Montessori in Brief
The prepared environment of the Montessori classroom is designed to offer a learning environment adapted to the psychological needs of the child at each stage in his/her development. Stimulating and age-appropriate activities and materials encourage and support the child's innate joy of learning. Teachers work with children as individuals, providing a high degree of individualized education. At the same time, children are part of a thriving social community founded on respect for self and others. Oak Hill Montessori programs, serving children from 8 weeks - 15 years of age, provide children "freedom with responsibility," a fundamental principle of Montessori education.
Mixed Age Classes
Children in Montessori are grouped in age-blended communities for a full development cycle. This means that for Children's House and Elementary programs, the children are enrolled for three year cycles; our Toddler Community spans one to two years.
These mixed age communities provide a number of advantages not found in traditional school systems. Children work with others who are older and younger than they, as well as their peers. The older children serve as role models for the younger children, and in the process, they gain confidence in their abilities and self-esteem regarding their skill level and expertise. The younger ones watch the older ones, and in the process gain a clear vision of what is expected of them. They also have the benefit of working with and learning from their peers as well as from their adult guides. This community is a strong preparation for life in the family, the community, and in the broader world in which we live.
Because the composition of a learning community is selected very carefully, children remain within the same environment during this three year development cycle. We ask parents to make a full commitment to the learning community so children get the whole benefit of the learning cycle. In addition, to best support your child's educational experience we want you to take the opportunity to get to know other parents and children in the community and in our school as a whole.
We ask that parents make a point of observing your child's classroom and other classrooms to gain insight into our Montessori programs and your child's experience.