What is Montessori education?
Montessori education is a way of supporting a child’s natural learning and development. The classroom is an environment prepared with a variety of hands-on materials and activities for the child to explore. Materials are beautiful and simple, focusing the attention on particular elements, concepts, or processes. As needed, a teacher offers individual and small group lessons to introduce materials, offer variations and extensions, and help children practice the grace and courtesy needed to exercise freedom within responsibility. Teachers also observe the children carefully in order to follow their progress and interests and adapt the environment to better meet their needs. The majority of classroom time is given to the children to choose and carry out their own activities, developing executive functions such as planning and problem-solving, emotional regulation, working memory, flexibility, and concentration.
What does peace education look like?
Peace education aims to foster both inner peace and peace with the people and environment around us. Our beautiful and orderly classroom environment offers peace to the senses, while fidgets, a finger labyrinth, yoga activities, activities for exploring silence, and other materials offer experiences to explore one’s inner world and our connection with the universe. That sense of connection is furthered by work with geography, culture, nature, and science. A foundation for peaceful interactions with others stems from the Montessori model of freedom with responsibility, promoting children’s independence and agency within the bounds of grace, courtesy, and good stewardship. We look for books that feature diversity and promote justice and peace. Teachers follow Positive Discipline practices and provide support for conflict resolution.
Little Way Montessori School stands with Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ people, DACA, and others who work for the equality and wellbeing of oppressed and marginalized people. We intend to continue growing in our awareness and understanding of the relevant issues, and to apply what we learn to our school environment to support our families and community, regardless of color, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, etc.
Where did Montessori education come from?
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) developed this distinctive approach to education first through her work with mentally challenged children, then children in poverty, and later with children in all kinds of circumstances. Trained in medicine, educational philosophy, and anthropology, she brought a scientific and naturalist perspective to education, adapting her methods based on her observation of the children.
What will my child learn at Little Way Montessori?
Your child will work with materials and activities in academic subjects such as math, language, geography, and science. Children will also be offered a strong foundation of social and emotional learning through activities related to grace and courtesy, caring for the classroom furniture and materials, peace education, creative self-expression in art, music, and movement, and increasing independence, order, coordination, and concentration.
How old does my child need to be?
Children should be at least 2.5 years old and not more than 6 years old by August 1, 2020.
Does my child need to be potty-trained?
Children are welcome at all stages of toilet independence. If your child uses diapers or pull-ups, you will need to provide us with a supply along with wipes. All children will also need a complete change of seasonally appropriate clothing in case of potty or other accidents.
Should my child bring a special toy, blanket, or snack?
We provide a healthy snack every day and always have drinking water available. Snacks and drinks from home should stay at home, except when we invite the child to bring a healthy treat for their birthday celebration. Toys and other items should also remain at home, as we have a wide variety of materials for the children to use at school.
What is the discipline policy?
We follow the principles of Positive Discipline as developed by Dr. Jane Nelsen. Because a misbehaving child is a discouraged child, we aim to problem-solve rather than punish. When necessary, misbehaving children may be removed from the classroom or separated from one another to prevent harm to self, others, or school property. Children who are unable to peacefully reenter the classroom may be sent home.
What is the health policy?
Children with mild illness may attend school as long as their symptoms do not interfere with their work or with others. Children must stay home if they have a fever of 100 or more or if they have diarrhea or vomiting. They may return to school when fever-, diarrhea-, or vomit-free without medication for 24 hours (72 in the case of COVID-19-like symptoms; not earlier than 10 days after symptoms first appeared). Children who become sick at school will be sent home.
We are developing our plan for safely reopening as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. We aim to minimize risk while maximizing the fundamentals of the Montessori philosophy. Elements of the plan include health checks at drop off, increased hand hygiene, teaching cough/sneeze etiquette, more frequent cleaning and disinfecting of materials, and providing individual tables, work rugs, and sets of art supplies.
What is the weather policy?
We aim to get outside every day unless the temperature (with wind chill) is below 20°. Children should come to school prepared with appropriate outerwear for the day. An extra set of weather gear may be kept at the school, such as raincoat, snow pants, mittens, boots, etc.
What is the ratio of children to teaching staff?
We have one teacher and an assistant; class size is limited to 20 to maintain a 10:1 ratio.
How much does this program cost?
Tuition is $2000 for one academic year, paid in ten monthly increments from July to April. Siblings receive a 15% discount.
What are the hours?
Class meets 8-11:30 Monday through Friday. We follow the same calendar as Plymouth Community School Corporation.
Where is the school located?
Our classroom is in the fellowship hall at First United Church of Christ in downtown Plymouth (321 N Center St), just north of the library.
Maria’s Montessori Morning: A Sample Daily Routine
Maria (a fictional typical child) walks with her mom up the sidewalk and into the hallway, where she gives her mom a last hug and kiss. She greets her friends who are also arriving, and hangs her school tote and jacket on her hook. Once she’s changed into her slippers, she’s ready to enter the classroom.
Today, Maria chooses to start her day on the mini trampoline. When she’s had enough, she gets a drink. The teacher invites her to a lesson with the knobbed cylinders, a work she’s been doing a lot lately. Together they get out a work rug and bring the materials to it. This time, the teacher shows her how to do the work with a blindfold. When it’s her turn, Maria repeats the activity twice, then decides to try another blindfold activity. Before she makes her choice, her friend Felicia invites her to eat snack together. Felicia has just finished slicing the apples with the teaching assistant and can’t wait to eat some. They both wash their hands, look at the serving numbers, and put four apple slices, two cubes of cheese, and five pretzels on their plates. After eating, they wash and dry their dishes.
Maria decides to paint at the easel. She is learning to clean the brush before switching colors, and when the colors mix on the paper, too. When she’s happy with her painting, she carries it to the assistant who lifts it onto the counter to dry. She enjoys scrubbing the easel clean and decides to scrub a table next. She spreads out the mat, asks a friend to help her carry the table onto the mat, lays out the scrub brush, soap, sponge, and towel, fetches water, and begins to scrub. When she’s finished and has put everything back, she’s ready to relax a little. She goes to the quiet corner and first traces the finger labyrinth then looks at a few books.
Refreshed, Maria plays on the climber with Peter then decides to practice writing her name. She brings the gridded chalkboard to a table along with the sandpaper letters she needs. She writes one letter in each square, tracing the sandpaper letter with two fingertips every time. She’s especially pleased with her r’s today. After putting her work away, she wanders around the room for a few minutes, stopping here and there to see what her friends are doing. Next she chooses a variety of practical activities: pouring colored water “tea” evenly into three teacups, taking a brass valve apart and putting it together again, sorting tiny pom poms with tweezers, and weaving ribbons on a wire frame.
The teacher rings the bell once, quietly, just as Maria is getting the hanging bead stair from the math shelf. She puts it back and sits down at the ellipse taped on the floor. Her friends join her as they finish putting away their work. The teacher leads the group in a few songs, rhythm games, and finger plays, then calls the children two at a time to get their outside things. Outside, Maria plays catch with Felicia and James. She tries jumping rope, then throws a frisbee a few times. Peter calls her to play car race. They’re just finishing the second race when Maria’s mom comes up.
Together, they walk back down the sidewalk, waving goodbye.
We’d love to meet you and tell you about our school!
Call 574-540-5466 or fill out the form below: