chores at home?

One of the basics of a Montessori Education involves attention to detail, starting with lots of practice in noticing what is in front of us! As we clean the driveway of magnolia leaves, beech seeds and seed pods – the children will look back to see if the job is finished or needs a bit more work. Training the eye for detail.

We prepared our vegetable garden for fall plants and all the while the children were noticing the weeds disappear, while breaking up the large clods of dirt and sewing the seeds. Our pavers help to keep us on the walking path.

The children are learning how important it is to look at the speaker, putting on their thinking caps to help them focus and sharpen their listening skills along with covering their mouth as they yawn, cough or sneeze. Be sure to give your child carefully articulated directions and TIME TO THINK!

We are all learning to move slowly and quietly so as not to miss a worm on the drive, a stick to be put away, to keep us from bumping into things or interrupting others at work, using our inside voices. Learning to speak clearly, share our things and to wait our turn! Filling the finger bowl with water and carrying it to the stand – moving slowly ensures no messy clean up.

Mrs. Coffin is around from time to time but she seems to keep herself quite busy continuing to write her third book on ‘Boxwood and Boys’. Yet she does enjoy a few interactions with all of us as we pass through the kitchen.

November 30, 2015 /

What a strange month as far as temperature goes. We have been able to eat outside in short sleeves most of the month! Hopefully that doesn’t mean winter will be bitter. Yet I do believe it is on the way. Brrr as I write these notes.

Children should dress in layers and when wearing boots have them bring along a pair of shoes for inside use. Lunches have been missing a few items, please include a napkin and utensils when needed. We eat in various places and when outside it is difficult to go back in to fetch these items.

Parents please remember to use upper and lower case letters when writing for the children at home. We are encouraging them to learn the difference and try to use them in the correct place. There are not many books or magazines found all in capitol letters.

We have attached a handy phonetic chart for you when teaching the different sounds to your children. It is important to be consistent so that they will learn it correctly.

We have been very busy with our leaf rubbings and ironing with wax paper – working on our Leaf book. The children can identify almost all of the leaves at Boxwood, ask them to tell you the names or the seed pods you see around.

Birds have become very interesting to us this month. In fact, one was found near the front door, it had flown into the window above and died on impact. We were able to place it in a baggy so that we could identify it. Yes! It was a Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker – the same type that has been pecking holes in our Bartlett Pear tree by the wide slide. Take a look, the tree is almost covered with holes…

Thank you those of you that were able to attend the Resource Fair. I hope you had a great day and it looks like Boxwood may have a few prospects that visited our booth.


November 30, 2015 /





Minced Garlic




Chicken Bouillon

Then added: Frozen corn

Canned string beans, strained

Canned tomatoes, strained

Canned peas, strained

Fresh Herbs from Mrs. Sally’s  garden

Rosemary and Thyme

Salt and Pepper

Mini Corn Bread Muffins

Homemade  Apple Crisp

October 5, 2015 /

Dear Boxwood Family,

As Boxwood School returns full-swing this fall, I wanted to reach out to you – our Boxwood family past and present – to tell you a bit about what we have been up to, and also to ask for your help.

After a sabbatical in last spring, Boxwood introduced a few changes during 2015’s Summer Camp and came back this fall with a new twist. We’re welcoming a few new faces as well as some returning, and our beloved mentor, Mrs. Coffin, is stepping back from an active role with the children to work on her latest book, ‘Boxwood and Boys.’

Boxwood is thrilled to welcome another Montessorian, Sally Peebles, as a teacher. She brings with her a vast knowledge of the Montessori curriculum and a love for children, along with a calming aspect that is difficult to describe. You must stop in to meet her!

Mrs. Sarah McCormack is back with us a few days a month, dividing her time between Boxwood and another Montessori school in Front Royal, and Mrs. Ann Lauterback is also back as an occasional substitute, in addition to doing our books, payroll, etc. It is great to welcome these ladies back into the halls, classrooms and gardens of Boxwood – where they themselves spent their childhood.

Mrs. Coffin is moving a bit slower these days and living by her own clock. She arises late, rests throughout the day and we see her in the kitchen or the garden once in a while. She is working on her third book and her days are full of ideas. While she appreciates seeing the children occasionally, she truly enjoys hearing them about in the house and on the grounds. She also enjoys visitors – so if you happen to be around, feel free to stop in and say hello!

Ms. Mary is taking a short break from Boxwood due to her mother’s illness and need for care. We are looking for her to return in mid October once her mother’s schedule is in place, and at that time our after-school art program will resume.

As for me, I am still doing much of Boxwood’s administration and outdoor work – and I still believe there is a need in our community for this lovely setting, in which children learn by doing, play with a purpose and increase their character development. Our teacher-student ratio remains small (and we like it that way!). Through the years this has enabled us to touch so many lives through Boxwood, and we want that legacy to continue for this generation of children.

To reach that goal, I am working hard to build our image in the community. Our students have almost always come to us by word of mouth, but in this new world of technology many parents are turning to the Internet for advice. A past Boxwood parent and I are searching for ways to make Boxwood more visible online and easier to find. Many searches seem to look for things like comments from parents (or former Boxwooders!) about the school, how their children learned, what they enjoyed about Boxwood, and what makes it special.

So I ask you to take a few moments to check out our pages online, listed below, and add your own remarks or memories of Boxwood. We hope more activity will make us more noticeable on the list of local Montessori schools.

As all of you know, The Boxwood School truly is a truly unique environment in a world increasingly run by technology, standardization and overcrowding. We hope we will be able to continue to nurture young lives and minds for the foreseeable future.

From the heart,

Ms. Paula

Sites to visit and leave comments or you are more than welcome to send a personal note I can add to our website with the help of web master David P. Coffin.


Great Schools



May 4, 2014 /

Summer Camp 2014


We are trying something a bit different this year at Summer Camp by introducing weekly themes and no week breaks!


Session I June 2nd – June 27th

Week 1 What is a Green Thumb

Week 2 Sports without a Ball

Week 3 A Bug’s Life

Week 4 Under the Sea

Mini Camp June 30th – July 3rd

Week 5 Born in the USA

Session II July 7th – August 1st

Week 6 Zoo Safari

Week 7 Around the World in 80 Minutes

Week 8 Becoming a Naturalist

Week 9 Wild Wild West


Our morning will consist of chores while children arrive, our daily activities include swimming, arts and crafts in the summerhouse or workshop, cooking, diaries, all the bustle of gardening with a bit of nature study and of course play with a purpose.


Lunch will be poolside weather permitting and where last details will be added to the morning activities and give everyone a chance to cool off.


In the heat of the day, we generally move into the stone house and its ‘natural’ air-conditioning for a cool rest.  The afternoon activities include reading, writing, math, music and drawing to complete our day.




(returning students fill out the mini form)