The Montessori Method places value on each child’s style of learning and educational needs. Children learn with their whole selves, using their hands, interests, emotions and passions to drive their growth.
Children benefit from a caring atmosphere that encourages discovery, focus, and cooperation in the classroom. Primary and elementary classes have approximately 20-25 children per classroom. Mixed-age classrooms encourage leadership, discussion, and verbal problem-solving. During the day, children are free to choose to move about the classroom and to choose where they want to do work (floor, table, etc.)
The use of sensory and manipulative materials empowers children to learn on their own and feeds their desire to learn more. Materials used by primary children might include: color tablets, smelling jars, sandpaper letters, and the leaf cabinet. Materials used by elementary children might include: grammar boxes, checker board, stamp game, positive/negative snake game, and the tall bead and golden bead frames.
In the elementary classroom, children bring their questions about the "how" and "why" of the world we live in, and focus on learning about creation (science), language, and mathematics. Going-out programs to do research, field trips, and interviews are encouraged for this age range. Children also engage in the 5 Great Lessons of Montessori.
When Dr. Maria Montessori observed children, she recognized a fundamental truth: children love to learn. The Montessori method creates an environment that is intellectually and spiritually vibrant. Children respond to that environment with an abundance of questions and an enthusiasm for exploration. The journey of discovery that takes place in the classroom results in not only well-informed children, but also in responsible, compassionate, intelligent human beings who carry their curiosity forward into their lives.
What We Offer
Mary, Seat of Wisdom Montessori offers the following classes:
Parent-Child Class (0-2.5 years) Thursdays 9:00-10:30
Step Up Class (for 2-3 year-olds) Tuesdays 9:00 -11:00 (Fall) and Monday and Tuesdays 9:00 -11:00 (Spring)
Primary Class (3-6 years) Monday to Friday 8:00 to 2:30, Monday to Friday 8:00 to 11:30, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8:00 to 2:30, or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8:00 to 11:30
(Given limited resources we require that all children be toileting independently before the start of the school year.)
Elementary Class (6-12 years) Monday- Friday 8:00 to 2:30
Dr. Montessori discovered that newborn to three-year-olds’ brains work like sponges — they learn by absorbing whatever and whomever is in their environment. In the Parent-Child Class, you and your child will interact alongside a teacher in a beautiful environment thoughtfully prepared for newborns to three year olds called a Nido. “Nido" in Italian means nest. Montessori used this word to describe the infant classroom, within which little people feel cared for and loved, so that they will feel safe to explore and grow.
Our Nido environment for very young children gives your infant or toddler the freedom to safely explore and learn through discovery. The setting is calm, inviting, and homelike. The Nido is set up to encourage movement, language, order, and learning through hands-on activities—all of which you can then apply at home. A portion of the class is also devoted to discussions on various topics of child development and the discoveries of Maria Montessori. Class meets once a week for an hour and a half during the school year.
Our Step Up Class (age 2-3 years) safely supports your child’s drive to do things “all by myself," developing independence and joyful confidence. In this learning environment, children work independently, observe others, explore freely, and express their curiosity and creativity. Adults use proper nomenclature rather than baby talk so that the children are exposed to and develop a broad vocabulary. Learning materials are designed to foster concentration, problem solving, and a sense of achievement. Children select the material that interests them, use it for as long as they would like, clean it up (with assistance when needed), and make another choice.
In our Step Up Toddler class we follow Montessori’s maxim, “Never do for a child what they can do for themselves.” You will be amazed at what your toddler is capable of doing when given the freedom to work in a prepared environment with beautiful child-sized tools. This is an excellent preparation for our Primary program. Parents are asked to quietly observe for the Fall semester or until your child has normalized to the class. Step Up class meets once a week for two hours in the Fall and twice a week for two hours during the Spring semester.
Our primary classroom is for children from ages 3 to 6 years old. By combining the different ages of students in the classroom, the older children naturally adopt the role of model and inspiration for the younger children. In doing so, the older children reinforce their own understanding of concepts, while gaining self-confidence and a sense of responsibility.
A true hallmark of Montessori education is the use of multi-age classroom to encourage leadership. This is carried through in our elementary classroom which combines 1st through 6th grades. In first grade, the child takes on a new level of inquiry, pursuing the how and why of all of creation, from the stars above us to the insects below us. In combination with the wealth of materials, students are guided through the five Great Lessons, stories which ground the student in the vastness of human knowledge. These stories teach the child about the creation of the universe, the coming of plant and animal life, the arrival of humans, and the course of language, mathematics, and other human developments. The beauty of a Catholic Montessori school is that these stories incorporate the best of our scientific and historical knowledge with the truths of our faith, as Dr. Montessori intended. Through the years, these lessons are learned with increasing complexity, until the student is not only able to pass them on to younger students, but also move into more abstract thinking and self-initiated projects. This development can occur at the child’s own pace because of the multi-age setting. Older students are guided through the intricacy of research and group projects laying a framework for collaboration and intellectual pursuit that will serve them throughout their lives.