Graduate Year: Montessori Kindergarten

   
Your Child's Graduate Year at HPMS: What's in Store? 

HPMS Kindergarten.pdf (click to open)

Five and six year old children take part in our Montessori Kindergarten Program, Monday-Thursday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. To fully benefit from a Montessori program, children enter at just under three years of age and continue to age 6. As a matter of fact, we count on your child staying through kindergarten! That last year is a very special and important one for the older child; as Aline D. Wolf, author of A Parent's Guide to the Montessori Classroom writes: 

"Parents should understand that a Montessori classroom is neither a babysitting service nor a play school that prepares a child for traditional kindergarten. Rather, it is a unique cycle of learning designed to take advantage of the child's sensitive years between three and six, when she/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 her/his education without drudgery, boredom or discouragement. By pursuing her/his individual interests in a Montessori classroom, the child gains an early enthusiasm for learning, which is the key to her becoming a truly educated person."

Testimonials from Parents of HPMS Graduates!

Kieran

          Kieran is intellectually engaged, socially aware, kind, and capable---and this is in no small part because of HPMS. His knowledge of the universe (quite literally, of our planet, solar system, and beyond) and the universe of the mind is a daily joy to us both. I have (re)learned so much from him, whether through conversing about the day, or through his illustrated journals, or overhearing him and hearing the curriculum brought to life through play. In February, for example, Abraham Lincoln was heavily featured in dialogues between toy dinosaurs. 

          Gaby's love of and by children, as well as her dedication to the pursuit of truth are best illustrated by three facts: 1) for Gaby, no weekday is complete without at least 3 hugs from Kieran, and 2) for Kieran, what Gaby says is beyond dispute and 3) for me, the easiest way to encourage better behavior, is to ask Kieran, "what would Gaby say about this?" The warmth and joy of aftercare has also been a blessing. Particularly this past year, helping Nan care for "the little ones" built Kieran's confidence, as well as his capacity to love and care for others. 

          I am deeply grateful for how well HPMS has cared for, and cultivated the best in my "little bear." Many thanks to everyone!

-- Claire Rasmussen


Claire

    We are so pleased with Claire’s Kindergarten experience at HPMS. Claire had the fortune of one year with her older sister, Elizabeth, to help with the transition to school life. Like many younger siblings, Claire looks up to her big sister. At home, she often defers to Elizabeth to lead their play (often whether she likes it or not!). While Claire and Elizabeth have their own unique personalities, we wanted to be sure that Claire developed her own sense of confidence. This last year at HPMS has really allowed this to happen in a meaningful way. Somewhat to our surprise, Claire is seen as a leader in Gaby’s classroom and has developed an independent spirit that will be of great benefit to her as she transitions to a larger school. Just like her sister, Claire’s academic development has flourished in the Kindergarten year at HPMS. We believe this is due to the continuity of three years in the same environment, with Gaby as her guide throughout. The small class size allows the close interaction and instruction that we would not have received at a traditional elementary school. We are forever grateful for the guidance and care of all the teachers and staff at HPMS. They have fostered a love of learning in our daughters that will be with them forever.

-- Amy & Paul Shirilla


Thomas

        We have trusted our sweet son, Thomas, with Gaby and the rest of the HPMS staff for three years now. As I think about that first day of school and how painful drop off was for him, I wish I could tell my former self how worthwhile the challenging separation would be in the end. Little did I know, Thomas would soon learn from his Montessori classroom the delicate art of attempting a balanced life.

          With Gaby's guidance, he would soon learn how to embrace the discomfort knowledge acquisition can sometimes involve, while also honoring work for which he was not yet ready. He would learn how to appreciate the balance provided by the varying ages and stages of his classmates, and how this translates to life beyond the classroom. He would learn how to respect the work, space, personality, and abilities of others. He would learn how to wait patiently, and also how to be assertive when necessary. He would learn how to focus on his own work, while also remaining sensitive to how he could help others in need. He would learn how to meaningfully fill his time with the beautiful balance of simple, yet complex ideas and activities. And he would learn how to love his work and to follow his curiosity. I am so glad that we trusted the HPMS professionals to reinforce the educational and moral values we have as a family. 

-- Anna and Brent Kudak