1. I’m worried about the structured nature of the Montessori program, what about just playing?
At Little Elephant we believe children learn through play. The child’s “work” is to play. Each day’s routine is the same, which provides the child with a sense of security. But throughout the day there are periods where the children are free to choose whichever activities they’d like to work on inside or they are free to go outside and run and dig and climb (even play in the sprinklers), with supervision and instruction on the natural world.
2. What’s for lunch?
Parents provide lunches for the children, but we’re happy to heat up food. We do request you don’t put any sweets in the lunch box; and we are trying to have a garbage-free school — reusable/glass containers are best. The children wash their silverware after they’re done. As a community we are conscious that some children have a severe reaction to certain food items. We are a nut free school.
3. How much time is spent outside?
Approx. 2 hours per day, weather permitting. Children will go outside if it cold and/or drizzling if they have the appropriate clothing and boots.
4. Are there snacks?
Snacks are always available for self-service whenever a child is hungry. We provide high energy, low-sugar healthful treats like fresh fruit, veggies, and snack mix.
5. Will my child still nap?
All our pre-primary children nap from 12-2:30/3pm. All other children have a rest time from 1-2pm during which time the teachers read chapter books.
6. How will Little Elephant discipline my child?
At Little Elephant we use positive discipline and natural consequences.
7. What will my child learn?
Children will be learning to be active agents in their own education. They will be choosing activities in all areas of the classroom, from developing their sensory perception, working with numbers, to learning the letter sounds, refining their small motor skills and caring for their classroom environment. We hope to nurture in all our children a love of learning and a curiosity about the world. The teachers work with children individually and in small groups to help each child’s unique developmental needs.
8. Are all the children in the same class?
The Montessori classroom is a mixed age class which extends through kindergarten. Children in a mixed age classroom tend to find friendships more easily than in a single age class due to a larger developmental continuum. Children learn through teaching others, and often can teach younger children in ways a teacher cannot.
9. How can parents participate?
Parents are welcome to stay until 9AM in the morning. But please respect Little Elephant as the children’s learning environment and be aware of the atmosphere at the time. If it’s a quiet time, be quiet, if everyone’s running around outside, feel free to join in. Parents are encouraged to attend children’s birthday celebrations and participate in field trips. All parents are invited to participate in our Parent Committee. The Parent Committee meets once a month and is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other families and be involved in the school. We also have several social events during the school year to facilitate a sense of community amongst the Little Elephant families. Parents and other family members are encouraged to share their cultures, cuisines, traditional clothing, specific knowledge or interests.
If you need more answers, please do not hesitate to contact Little Elephant.