What is Montessori?

“The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria   Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Dr. Montessori’s Method has been time tested, with over 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world.

It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive.”

– American Montessori Society

Is Montessori Forest a school?

No. We are technically classified as a homeschool enrichment program.  What we really are is an awesome community of students who crave learning and are empowered to educate themselves.

What do you teach?

Read here (under “Curriculum”).

What if my kid just wants to color all day?

Learning to manage your day in a self-directed learning environment is no joke. It is a process that is learned over time. There are many different reasons that some children may just want to do something “fun” or “easy” for long periods of time. Creative activities like coloring can help kids self-regulate emotionally, calm an overwhelmed mind, provide opportunities for social interaction or artistic expression, or avoid more challenging work. It’s important to respect the child’s needs, while also encouraging the best use of the learning opportunities available.

Initially, we have a conversation with the child to learn about what they’re doing and why, and what value they see in it. We ask the child to reflect on what has been accomplished so far today, how they are feeling in the moment, and whether they think the activity is the best use of their time. Once we understand what is motivating the child and where their current interest lies, we can gently guide them towards more productive activities, and help them find other interesting things to do and learn about.

Some students need more structure in this regard than others. If coloring (or reading, or anything else) becomes an ongoing issue, we increase the amount of structure  and support for the child, to help him or her make better decisions about work. Our job is to honor their desire and needs, while stimulating their natural thirst for learning.

What supplies does my child need?

Your child should bring lunch, an extra cloth napkin (to use as a placemat at lunch), and a water bottle. That’s it. We supply everything else.

What about snacks?

We provide a non-dairy, gluten-free, mostly organic snack each morning.

Will you supply me with a weekly detailed report on my child’s current work?

No. Please read about our tracking system here (under “Goals & Tracking”).

Can my child bring toys?

Under most circumstances no. If you have a special request, let’s chat. Throughout the year there will be structured opportunities for sharing.

What is divergent thinking?

Divergent thinking is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions.

How much does it cost?

Read here.