What makes a Montessori education unique? One of the goals of a Montessori education is to help children understand, and achieve their full potential. The child’s social and emotional development is considered to be just as important as the cognitive component. To help with this, Montessori teachers are trained to observe each child closely; how they interact with the materials, with the environment and their relationships with their peers. Ideally children are taught by the same teacher for a three year cycle, which enables the teacher to really know what works for that child, what their strengths and challenges are, and how to best guide them.
Children are eager learners, desiring to acquire knowledge, and are capable of taking charge of their learning experience if they are provided with the tools and an environment that invites and challenges them to explore. Developmentally specific Montessori materials are presented in carefully prepared lessons by the teacher to individual students, or in small groups. Children collaborate on projects and research topics that capture their interest in the areas of mathematics, literacy, botany, history, zoology, earth sciences and culture.
Children in Montessori environments are completely engaged in the learning experience, absorbed in their work, enthusiastic about school and confident in their interactions with others.
What is the reason for three-year age groups in the classroom? The mixed-aged classes offer many benefits to the child. First, the younger children benefit from the example set by the older children, both academically and socially. The children learn from each other and learn to respect each other’s capabilities and learning styles.
The older children benefit from assuming a leadership role in their class, helping the younger ones and sharing their knowledge. They develop a deeper sense of their own growth by observing and recalling how they have developed in the classroom. The children develop a deep sense of community, and confidence by spending three years in the same class.
What programs are offered?
- We offer a half day program until 11:30 when the bulk of the Montessori lessons have been given.
- We offer a half day program until 12:30, for those students who want to eat lunch with their friends.
- We have an elementary program which runs from 8:30-2:30.
- We have full day programs and care from 7am-5:45pm in the school year and 7:30- 5:45pm in the summer months, which most of our families utilize.
How well do your students do when they transfer to other schools? Our graduates have the reputation for their well rounded development of academics, social and emotional strength, and maturity. They are unusually adaptable, having learned to work well independently and in groups. They have been encouraged to make decisions and appropriate choices from a very young age, which allows them to be flexible problem-solvers and out of-the-box thinkers.
Our graduates are successful in their ongoing schools because they have a solid foundation in academic subjects (such as math, literature, writing, and history) and they understand how to ask questions, analyze problems, organize their time and their work, and take pride in the presentation of their ideas. They are curious learners and know how to ask the “big” questions and where to seek the answers.
Is financial aid available? Our school has worked very hard to keep our tuition costs comparative to other quality preschool and private schools in the area. Montessori education around the nation is typically far more expensive than other options. Because of this, we currently do not offer any financial aid. However, we do offer some scholarship money to students who have been in the program 2 years or longer and wish to continue in the school age programs. In addition, our school also accepts the DSS (Department of Social Services) vouchers for child care, which you can apply for by contacting 336-570-6532; and the State funded scholarships for school age children. These include the Opportunity Scholarships, the Disabilities Grant Program, and teh Educational Savings Account available through the state of NC. Learn more about these options at http://www.ncseaa.edu/.
How is discipline handled? Our Montessori teachers strive to stay away from rewards or punishments. A teacher will approach the situation swiftly, yet calmly, addressing the child and trying to recognize his feelings, thoughts and actions. She gives the child the required attention and offers him suggestions of alternative pieces of material in the classroom.
In situations of conflict between two children, the teacher tries to allow the peers to learn real life problem solving techniques. She does not intervene or stop the argument, but she lets the children work it out on their own under observation. The teacher then asks them if there is any solution, and most of the time the children do! Thus, the Montessori method takes advantage of the natural urge of children to make friends.
Is it oriented to a particular religion? Montessori in general does not adhere to a particular religious affiliation. Many faiths have used Montessori education as a means of educating children in a loving environment. Providence is a Christian Montessori environment where Christian holidays and Biblical values are upheld. Children do learn of other holidays and are encouraged to respect all people. Teachers and students are free to speak of God in a loving way. We currently do not hold chapel or prescribed Bible curriculum. We do encourage our families to take that honor and responsibility seriously and develop time at home to share their faith.