FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What’s different about Kingwood Montessori?
Montessori schools, in general, are structured to meet each student’s unique pace and to foster their independence and self-confidence. Our particular program is dedicated to providing an experience that is unique, loving, and family-centered. You’ll find small classrooms, engaged parents and staff, and lots of loving home-like touches such as every child bringing in a framed picture of their family to stay in the classroom and even the youngest classroom participating in the serving and cleaning up of meals. We offer parent forums to learn about all kinds of Montessori and parenting topics, outside of school socialization opportunities, and we have an open-door policy for parents who want to observe, participate or give feedback.
How do Montessori students fair academically compared to public students?
Starting in first grade, students take the Stanford Standardized test every year. Millions of students from other private schools, home-schools, and many public school districts use this test. It gives a great window into where our students stand. In Spring 2018, our 1st and 2nd graders tested an average of one grade level ahead in Math and on-level over-all. Our 3rd and 4th graders tested as a group about one year ahead in both Math and Reading and 2 full years ahead in Thinking Skills. Our 5th and 6th graders tested an average 1.5 years ahead in Reading, 2.3 years ahead in math, and 3 years ahead in both Science and Social Science and in Thinking Skills. Our oldest six-grader tested into “Post High School Level” in 7 categories.
What is the student: teacher ratio?
Our maximum student: teacher ratio in our Toddler environment (12 months to 3) is 6:1, in Early Childhood (ages (ages 3-5) is 9:1, and in our Elementary Classrooms it is 8:1. In many cases we stay well below this and have even better ratios.
What kind of extra-curricular activities do students participate in?
Our students of all ages get weekly yoga, PE, Spanish, and Peace & Service classes. Art is taught daily in the younger rooms and in Elementary, it becomes a more structured weekly class.
If my child has freedom to choose what he/she does, how do I know he/she will actually get work done?
While it is definitely true that students have a voice in what they choose, it is guided choice. Children are hard-wired to be curious and to try things out, so the materials are designed and laid out to attract that natural interest and the teachers will limit and guide their choices as needed. Their natural self-motivation is amazing when that spark is not dampened by frustrations (such as work that is too easy and makes them feel bored or work that is too hard and makes them feel unsuccessful). If, there’s a child who is not choosing language work, for example, but he really loves dinosaurs, you should not be surprised to see some dinosaur language work pop up onto the shelves.
My child is really active/distractable/shy/behind/ahead. Will Montessori work for us?
One of the most wonderful things about the Montessori method is how adaptable it is to each child. Their work is unique. Their pace is unique.
The three-year age spread means that other friends of different ages are working on a huge variety of work and students don’t feel “behind” or “ahead”. It also means that even the shiest students gain confidence by the third year in the cycle to act as leaders and mentors for the newest, youngest students. As for active students, many benefit amazingly from having more freedom to move about, more outside time than traditional schools, and from being challenged at exactly their academic level so they stay engaged.
Does Kingwood Montessori have a strong STEAM program?Yes! Our environment is extremely rich in art, math, and science as part of our daily curriculum. We want our students to be fantastic observers who are curious about how things work. We want them to be hands-on as much as possible, so you will see lots of math manipulatives, science experiments and classroom plants, butterfly nurseries, or aquariums. This year we are expanding even further to bring in technology/coding lessons for older students and a stronger engineering focus. Check it out.
Kingwood has great public schools. Why would I consider investing in Montessori elementary?
We believe that there is SO much more to education than academics and we have actively set up our program to meet needs of the whole child. Academically, starting in first grade, the students have a role in creating their work plan. They know what they have mastered and what is coming up and they have a much better handle on why. Their responsibility for their own day and work-plan fosters confidence and independence and carries through to their entire life.
We are thrilled that our academics meet and exceed public school, but to us, it is equally or more important to help each student grow as kind, curious, open-minded global citizens. Our small, multi-year classrooms and involved administration allow us the luxury of truly getting to know each child for who they are and where they are going. We believe that given the proper environment, even our younger students can start to sort out what lights them up and what their purpose in life might be and we are honored to be a part of each journey.
Socially and emotionally, the excellent student: teacher ratio means that we are extremely aware of the social dynamics among the students and we actively engage in shaping healthy conflict resolution, communicating your opinion and your own emotions even when that is not easy, and being true, active listeners and supporters.
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Welcome! We're so glad you found us. We believe that exemplary education is about small classrooms, loving staff, strong community, and fanning a child's natural spark to learn. Check out the FAQs below and please don't hesitate to reach out.