Our 4 Cornerstones:
- Passion for Learning
- Strong Academic Foundation
- Life Skills for Tomorrow
- Cosmic Task
Apple Montessori Elementary School is a school where teachers and families work together to endow children with a passion for learning, a strong academic foundation, empower them with life skills to use in the future and gift them the recognition of their task to better the world’s tomorrow, today.
Children’s learning should be hands on and exciting, integrated with passion and creativity!
Children need a strong and diverse academic foundation, which will enable children to contribute to tomorrow’s global world!
Children must leave us with the tools and values needed today and tomorrow including independence, leadership, responsibility, commitment, teamwork and time-management!
Children are tomorrow’s future and need opportunities today to show compassion and citizenship to their school community, local community and global community!
Parents are an integral part of a child’s academic foundation and together with the teachers and students we form an unbreakable partnership for the betterment of the student!
Passion for Learning
One does not receive an education; one achieves an education! It is not enough to fill young minds with endless facts and concepts. Montessori education requires that each student be an active, curious, participant in this process of education.
We achieve this goal by making learning meaningful and personal. In the early grades, our primary goal is to inspire and awe the students. We do this with stories of how the universe began and how human history has evolved through the ages with all people, from all cultures, sharing common needs and goals.
Many lessons begin with “Once upon a time…” and the children listen with rapt attention – even to a lesson on how to measure the area of a triangle! Real materials, living animals, personal research, and frequently food are vital parts of the lessons. One example might be how we learn the parts of a plant. Making a salad out of “roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds” leaves a lasting, and delicious impression.
As the children mature, so do their learning styles. The older students develop interests in history, math, literature, science, culture, and many other subjects. They are involved in many research projects, both individually and in cooperative groups. Literature circles and Writer’s Workshop add a social aspect to important lessons and children of this age truly enjoy one another’s company and build tremendous teamwork skills.
Strong Academic Foundation
The Montessori curriculum includes language, math, geography, history, science, physical education, art, music, and technology. It does not include a lot of textbooks, drills, or mindless repetition. Even subjects such as grammar and parts of speech are “taught” with hands-on materials that the children become fully engaged with. Within the peer group, students support one another and together they strive for excellence rather than mediocrity. Perhaps our most effective tool is that we manage to keep children excited by learning; it’s “cool” to be smart.
Typically our graduates have been accepted at all of the surrounding private, parochial, and public schools and many have been placed in gifted and talented programs. Not all of our students are gifted and talented, however. Some have learning issues or challenges but in the supportive, non-critical society we have here at Apple, they still strive to do and be their best and are accepted by their peers as equals.
We believe that this cooperative, mutual support, is perhaps their greatest gift to each other. Learning to work with, and respect others, will provide them with the skills and character traits so necessary for future success.
Keeping a love of learning alive in ten and eleven year old children, while their peers in the outer world get distracted by so many other things including a false sophistication and academic stresses will indeed give our students the ultimate edge and the strongest academic foundation possible.
Life Skills for Tomorrow
Montessori education is fundamentally different from traditional in that we believe, and base all of our decisions and actions on the belief, that children are natural learners. They don’t require rewards, motivations, prizes, or punishments to continue learning.
We work to create a learning environment that keeps the flame of curiosity alive and to recognize the tremendous potential that every child possesses, if their schools don’t wear them down and extinguish their natural drive.
Life skills, such as leadership, initiative, self-discipline, persistence, resiliency, communication, and confidence are part of EVERY lesson we offer. Day in and day out, each child is living in a learning community, using, honing, developing, and controlling skills that will empower them for the rest of their lives.
Our academics are strong and our students are very well educated but academics alone will not prepare your child for his or her future.
No one knows what the future may hold for or require of our children. One thing is certain; innovative thinking, strong character, resiliency, curiosity, motivation and the belief that every one of us has a gift to offer and a responsibility to offer it will place our children in good stead.
It is not enough to be “successful” if income is the only criteria. Striking a balance between what we need and what we want guarantees both success and happiness. Every year graduates all over the world are encouraged to follow their passions, find their niche, and be true to themselves, among many other platitudes. In Montessori we don’t talk about it, we do it.
Extraordinary is defined as beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or singular. It is something rare, phenomenal, or special. Each child, no matter how pretty or plain, smart or dull, motivated or not, is extraordinary.
Each child has a “cosmic task” or reason for existing. It is our hope to keep the flame of curiosity alive in every child and to support and guide them until such time as they are ready to offer their unique talents to the ongoing saga of human endeavor. By preserving and developing all of a child’s traits and talents all of humanity might someday benefit from what each and every one of them has to offer. This belief is at the core of every decision we make and every action we take as educators.