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We help kids enter Elementary School already thriving.
We provide children with a first rate Montessori education: one where reading, math, science & art come alive as children interact with the world around them.
We offer a gleefully muddy childhood: one full of play, exploration, and wonder in the great outdoors. Montessori Forest School is all-outdoors.
Our Infant /Toddler Program is indoors but we ensure they have the maximum allowable time outdoors in full nature immersion.
We are rooted in the forest kindergarten models that have been so successful in Scandinavia and northern Europe (countries that lead the world in educational outcomes). Schools like this one in England & this one in the Arctic Circle, in Norway. In our outdoor classrooms, there are limitless opportunities for children to solve problems, make plans, develop grit and find self worth.
Our mission is to use outdoor classrooms to make a quality education accessible for all families and to give children a joyful, nature- rich childhood that leads them to grow self-esteem, independence and a love of learning.
Our indoor Infant /Toddler Program ensures the maximum allowable time outdoors in full nature immersion.
Our vision is to create a community where all children have the space, time and environment within which to play & process their developing social, emotional and academic skills needed to thrive in school and life.
We believe that children are strong, capable and full of potential.
We know through extensive research that children learn through play and that nature (whether in the cracks of a sidewalk or in the deep woods) provides the most amazing platform for that learning. With nature as a springboard, children can become citizens and stewards of the world around them. This is our aim at our preschool and kindergarten Montessori school & our infants & toddlers programs in Snoqualmie & Mercer Island
Our core values are:
Constant stimulation causes brain pathways (synapses) to grow and become permanent. But if a child receives little stimulation in any topic, the brain will keep fewer of those connections. The most rapid “synapse pruning” happens between ages 2-7, where 50% of the synapses are eliminated.
It’s our great responsibility to harness the time until a child is 7, to ensure maximum brain development in every aspect.
We guide the child to use their Brain maximally in a balanced, diverse Preschool & Infant /Toddler Program education curriculum.
We are influenced by the work on executive functions (aka emotional and social skills) by Dr. Adele Diamond at the University of British Columbia (see her TED Talk here) and by the frontiers of innovation initiative at Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child. We are inspired by research at the Institute for Learning and Brain Science (I-LABS) at the University of Washington which demonstrates that children learn best form people (not screens) and the quality of our teachers = the quality of your child’s learning.
Current brain research indicates that the right hemisphere processes new information and challenges, while the left hemisphere manages the information already familiar to us...
Their is an interplay of neurons firing from different areas across the entire globe of the brain.
Montessori materials are multi-sensory and manipulative in nature.
This fact alone ensures that the child’s work with the materials simultaneously engages many parts of the brain.
The materials also connect the right and left parts of the brain.
No longer can we simply say that the right side processes language and logic and the left side leans towards spatial and creative ability.
The right side handles the spatial intake while the left side handles the more abstract processing involved in using the materials preparing the mind for later development.
Furthermore, the materials allow a child to self-correct (also known as “control of error”).
This activates the part of a child’s brain responsible for the most advanced thinking - the frontal cortex.
We incorporate a variety of brain disciplines & individualized lesson plans using Montessori equipment - ensuring each child develops all hemispheres equally.
We guide the children according to their individually observed Teachable Moments... the moment when a child is ready, eager and open to discovery.
Our teachers are specially trained to capitalize on the power of teachable moments.
This requires keen observation skills and child development expertise by the teacher.
Teachable moments are important to nurture as they emerge, or the child will have missed their opportunity & desire to simply absorb the skill.
We ensure to also not teach anything a child isn't yet ready to absorb.
These strategies enable a child to develop the skill, along with such confidence and a sense of
"I DID IT!"
Exposing a child to these concepts early in their life is vital to the later development of more complex math concepts.
MONTESSORI MATH MATERIALS:
Science is everywhere and the sooner we help your kids develop a love for science, the better!
MONTESSORI SCIENCE MATERIALS:
*We include topics such as:
The child is offered the first steps in organizing their intelligence, which then leads to their adapting to their environment.
MONTESSORI SENSORIAL MATERIALS:
Through song & dance immersion & call-and-response activities, we introduce the basics of a diversity of languages, monthly, according to our cultural themes - including:
MONTESSORI LITERACY MATERIALS INCLUDE:
The Montessori term that encompasses domestic work to maintain the home and classroom environment; self-care and personal hygiene; and grace and courtesy. Practical life skills are of great interest to young children and form the basis of later abstract learning.
MONTESSORI PRACTICAL LIFE INCLUDES:
We start & end each day with DRUM Circle! Sing, Dance, Play!
THE BENEFITS OF DRUMMING:
Our day is also filled with Art - tree bark & leaf rubbings, crafts with twining, rock painting and so much more!
Cultural Studies provide children with an opportunity to explore the larger world - the people, terrain and animals of each continent as they study them in the course of the three-year cycle.
MONTESSORI CULTURAL MATERIALS:
“… and they took turns talking.” Lovely paintings and simple text show children modeling how to use a “peace rose” to share feelings and resolve conflicts.
Not only is this an outstanding read-aloud book and an excellent asset to our peace area, we use the ideas to help us develop a peaceful experience. Dignity, respect, decorum, grace, mindfulness and non-violent communication is the cornerstone of our Peace Curriculum.
MFS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit - tax ID 84-4398383
Montessori Forest School is a 501(c)(3) and is an equal opportunity charity. We accept donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, other non-profits, churches and anyone who would like to make a contribution to our mission of educating Teachers, Parents & Children. We appreciate your support!
To make a donation, please go here.
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