The Williamsburg Montessori School community is made up of students, teachers, parents, and grandparents–a vital partnership that plays a major role in your child’s success in a Montessori education.
The typical Montessori education extends well beyond the basics of literacy and numeracy into the social and spiritual aspects of life. Children thrive when home and school work in harmony–when both environments share the same educational values and expectations. Regular communication and classroom observation are vital.
Staying In Touch
- Web Site (From calendar updates, to WMS in the news, to information about Montessori educational philosophy.)
- Tuesday Tidings (WMS’ weekly electronic newsletter)
- Regular email updates from classroom parent liaisons
- Various materials sent home weekly with students
- Twice-yearly parent/teacher conferences with written progress reports.
- Classroom observations (A helpful resource whereby Montessori communication styles and routines can be incorporated at home.)
- Regular parent education seminars (to provide helpful information about supporting your child’s education
- Excellent parent resource library.
Meeting Academic Expectations
As a Montessori school, we are different from traditional schools. Our first commitment is to the multi-dimensional development of the child. Montessori children do amass a great deal of factual knowledge in school. However, our aim is for each child to be far more than a repository of this information. We guide each child to think for herself. Cognitive development and a solid academic foundation are important, yet they represent only one dimension of our aspirations for your child. Equally significant is your child’s social, emotional, spiritual and physical development.
Children are given choices and a great deal of freedom—within limits—during the school day. The choices a child makes and the accompanying responsibilities influence the emerging character of your child. Choosing his own work, or shaping it to a considerable degree, following that work through to completion while working independently or in cooperation with others, the Montessori child identifies his interests and develops his individual gifts.
Significant emphasis is placed upon community service. Younger children learn by serving their small community, e.g., classmates, classroom, and family. As they grow, children reach out to the larger community and experience the many rewards of helping others. The children gain awareness and appreciation of others, of the challenges faced by others, and equally important, of their own strengths and abilities to help others and affect the world around them. Community service is an integral and important part of their lives and stays with them well beyond their WMS years.
We treat each child with dignity and respect, and expect that she will treat all others with the same respect. We treat each child as an individual and strive to develop each child’s unique gifts—within the context of the classroom and the school community. With freedom comes responsibility, and each child learns to balance his personal freedom with a clear sense of responsibility to himself, to others and to the community as a whole.
Creating Consistency Between Home and School
Learn as much as you can about Montessori principles as they apply to preparation of your child’s home environment as well as the way we as parents interact with our children. This begins with the general principle, “Never do something for your child that he can do for himself.” Allow your child to engage in all of the simple tasks of practical life that a child can do for himself at each stage of development. Montessori education may also entail learning a communication style different from the way in which we were parented. Parent Seminars and other group activities can be a great support in this regard.WMS views parents a essential partners in the great work of “following the child.” The school-home partnership is built on a foundation of trust and is cultivated through ongoing interaction, friendship and collaboration.