The purpose of School in the Woods Montessori School is to provide a school for young children in which the Montessori approach to education is used, and to provide parent education and teacher development in support of the growth of the young child.
As a community, we recognize that families provide children with their first opportunity to connect with other people, and create their first learning environment. We work actively to create a partnership between the school and family to create the best possible foundation for each child. Together, we are dedicated to offering our children opportunities to develop their potential as they step out into the world as engaged, competent, responsible and respectful citizens with an understanding and appreciation that learning is for life. This includes support the following Montessori principles:
- Each child is valued as a unique individual. Montessori education recognizes that children learn in different ways, and accommodates all learning styles. Each child is free to learn at their own pace and according to his own interests. This learning is guided and supported by the teacher as she models an attitude of valuing diversity.
- Beginning at an early age, children are offered the opportunity to explore their world and build their independence. Classroom design, materials, and daily routines support the individual’s emerging capabilities allowing them ever-increasing opportunities to “do it myself”. Children learn how to take responsibility for their choices and actions which lays the foundation for “self-regulation” (the capacity to control one’s impulses and to delay gratification).
- Students are part of a close, caring community. The multi-age classroom re-creates a family structure. Older students enjoy stature as mentors and role models; younger children feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. Teachers model respect, loving kindness, and a belief in peaceful conflict resolution.
- Children in Montessori environments enjoy freedom within limits. Working within parameters set by their teachers, children have freedom of choice in deciding what materials they want to work with. Montessorians understand that internal satisfaction drives the child’s curiosity and results in joyous learning that is sustainable over a lifetime.
Given the freedom and support to explore, to question, and to make connections, Montessori students become confident, enthusiastic, self-directed learners. They are able to think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly—a skill set for the 21st century.