Why doesn't MAC celebrate holidays?
MAC is fortunate to have students of diverse racial/ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. We consider this a special opportunity to provide valuable learning experiences. As a secular school it is critical that we allow every child to feel as though they are included in our community. This includes but is not limited to dressing up for Halloween or distributing individual cards for Valentine’s Day. We do not subscribe to nor promote any specific religious belief. Instead we encourage respect and valuing of our diversity. Holiday celebrations can not only leave some children feeling left out, they also present a major disruption to the school day. Although an elementary aged child can easily adapt to a day when everyone comes to school dressed in a costume and have parties in their classrooms, the young child cannot.
A primary reason for eliminating Halloween and other holiday celebrations in a Montessori preschool community ties directly to the science of the Absorbent Mind. From birth through age three the child is in the developmental stage of the Unconscious Absorbent Mind. During this time the child is unable to differentiate fantasy from reality. A child under age three also relies heavily on “compartmentalization” to help classify his or her daily experience. They have a strong need for everything to fit into a proper place. When a child under three sees someone familiar in an unfamiliar costume, it can be incredibly upsetting to him or her. As MAC has 90+ students under the age of three, it is critical that we ensure that our environment is developmentally appropriate every day of the year.