Montessori Programs Offered
“Here is an essential principle of education:
to teach details is to bring confusion; to establish the relationship between things is to bring knowledge.”
-Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence
(8 weeks-18 months)
Our infant program nurtures the sense of trust and security in each child. Our Montessori trained infant teachers prepare the classroom with guided exploration in mind. The space is safe and designed to meet the developmental needs of the youngest members of our community. Infants are remarkable “students” who spend their entire infancy learning what it means to be human. Our teachers are models for the students and interact with the babies through singing, speaking, rocking, holding, laughing and smiling. The Montessori education at this level is based on both child and brain development. Safety, love, and cognitive growth are the cornerstones of our program.
Our teachers follow the infants’ schedules and allow them to nap when they are tired, eat when they are hungry and explore when they are ready. Teachers encourage the infant to challenge themselves. For example, our teachers will observe an infant who is working on reaching or crawling. The teacher will place an object just out of reach and the infant will problem solve until they get the object.
The Montessori Infant program is far from a daycare, it is an environment which focuses on all aspects of your child’s development with special focus on independence, language and cognitive growth. This is all done in a safe and loving environment.
(16 months-three years)
The toddler wants to be able to do things without assistance. To foster independence, the children are encouraged to do as much as possible for themselves. Toddlers are capable of so much if we give them the time and patience necessary for them to accomplish tasks on their time schedule. Toddlers at HMS are provided daily with opportunities to meet their physical, social and emotional needs independently with a minimum amount of adult intervention. This is not to say that adult support isn’t given. The toddler teachers are ready to step in when the child needs help or encouragement. The curriculum includes activities that form the mathematical mind, activities that assist language development and lessons in grace and courtesy for social development.
The Toddler Program is multi-aged. The younger children observe the older toddlers and are intrinsically motivated to do what they see them doing (including using the bathroom). The older children are delighted in their newfound skills and excited to be able to help the younger children, which in turn fosters their self-esteem.
Montessori Early Childhood
(ages 2 ½ -6) (Early Childhood-Kindergarten)
Dr. Montessori developed the early childhood program based on child development at this exciting age. Dr. Montessori realized that children are capable of so much more than we typically give them credit. That is why the HMS Early Childhood program has such tremendous breadth and depth. The foundational goal of the Early Childhood program is for the child to develop a sense of order, concentration skills, coordination and independence (OCCI). These are the foundation because without them, children do not have the necessary focus and skills to become successful students. But the curriculum is so much more than OCCI. Realizing the potential of young children, Dr. Montessori included Practical Life, Sensorial, Language (reading and writing), Math, Science (Earth science, astronomy, botany, zoology and anatomy), Cultural (geography, social studies, peace education). At HMS we enrich this already fantastic curriculum with Art, Music, Spanish and Physical Education.
In the Montessori program, each child is given individual lessons that contain kinesthetic, auditory and visual components. What does that mean? Every child’s needs are met – no matter what style of learner they are, no matter how quickly they master material, no matter how slowly they need to go in a subject they find more challenging. Children are not bored waiting for others to catch up, nor left behind because they simply needed more time to master a concept. Please note that we work for mastery and true understanding, not rote memorization.
Another important aspect of the Montessori Early Childhood program is the multi-age classroom. Younger children develop intrinsic motivation because they want to do what they see the older children doing. Older children solidify their mastery of a subject when helping to teach a younger child. The children also have the opportunity to experience different social roles, no matter what their birth order might be. Lastly, the children develop leadership skills as they move through the three-year program.
Last, but not least, the Montessori program is unique as it addresses the development of the whole child. Grace and courtesy is continually taught and reinforced as a foundation of social development. Lessons to assist children with emotional development are included, in addition to, fine and gross motor development.
Montessori Lower Elementary
Dr. Montessori realized that children were able to use their imaginations to move from concrete to abstract thinking. They can use their imaginations to make connections with history, science, math, literature and the world. The interrelated curriculum at this level is based on Montessori’s Cosmic Curriculum. The Great Lessons, the main component of the Cosmic Curriculum, appeal to the student’s sense of wonder and love of storytelling.
The student’s ability to reason makes Lower Elementary the place where children master fundamental skills and core knowledge. It is here that they learn how to learn. Students are guided to become more independent in self-direction, more responsible and intrinsically motivated.
The class is multi-age, which not only provides motivation and leadership opportunities, it is perfect for the social beings they are becoming complete with a place to practice the social and moral justice in which they are so interested. This environment coupled with an individualized education plan for each student, individualized lesson that all contain a visual, auditory and kinesthetic components, low student to teacher ratios (less than 12:1), amazing Montessori materials and highly-trained staff make Harbor Montessori an excellent choice for your child.
Montessori Upper Elementary
The Age of Imagination begins in our lower elementary program and carries into upper elementary. During this time students move from concrete to abstract thinking. By using their imaginations, students are able to travel in time to our earliest history, travel the world as global citizens, and make real world connections across the curriculum.
Our multiage classroom allows students from grade 4-6 to collaborate on big projects, to experience being both mentee and mentor, both student and teacher. Like Lower Elementary, the curriculum in Upper Elementary is interrelated and based on Montessori’s Cosmic Curriculum.
At Harbor Montessori several areas of the curriculum are constructed as 3-year cycles, which allows for in depth study on many topics. For example in the area of world history the students participate in year-long studies of Ancient Civilizations, Middle Ages and Renaissance and US History. In science, the students complete a three-year rotation of Biology, Chemistry/Physics and Anatomy/Environmental Science. All other subjects, such as algebra, geometry, and Latin & Greek, are individualized. Because students at this age are moving toward abstraction, they have the best of both worlds—concrete Montessori materials when they are needed and the freedom to move ahead quickly as they master a concept/skill.
Harbor Montessori Junior High
Our Junior High program is different from any other program you will find in the South Sound area. Current brain research echoes Maria Montessori’s observations of the adolescent. The 7th and 8th grade years encompass a time of rapid growth and change in the early adolescent. Junior High students need a lot of movement, need to choose work that they feel is purposeful and important, need to feel a sense of belonging, and need to know that their voice is being heard. All of these things will allow adolescents to maximize their brain’s development and their potential.
Harbor Montessori School’s Junior High program is based on the developmental needs of adolescents in this age group.
Those needs include:
Service to others
The program is intended to be a reflection of society, with students solving their own problems as a community with the guidance of a teacher. Students work collaboratively to serve others, to care for the gardens on campus, and to run their student business.
The school year is divided into theme-based cycles and covers an array of subjects including math, literature, world history, US history, Washington state history, economics, chemistry and physics, biology, and more. By the end of Junior High, your adolescent will have a learning portfolio that chronicles their hard work, interests, and successes.
Adolescence is a time of great changes. Our Junior High aims to support this time of increased creativity, a need to positively impact the world, and a need to build strong community bonds throughout our program. Adolescents are often seeking answers to the question "Who am I?" during this time through deep exploration of the self and the world around them. While our program has strong academic aspects, we also dedicate a great deal of energy to practical life skills. At this age, those skills are communication, personal independence, financial independence, and problem solving.