The Money

For some families, money is not a problem. But for others, it is. In either case, there are very important reasons for attending a Montessori school.

For many families, private education is a struggle. But is it an exceptionally valuable struggle carried on in the best interest of those families’ most precious possessions, their own children? The struggle makes sense because the first ten to fifteen years of education (from pre-school through eighth grade) are the period in life in which every penny invested in a child’s education has its greatest effect. Study after study shows the irreplaceable impact of early life experiences in later academic success. The time for investment in education is not just high school or college: without the proper foundations, students won’t get the most out of their higher education and families won’t get their money’s worth.

A Montessori education is the greatest investment that any parent can make for his or her child. The return on this investment is a happy, capable child equipped with unique skills that are critical for genuine success in a global society. This is the kind of young person that really wonderful secondary schools and universities search for. But the question is really much larger than that. The question is the kind of life that lies ahead for your child. The unique range of experiences and skills gained by children in Montessori serve them ever after as a source of positive self-regard, a source of confidence and energy with which to face the world. What more can any parent hope for his or her child?

(adapted from Michael Rosanova, Intercultura Montessori School, 2003)

Through the beauty of the materials and ingeniously attractive activities, the children use their minds and bodies in ways that prepare them for more concentrated study in later years. The keys to learning—focus and concentration—are built from the very first lessons. For instance, an early lesson on pouring rice with small glass pitchers is not just a fine motor activity, but also pre-reading preparation. It trains the eyes in left to right tracking and the body in careful movement. Unorganized movement causes the child to drop and break items, letting the child know what he or she needs to do.

Concrete skills, self-mastery, and self-direction are built as well. Also, in working with the materials, the children take things apart, put them back together, and think about what they do. This gives them practice in the highest thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. It also leads to mature questioning, research, and true creativity when they put things back together in a new way. The youngest children in the environment catch the enthusiasm of the older ones as they make their discoveries and reach toward the more sophisticated materials, all the while enjoying their own pursuits and “games.”

The fact that the Montessori materials are laid out on the shelves according to their difficulty from left to right allows each child to track his or her progress in terms of what shelves have been mastered. This is a clear and simple way for the children to know “what is next,” as well as for the directress to follow what the child has mastered. Children demonstrate their mastery of a curriculum area by how they use the materials. They become models for other children “because they are experts.” All these features of the Montessori materials and curriculum layout help develop self-direction and self-monitoring, important work habits for future success.

Likewise, the organization of the materials helps reveal the wonder of having the older students together with the younger ones. The children actually begin to track each other’s progress. They help and encourage each other by giving lessons and modeling responsible behavior. All three age levels benefit from the community atmosphere, strong curriculum expectations, and values of the “Children’s House.” Council Oak offers a classic Montessori Children’s House which aims at a high level of intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development for each child. It is dedicated to preparing the 3-6-year-olds for more advanced study in the Lower Elementary (6-9) program at Council Oak.

Parent Testimonials

Council Oak Montessori School