Mary, Seat of Wisdom Catholic Community
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Mary, Seat of Wisdom Catholic Community
Supporting Homeschooling and Montessori Education in the Ohio Valley


We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.
— Dr. Maria Montessori

Why Montessori?

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.

Knowledge can be best given where there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period when the seed of everything can be sown, the child’s mind being like a fertile field, ready to receive what will germinate into culture. But if neglected during this period, or frustrated in its vital needs, the mind of the child becomes artificially dulled, henceforth to resist imparted knowledge. Interest will no longer be there if the seed be sown too late, but at six years of age all items of culture are received enthusiastically, and later these seeds will expand and grow.
— - Dr. Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential

Montessori Education

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.


 Our Teachers, Assistants and Catechist


Maggie Dobbins, Director of Montessori, Elementary Guide


Maggie was born and raised in California in a large Catholic family. As a little girl she dreamed of becoming a Catholic School teacher. After graduating from Franciscan University she took her love of teaching and adventure abroad, teaching students of all ages in Asia and the Holy Land. After falling falling in love with the works of Maria Montessori, she sought out training at the institute founded by Dr. Montessori's son in Bergamo, Italy. Putting theory into practice, Maggie became a Montessori guide in Texas and furthered her training with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Her childhood ambition was finally realized as she married spiritual formation, intellectual growth and a spirit of exploration in and out of the classroom. This is the vision of Maria Montessori for the elementary child, in which the universe is brought into the classroom, drawing the student beyond the simple academic exercises into true growth. Maggie is delighted to return to Ohio and bring her expertise to Mary, Seat of Wisdom Montessori.


Monica Stoutz, Primary Aide and Catechist

Monica Stoutz is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College with a BA in Liberal Arts. She comes to MSW Montessori with 16 experience with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Certified in all three levels of the Catechesis (ages 3-12), she serves as catechist to both the Primary and Elementary classes. Monica is also an Aide in our Primary classroom, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.



Anna Acciani, Primary Guide


Anna hails from Upstate New York and is a graduate of Franciscan University. She has a background in Catholic education and sees her principal aim as nurturing each child's innate desire to learn. She is bringing a passion for inspiring wonder and curiosity to the children of the Primary environment. In her free time, she enjoys knitting and hiking.


Amelia Villa, Elementary Assistant

Amelia Villa is from Alpine, Texas, and graduated from Franciscan University in 2019 with a degree in elementary education. She discovered Montessori through volunteering at Mary Seat of Wisdom, and then spent last year as an intern in the elementary classroom. Amelia is looking forward to being an assistant in the elementary classroom this year. Her hobbies include traveling on mission trips, speaking Spanish, and volunteering at the Samaritan House. We're grateful to Amelia for her help in leading the mission group that fixed up our playground recently.

Maggie Venditti, Primary Assistant

Maggie Venditti is happy to bring her many years of teaching experience to Mary Seat of Wisdom. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor's degree in science education. and has taught in parochial schools, homeschool co-ops, and done private tutoring. In all types of teaching, she loves watching the "aha" moments when the child discovers wonder and joy in learning. Maggie discovered the Montessori method when homeschooling her own children. She is the proud mother of five and now grandmother of two. Her hobbies include camping and gardening.

 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Young children have a natural ability to enjoy their relationship with God in a very deep way.
— Sophia Cavaleti, The Joyful Journey

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was born from the joy of the children in their encounter with God and lives in being nourished by this joy. It has also been observed that children of the same developmental stage even though belonging to different cultural backgrounds, respond to certain elements of the Christian message in the same way. Over time through being with children in a specially prepared environment called an atrium, observing and listening to their responses, scriptural and liturgical themes developed that most resonated with children’s religious needs according to their age levels. Thus the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd divests itself of any strictly scholastic character, so as to become an experience of life, an education in faith, and a celebration of the encounter with the Father, in listening to Jesus, the one Teacher, and in obedience to the Holy Spirit.

Dr. Sofia Cavalletti was a privileged witness to that encounter, and to the children’s total engagement with the Mystery being revealed, and it changed her life. Beginning in 1954, she and Gianna Gobbi began a “long work” together of tirelessly observing children and seeking to put in their hands the particular announcements from the Bible and the liturgy that seemed to most deeply satisfy their spiritual hungers. Their indicator that the “food” being offered truly matched the need and capacity of the children, was the children’s joy, a peaceful kind of joy that led them to further contemplation, especially through their personal work with the corresponding material, and to prayer.

At Mary, Seat of Wisdom, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is incorporated in the life of both our Primary and Elementary classrooms. For more information, please contact our catechist, Monica Stoutz:


How to Apply

To apply, please contact the Maggie Dobbins to arrange a meeting and a visit of the school: mswmdirector[at]gmail[dot]com

For our online registration form, click here.

To complete your registration, please add the Montessori Registration Fee to your cart:

 How to Pay

One Time Payment

If you want to pay your child’s Montessori tuition (one year) with one payment, you will receive a 5% discount. Please select an option from the list below. If you would like to pay over 12 months (no discount), please click here to be re-directed.

Montessori Full Time
2,660.00 2,800.00
Montessori Part Time
1,995.00 2,100.00
Step Up Toddler Class
570.00 600.00

12 Month Payment

To pay your child’s Montessori tuition (one year) over the course of 12 monthly payments (no 5% discount), please select your child’s level from the list below and add it to your cart.

Montessori Full Time (12 Month Payment)
233.33 every month for 1 year
Montessori Parent-Child Class (Two Payments)
150.00 every 5 months for 10 months
Step Up Toddler Class (12 Payments)
50.00 every month for 1 year
Montessori Part Time (12 Month Payment)
175.00 every month for 1 year


Alternative Forms of Payment

In order to simplify the billing and cash-flow that enables Mary, Seat of Wisdom Catholic Community to hire great teachers, we are striving to have all your payments fit into either a one-time-payment or an automatic 12-month payment plan. If this simply does not work for you, and you require an alternative way of paying (such as a different payment schedule or making direct deposits) please contact the Executive Director, mswccdirector[at]gmail[dot]com to arrange.