Montessori West Christian School
How is a Montessori education different from a traditional education?
|Montessori Education||Traditional Education|
|Education from birth.||Educational emphasis begins at age 6|
|Focus on child developmental needs.||Focus on teacher instruction.|
|Focus on the five senses.||Ignores interconnectedness of abstract and concrete. Example – math work on paper without any visual connectives.|
|Encourages independence.||Encourages group conformity.|
|Freedom in a structured environment||Controlled environment with no freedom of choice.|
|Self-discipline. Result of self-discipline: Teaches child to approach different situations with original thought and responsibility.||Teacher directed discipline: Child looks for established “right way” of doing things with little confidence to act independently.|
|Emphasis is on holistic approach. Result is permanent learning.||Emphasis on intellectual memorization. Result is memorization, regurgitation, no retention.|
How do you blend Montessori and Christianity?
Montessori Education, often referred to as “Peace Education,” incorporates the teachings of Christ into the classroom. Montessori saw in the child a road to peace: “By taking the child into consideration we touch something common to all humanity. We cannot achieve world harmony simply by attempting to unite all these adult people who are so different; but we can achieve it if we begin with the child who is not born with national and racial prejudices” (Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work, E. M. Standing, p157). Students are taught to love and respect others, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:39), and respect their environment. In her early classroom in Barcelona, Maria Montessori made her greatest advances in her curriculum, including religious education. The children were shown how to worship. The chapel housed child-sized furnishings and Dr. Montessori created materials about sacred history.
When was Montessori West Christian School founded?
Montessori West Christian School was founded in 1992 on the west side of Spartanburg as a sister school to Montessori Academy.
Where are the teachers trained?
The teachers at Montessori West Christian School have various undergraduate – graduate levels and specialty degrees. They have received Montessori Certification from training centers in South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Canada and England. The teachers also attend workshops and training seminars during the year for the purposes of professional development as well as to meet DSS (South Carolina Department of Social Services) regulations.
What are the school hours?
Our academic hours are from 8:30 a.m. – until 3:00 p.m. However, the school opens at 7:30 a.m. and offers a Studio Program from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
What security measures are in place?
MWCS has in place continuous video monitoring of classrooms, a computer activated security system, perimeter cameras, and childproof exits. The school building is fire and earthquake-resistant. MWCS has well-defined plans for both fire and weather disaster evacuation. Fire drills are held regularly. In the event that we have an emergency requiring evacuation of the school, parents will be notified immediately.
How can I learn more about the Montessori method of teaching?
We offer an extensive list of reading and video material than can be checked out of our resource department. These resources explain the Montessori philosophy, the curriculum materials used and how you as a parent can enrich the home environment. Refer to the Suggested reading section of this website for a list of readings. We also send home informative materials and newsletters during the year to coincide with what the children are doing in the classroom.
Can I visit a classroom?
We have an “Open Door” policy for interested families and current parents. Our classrooms are video monitored and may be observed from the office any time.
What if I have a concern?
We recommend speaking with the child’s morning teacher first. However, the Director is available as well to handle any concerns. We do encourage a team approach.
How is discipline handled?
If a child needs to reflect on his actions, the child is removed from the others and is spoken to privately about such inappropriate action. We also believe that sharing what God’s word has to say about our actions will help to shape character and encourage good behavior. When the child is ready to return to his work or play, he may do so. Many refer to this form of discipline as “time-out”. We like to take it a step further by using Scripture and speaking with the child as he takes “time-out” to think about his behavior. For younger children, simply redirecting the child is most appropriate.
“Discipline must come through liberty. . . . We do not consider an individual disciplined only when he has been rendered as artificially silent as a mute and as immovable as a paralytic. He is an individual annihilated, not disciplined.” – Maria Montessori
What can I do to volunteer?
We encourage family involvement! We welcome assistance in our garden and wildlife habitat as well as sharing a travel experience, storytelling and substituting in the classroom as needed.
What is available for children in the summer?
We offer a Summer Session similar to our Studio Programs. Our summer hours are 7:15 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Are your students involved in the community?
Teaching children to be “servants” includes placing an emphasis on community service. We have been actively involved in The Downtown Rescue Mission, Operation Warmth, Meals for the Homeless, and the Spartanburg Humane Society. This is in keeping with the teachings of the Bible: “[The Lord] upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.” Psalm 146:7