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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Montessori Method of education?
Montessori education was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first Italian female physician. Dr.Montessori based her education methods on scientific observation of children's learning processes. Guided by her profound discovery that children teach themselves, Dr.Montessori designed the first Casa dei bambini ("Children's House") in 1907 in Rome. Today, Montessori education is found all over the world, spanning ages from birth to
adolescence.

What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?
The Montessori Method is unlike any other and is totally focused on the child. Unlike a traditional classroom, children are not taught but rather guided and provided the opportunity to become self-motivated, self-disciplined and think independently. The beauty of the Montessori Method is that it is based on the child's ability to learn rather than the adult's ability to teach. Dr. Montessori accomplished this though years of observing how children learn and when they are best suited to learn a particular task. She devised and formulated the perfect environment with carefully designed materials that would meet the child's natural ability to learn. The environment is pleasant and provides a sensible balance between structure and freedom that allows your child to develop into a responsible, well-rounded, fulfilled and happy adult. This is accomplished by providing your child a strong foundation in their most important and formative years.

How is a "Montessori Teacher" different?

Montessori Teachers receive special training about the  the Montessori philosophy and the methodology  for the age level they are teaching. They have the ability and the dedication to put key concepts into practice. The Montessori Teacher is usually referred to as a "Directress" and she functions as a designer of the environment, role model, demostrator, record keeper and meticulous observer of each child's progress. The teacher is a facilitator of learning.

Are Montessori children successful later in life?
According to The International Montessori Index Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, showing enthusiasm, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm to learning and adapting to new situations.

How is creativity encouraged?
Creativity flourishes in an atmosphere of acceptance and trust.
Montessorians recognize that each child learns to express themselves in individual ways. To promote areas of creativity and self expression Curlew Montessori incorporates music, art, storytelling and movement in our daily curriculum.

What is the Before School Program?
The before school program, offers parents/guardians, an opportunity to drop off their child(ren) between 7:30 and 8:30. There is no charge for this early drop off. If the conditions are fine for outdoor playground use the children may be taken to the outdoor playground. If conditions are not suitable or appropriate, the children will be involved in theme-based or daily activities such as puzzles, Lego, play doh etc. in the Activity Room.

What is the After School Program?
At 4:00 p.m. the children may be taken to the outside playground, conditions permitting or stay inside and use either the big gym or the activity room. Activities will be theme based or designed on a daily basis. These activities include the use of tricycles, painting, singing, cooperative games, story telling, playing with balls, etc.
There is a charge for the after School Program.See Registration Package for pricing information.

How will French be taught?
The teaching of French is done throughout the entire day including at Circle time. French is integrated into the curriculum during the Montessori work time. The  French Teacher always communicates with the children in French so that they are able to pick up the spoken word. Instruction is also done through songs, simple French books and games. The overall goal is that both English and French languages are assimilated on a very natural and enjoyable level for all children.

How will my Child adapt to his/her new environment?
Each child reacts to a new environment in a different way. Every accommodation is made to ensure your child is happy and adjusting to his/her new situation. Some children may initially want to come for shorter periods of time, others may want to bring something special from home to hold onto for the first little while. Others seek more attention from the teacher and this time is provided. Sometimes the Administrator, at the request of the parent/guardian will visit the home environment before the child first attends the school. Each situation is different and the Administrator is happy to discuss your preferences and your child's needs with you.

What is the lunch program?
Curlew Montessori considers lunchtime to be a positive experience of eating and socializing. Children eat their supervised lunch in the dining room, 11:30 - 12. A catered lunch program by an outside food provider will offer lunch. The cost will be additional.
Morning and Afternoon Snacks are also provided by a outside food provider and offers a variety of different home made snacks to the children. The School serves fresh fruit and vegetables in season and milk is offered at lunch time.

How can I be sure that Curlew Montessori School will provide the necessary environment for my child?

Starting school is perhaps one of the hardest transitions for both parents and children. Curlew Montessori School and it's staff will ensure that the transitioning process is both a hassle free and a painless experience. We encourage our staff to share their daily observations with parents of children just starting school so that parents are aware of how their child is adjusting at school.

We also encourage prospective parents to come in for in-class observations before the admission process. This provides parents with an idea of routines in the classroom, how curriculum is presented, peer to peer interactions and the role of the Directress in the classroom.


As parents/guardians, how can we help?
Parents can help the school and the children in many different ways. Here are a few examples. We appreciate the offer of extra supervision while going on field trips or at special school events.
Our open door policy provides many opportunities for parents to make positive suggestions for program additions and use of facilities as the school flourishes.We encourage parents to write testimonials - happy notes - on why the decision to enroll your child at Curlew Montessori School or share a positive experience you and/or your child was exposed to at the School. At Open Houses we welcome parental involvement in offering tours to prospective parents and to spread the good news about the school. We see parents as partners and ambassadors in helping us make the school the special place that it is meant to be.

What happens when a child leaves Montessori?

Montessori children are usually adaptive. They have learned to work independently and in groups. Since they are encouraged to make decisions from an early age, they are problem-solvers who can make choices and manage their time well.

Montessori children are also encouraged to exchange ideas and discuss their work freely with others, and good communication skills ease the way in new settings.

Research has proven that the best predictor of future success is a sense of self esteem. Montessori programs based on self directed, non-competitive activities, help children develop good self images and the confidence to face challenges and change with optimism.