Welcome to The Montessori School’s blog! We look forward to sharing posts I have written as well as posts from other members of our Montessori community at least once a month.

You can expect to read about the Montessori philosophy and personal experiences with its teachings, events at our Kalamazoo and Richland campuses, administrative and financial summaries, and much more.

In an effort to create an engaging and useful dialogue with this blog, I also welcome your suggestions for topics and members of our community that you would like to hear from. Please feel free to email your input. I look forward to hearing your ideas!

Thanks for checking out our new blog. Please enjoy the message of our most recent enews shared below.

Dear Families,

For many of you, it’s that time of year when you’re making the important decision of deciding what is next for your child. They’ve been in Montessori for a few years now; you love the program, but there are a lot of options for elementary.

As a new TMS parent myself (my son started 4th grade this year), I can’t tell you how excited I am about the kind of education he is receiving each day. I’ve taught at both traditional and Montessori schools, and what we do at The Montessori School is unlike any other program around! Here are just a few reasons why I love Montessori for the elementary years:

  • Students move at their own pace: Too often I’ve spoken with a parent who is concerned about how their child is bored in their new traditional school. Montessori is the only program that truly teaches to the individual. Other schools might have small group instruction from time to time, but for the majority of the day, your child would be learning what every other child is ready to learn. In Montessori, each child has their own educational plan and moves at the pace they are ready for.
  • Our philosophy is to follow the child: Not only do we move at the pace of the child, we also follow the interests of the child. If a student is fascinated by space, we build on that interest. A child might do a report, build a model, or plan a field trip about space. Our students love to learn because they can follow their own interests and explore them in depth. We never stop a child from learning about a topic because it isn’t in our curriculum or isn’t built into the daily schedule. Traditional schools don’t have this flexibility. We do!
  • We teach to the whole child: While we explore the academic areas in great depth, we also teach life skills, social skills, problem-solving, emotional awareness, care for self and others, art, health, physical fitness, and music! On any given day, your child might be exploring algebra, sewing, performing science experiments, painting with water colors, planning their own field trip, discussing a book in their reading group, taking care of the class pet, and meeting with student council!
  • A close, family-like community: Students stay in the same classroom for three year cycles. This helps them develop close relationships with their classmates, the adults in the room, as well as the environment itself. As a parent, I feel good sending my child into an environment where he’s able to be himself.
  • Amazing field trip experiences: In addition to plays, concerts, outdoor excursions, and trips to the library, elementary students have the opportunity to plan their own field trips. These experiences, known as “Going Outs,” require the child to plan all aspects of their trip. What interests them? Where will they go? What are they trying to learn or experience? Who will chaperone them? How much will it cost? Students learn to make phone calls, budget, manage their own time, and make a fun day happen all on their own!
  • The after school program: This is not just child care! This is up to three hours of engaging enrichment opportunities for your child. TMS has our very own outdoor learning environment separate from the playground known as “The Hill.” Here you’ll see students catching and studying insects, playing hide and seek in the wooded area, reading under a tree, photographing nature, painting, building, playing outdoor games, and more!
  • Ready for middle school, high school and beyond! After you’ve kept your child in this safe, nurturing environment through 5th or 6th grade, you may be worried that he won’t be ready for the “real world,” but I’ve found just the opposite. At TMS, students have learned time management skills, they are self-motivated, responsible and love learning. Because they’ve had a safe environment that teaches to the whole child, they have the confidence, self-esteem, character, and academic readiness to be successful in any educational environment. We teach the skills that a child needs to be successful in the real world, not just middle school. Every time I meet an alumni, I’m impressed!

Still unsure about Montessori for the elementary years? We have an amazing Elementary Open House planned for Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 6:00-8:00 PM. You can speak with alumni and current students, meet the entire elementary team, see the materials, tour the classrooms, and learn about the incredible programs we offer. We’d also love to talk to you more about observing in an elementary room, the transition from primary to elementary for students, and the tuition assistance program for the elementary program. Email Melanie today for more information or to RSVP to this event. Dinner and childcare will be provided. Please join us!

Peace,

Ann Pilzner

 

Ann Pilzner is the Head of School at The Montessori School. She taught at a traditional school in Detroit for two years before falling in love with the Montessori concept while searching for a preschool for her first child. Pilzner went on to become a teacher at a Montessori school and later an administrator before joining The Montessori School in 2016.