We know choosing a preschool is often a confusing and overwhelming task for parents. We would love to answer any questions you may have regarding our program. Below are some questions that are common with new parents.
- What IS Montessori? Montessori encompasses a philosophy by which children are allowed to develop naturally and fully, each at his or her own pace. Under the guidance of certified teachers, in a specially prepared environment, and using carefully formulated materials; children are given the opportunity to learn in the best ways--by choice and by discovery. Because children are given the freedom to choose and to work at their own pace, their independence and natural love of learning is nurtured. This in turn helps children learn better and more by not having to wait on other children who may not be learning at the same pace.
- What does Montessori MEAN? Montessori is a method of teaching that was introduced to the world by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907. Montessori schools can be found in six continents and there is over 750 Montessori schools in the United States alone. Coshocton is lucky enough to have one of those.
- How many teachers and children are in each class? The state of Ohio requires that there is a maximum of 12 children per 1 teacher. We strive for 8 children per 1 teacher. We have 2 teachers in each class and an average of 16 children per room.
- Is there structure? Our preschool is unique! Most "typical" preschools are play-based, as ours is child-based and teacher-guided. We offer children many lessons each day. All these lessons are presented to the children on shelves in an organized, aesthetically pleasing way. The lessons the children choose to do must be presented by a teacher prior to the child choosing a work and they must preform the lesson in a similar fashion. Children are not allowed to run wild-this is often times a mis-conception. Our classrooms are often calm, quiet and relaxing environments for the children to learn and explore.
- What will my child do? We want to teach and guide each child to reach their potential. We all know children learn at different rates and in different ways.
For the youngest Montessori child-we focus on building their skills they will need when they grow older and begin doing more difficult lessons. We want these three year olds to gain the coordination they will need to hold a pencil and write their name or numbers. We want the youngest children to gain the concentration they will need to complete the Spindle Box (counting and separating quantity 0-9) even with a child sitting across the table from them. We want the three year olds to gain independence by learning to do things on their own...carrying a heavy tray with glass pitcher and cups to a table without spilling the water or dropping the glass, putting their coat on and zipping it up, caring for their environment by cleaning up their messes. All of these are very important lessons that the youngest Montessorians are learning. It is important work-very important for these skills are prerequisites to academics.
For the older Montessori child-we focus on academics as well as social and leadership skills. It is easy to see the academic lessons happening in each of our classrooms-whether its addition, or multiplication or reading phonetic words or phonograms or books. But what is often times missed is the lessons of how to tell a friend you may not like what they are doing or giving every child respect by taking turns talking and answering with a "yes, please" or "no, thank you" or an "excuse me" as you move by someone. It may be asking, "are you ok?" or helping a younger child when they need assistance with a lesson. It may also be helping a child with a broken arm carry a tray to a table because she can't use the one arm. These older children are learning to be part of a community and understanding that we all have an important part in our world-and the younger children are seeing this model behavior and following.