Monday, July 13, 2009

Covington Montessori

Here's news of plans to offer Montessori preschool in Covington. As the parent of three former Montessori preschoolers, I'm happy to see it. The report is a fair description of Montessori, and yet leaves out the things I valued the most when my children were there.

First, I admired the extraordinary thought that went into each set of materials students could choose. They were bright, interesting objects, as engaging to children as any toy at home, but with a deeper sense of how each built important skills for reading, math, geography, or some other subject.

Second, I loved the way that, because the students found the work so engaging, they could be independent learners for long stretches of their school time. (Yes, that's my second daughter fully engrossed at Danville Montessori.)

Finally, I was delighted by the results of student choice about what to work on. One of my children was determined to start reading--and did. The other two got lots of preparation for literacy, but became readers after they entered Toliver Elementary. For children who are three and four, I think that mix of rich opportunity and flexible activity is pretty much ideal.

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