Learning Tree Montessori Inc.
ZEELAND, MI • PRESCHOOL
Learning Tree Montessori’s Philosophy centers on the belief that every child is unique and that the educational program must be structured to allow each child to realize his/her fullest potential. To achieve this goal the classroom contains special equipment and materials that stimulate and propel a child to interact with his/her environment. Through this interaction the child becomes increasingly self-directed, independent and inquisitive – the critical building blocks for a lifetime love and interest in learning. Learning Tree Montessori has created a special environment in which children have an opportunity and are encouraged to explore, discover and challenge themselves; they experience the joy of learning!
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THE STORY OF LEARNING TREE MONTESSORI
Learning Tree Montessori was founded in 1987 by a group of parents committed to serving the individual needs of children ages 2 years 9 months through 6 years of age. The school was sold to a private owner in 1990. The classroom has Montessori trained teachers with more than 20 years experience behind them. We’ve created a special environment in which children are encouraged to explore, discover, be challenged and experience the Joy of Learning.
Children in the Montessori classroom work in following areas:
- Practical life
Extended care is available (Sept.-May) before and after school from 7:30-5:30 for your convenience.
“The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement is being formed. At no other age has the child greater need of an intelligent help, and any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection.”
The Purpose of Montessori Education
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that no human being is educated by another person. He must do it himself or it will never be done. A truly educated individual continues learning long after the hours and years he spends in the classroom because he is motivated from within by a natural curiosity and love for knowledge. Dr. Montessori felt, therefore, that the goal of early childhood should not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate his own natural desire to learn.
In the Montessori classroom this objective is approached in two ways: first, by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by his own choice rather than by being forced and second, by helping him to improve all his natural tools for learning, so that his ability will be at a maximum in future learning situations. The Montessori materials will have this dual long-range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child.
How the Children Learn
The use of the materials is based on the young child’s unique aptitude for learning which Dr. Montessori identified as the “Absorbent Mind.” In her writings she frequently compared the young mind to a sponge. It literally absorbs information from the environment. The process is particularly evident in the way in which a two yearold learns his native language, without formal instruction and without the conscious, tedious effort which an adult must make to master a foreign language. Acquiring information in this way is a natural and delightful activity for the young child who employs all his senses to investigate his interesting surroundings.
The Importance of the Early Years
In the Absorbent Mind, Dr. Montessori wrote, “The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement is being formed. At no other age has the child greater need of an intelligent help, and any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection.”
Recent psychological studies based on controlled research have confirmed these theories of Dr. Montessori. After analyzing thousands of such studies, Dr. Benjamin Bloom of the University of Chicago wrote, “From conception to age four, the individual develops 50% of his mature intelligence; from four-eight he develops another 30%… This would suggest this very rapid growth of intelligence in the early years and the possible great influence of the early environment on his development.”
Like Dr. Montessori, Dr. Bloom believes “that the environment will have the maximum impact on a specific trait during that trait’s period of most rapid growth.” As an extreme example, a starvation diet would not affect the height of an eighteen year-old, but could severely retard the growth of a one year-old baby. Since eighty percent of the child’s mental development takes place before he is eight years old, the importance of favorable conditions during these early years can hardly be over emphasized.
At What Age Should You Send Your Child?
Although the entrance age varies in individual schools, a child can usually enter a Montessori classroom between the ages of 2 ½ and 4, depending on when he can be happy and comfortable in a classroom situation. We will begin with the simplest exercises based on activities that all children enjoy. The equipment that he uses at three and four will help him develop the concentration, coordination and working habits necessary for the more advanced exercises he will perform at five and six. The entire program of learning is purposefully structured. Therefore, optimum results cannot be expected for a child who misses the early years of the cycle or for a child who does not attend the program consistently.
Parents should understand that a Montessori School is neither a baby-sitting service nor a play school. Rather, it is unique cycle of learning designed to take advantage of the child’s sensitive years between three and six, when he can absorb information from an enriched environment. A child who acquires the basic skills of reading and arithmetic in this natural way has the advantage of beginning his education without drudgery, boredom or discouragement. By pursuing his individual interests in a Montessori classroom, he gains an early enthusiasm for learning, which is key to his becoming a truly educated person.
Learning Tree provided a wonderful preschool learning experience for our daughter. She is smart and well-adjusted and has the necessary skills to succeed with her kindergarten education. We’ve since enrolled our son and recommend this school to all our friends with preschool aged kids. The staff is wonderful and patient with excellent communication with parents.
We absolutely love Learning Tree, the teachers are wonderful, and the learning style is so perfect for our 3-year-old. He cannot wait to go to school! We have already seen a difference in his behavior just in the few weeks since he started school. Highly recommend!
My son struggled with traditional preschool/young 5 ‘s classrooms so we transferred him to LTM during his pre-k year. I cannot say enough wonderful things about how much of a difference we’ve seen over the last several months. He thrives in the calm classroom, the positive atmosphere, and is excelling at his own pace. He’s constantly engaged by the hands-on learning, and overflows with excitement and confidence every day because of the independence they instill. The teachers are compassionate and take time for one on one.
OUR PRESCHOOL OFFERS:
- Multi-age classroom
- Serving children ages 2 years 9 months through 6 years old
- 4-day and 5-day preschool programs
- Academic environment
- Hands on learning experiences
- Fenced playground
- Field trips
- Extended care 7:30-5:30 on school days
- School year runs from Sept-May
- Our 4-day class meets Monday through Thursday from 12:30-3:15
- Our 5-day class meets Monday through Friday from 8:45-11:30
We’d love to meet you! If you would like to schedule an observation, request an application or get additional information about the school or extended care program, please call 616-748-0291 or use the contact form below.
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Learning Tree Montessori, Inc.
1305 96th Avenue
Zeeland, MI 49464