During the month of November, we are running a campaign called “My Montessori Story.”
We would love to hear your amazing story of how a Montessori education has impacted and enriched your life! The aim of this campaign is to bring all Montessori communities together-submit your story today!
Please send all stories to
The Montessori School of Huntsville has been a blessing for our family and has been a place where our son has been nurtured to reach his fullest potential and develop a love of learning. Prior to moving to Huntsville, we had never heard of the Montessori School; after 15 months with MSH, we can’t imagine any other way to educate our children.
The teachers and staff at Montessori have been nothing short of incredible, truly caring about our child and his development and progression. The connection is real and love evident. Our son is excited to go to school each and every day, and he has grown in leaps and bounds within the Montessori curriculum. We look forward to placing our younger children within the Montessori program and continuing to develop a family of lifelong learners.
By Kelli Bane
Our family’s Montessori story began in 1962. My father was from Italy & had done some reading about Maria Montessori; my mother had also been interested in early childhood development. There were no Montessori schools in Houston in the early 60’s so my parents, along with 6 other families, got together with Ernest & Hilda Wood to found School of the Woods in 1962. I started preschool at age 3 there and remained until I had completed kindergarten. Lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school and a high school were added to the program over the years. I transitioned to public school in 1st grade and was already reading well above grade level. I still remember many lessons from my wonderful teacher, Miss Staub. I always push my chair in after getting up from the table & I can remember the feel of the beads as I organized units & ten-bars.
When my daughter, Olivia, was ready for preschool I already knew she would attend a Montessori school & I knew School of the Woods was still in the same location near my parent’s neighborhood. I had no idea how much the school had grown, however, & was pleasantly surprised to find out that there was even a middle school program there. Olivia attended there from the age of 2 1/2 until she graduated middle school in 1998. I cannot say enough wonderful things about her years there. She transitioned to a large public high school without any difficulties and went on to complete her BS & MS in aerospace engineering.
My grandson, William, has just turned 2 and began his Montessori journey in August at Montessori School of Huntsville; Olivia decided while she was pregnant that her child would be a Montessori child. He has settled into the routine of daily work and enjoys helping out around the house using his new-found life skills like setting the table. Even though our new Montessori home is far away from the familiar grounds at School of the Woods, the atmosphere in our new school reminds me of my own childhood and of my daughter’s childhood. A Montessori classroom is always busy with thoughtful, purposeful work and a Montessori teacher is always nearby guiding children and encouraging learning.
By Anita Pool
Join us in celebrating the International Day of Peace
September 21st is The International Day of Peace. To commemorate this day and honor Dr. Maria Montessori’s vision and work for Peace Education, the Montessori School of Huntsville will hold a guided meditation presented by a member of The Heartfulness Institute, a global organization that spreads individual peace to contribute to world peace through meditation. The event will be held in our Peace Labyrinth Garden at our South Huntsville location on 15975 Chaney Thompson Road from 6:00-7:30 p.m. This event is open to the public so we encourage you to invite friends to attend!
by Yesika Wesley, Primary II Parent
When I look at the world today, it can be a bit disheartening. Because all I see and hear about are rumors of war, political confusion, death and dying and people being downright mean to one another. But with the same eyes I look on the faces of the beautiful children that I encounter on a daily basis, especially the face of my little blessing Jacob, and I am reassured that the human race is not without hope. The child helps us all to experience pure love and innocence in a way that has been a distant memory, a utopian idea even. But with every new birth we have the promise of a new day, a new idea, a new chance at having at least a little piece of heaven here on earth.
“Montessori is an education for independence preparing not just for school, but for life.”
Prior to my own son becoming a student of Montessori School of Huntsville, I never even knew all that the Montessori philosophy entailed. Knowing how Jacob was prior to starting school, to the young man he is developing into today, I see the aforementioned quote in the flesh. Every word of it is true. Jacob has learned to be independent in his studies, which is great, but I’m oftentimes stunned at his independence outside of the classroom. He went from a child that would only speak to adults and not to children too much, to now making friends of all ages. He relishes in being able to brush his own teeth, wash himself during bath time and helping out with various other household chores…Though I’m still waiting for the independence needed to clean his room…baby steps I suppose….baby steps.
“As soon as children find something that interests them they lose their instability and learn to concentrate.”
I’ve viewed this quote first hand with Jacob. Having the ability to watch a human being grow and develop from conception to the present has been very rewarding. Throughout Jacob’s 5 ½ years of life, I’ve seen him have a few different interests, but none like his recent interest in cars and transformers. Prior to this great interest, he wouldn’t have too much to say to adults, besides hello and other small talk. But now, with his great interest and knowledge of cars of all makes and models, he has a new boldness about him. He’s very stable now, because he has the confidence in the knowledge he has in something he’s very interested in. It’s amazing to see.
“Free the child’s potential and you transform him into the world.”
I always wanted to be the kind of mom that encouraged my child to be who they are meant to be and to find what it is they love, flourishing as they do. I’m thankful that Jacob is in a school environment that promotes the same type of lifestyle for every child that comes through Montessori School doors. My sweet baby Jacob is free, which in turn means the sky is the limit for him….Watch Out WORLD!!
by Carrie O’Shea, Primary III parent
It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to each child the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities. –Maria Montessori
As the years pass and I grow in parental maturity (if there is such a thing), it seems I find more to love in the teachings of Maria Montessori. I’ve always looked to her as a personal hero; -the kind of person who’s focus on peace, humility and kindness is a soothing balm in a time of endless schedules and impatient demands. Without careful reflection, it seems the nature of humanity to enslave ourselves to these loud voices in our lives, spurring ourselves onward in search of a better, faster, more productive, more intelligent version of ourselves and too often we take our children into this trap, wrapped up behind us in a bewildered tangle of childhood lost. As I’ve grown as a mother, I’ve come to appreciate the folly of these actions. In the rushing, pushing demands of soccer and dance, perfect straight A’s and perfect straight teeth, piano lessons and math enrichment sessions, it seems our children lose something of themselves in our race to improve them. Not that any of these things are bad in the right setting, but what self-determination can there be if your life is a planned module? What identity can you have for yourself, if you spend all your time living another person’s vision for your life?
Fortunately, there is an answer to these questions and that answer is Maria Montessori. Against the race of self-assisted perfectionism, her ideology stands as a gentle reminder that slow, quiet reflection is really the only way to peace. We cannot expect a child to matriculate into geniusdom any more than we can expect a seed to germinate before it’s time. There is a process to life and that process takes time. The above quote is a wonderful example of this and additionally, a quiet reminder that when patience and care are invested into the life of a child, a miracle results; -the miracle of a child becoming that person who he or she was meant to be.
It takes a lot of faith, patience and care for a parent to sit by and watch as their child develops unassisted by their grandiose plans, – at least, it has for me. But giving my child the ability to develop unimpeded by the pressure of performance has provided a blessing I couldn’t have imagined, – the choice of her own free-will. They ask me for opportunities to do something they love! That’s a big difference! I no longer have to do the “parental dance of suggestion,” listing all the academic and extra-curricular activities needed to fill their minds as well-rounded individuals; now, they find what they love on their own! Instead of pestering my older child to do her math “homework,” I smile as she checks books out of the library on the expression of Geometric series in nature. Instead of wrangling my five-year-old into the car for a third weekly dance practice, I smile as a small reminder is all that’s necessary for her to run into the car with her tu-tu. There is time to develop what they love and as a parent, I know my children will do just that if I give them my trust. That trust started with Montessori as our foundation and the gentle education I received as a parent, just as much as what my children gained as students. It has shaped the course of our family and for that, I am extremely grateful.
As parents, Maria Montessori arms us with the courage to believe that our children can be something great, if only we believe they will be.
by Ms. Becky
Toddler Co-Lead Teacher
A child does not learn because he is taught by a teacher. A child learns because he wants to learn. A teacher cannot will a child to learn. What she can do is prepare an environment, which invites him to want to learn. An environment that does this is one that is rich in stimuli. This kind of environment will kindle his desire to learn and explore through his senses. A material that evokes a child to use his senses “provokes auto-education” (Montessori 169).
In her book, The Montessori Method, Maria Montessori writes that her materials “are adapted to cause the child to exercise the senses” (168). Montessori taught that children in their early primary years, ages three to six years, were in a state of absorbent mind. In this state they are taking in everything that surrounds them. They are sponges soaking up the world to which they are exposed. During sensitive periods children are apt to be drawn towards using one of their senses over the others. This is why it is crucial for a teacher to prepare an environment rich in sensory experiences. This type of environment can cater to all of the children in it, and to whichever type of sensitive period each one may be going through in their individual way.
Academic work has its own place and time, and it will come eventually. However, a child in these years “is attracted more by stimuli than by reason” (Montessori 144). If the child is rushed past what he is craving it will be hard, if not nearly impossible, to back track at a later time to fill in the gaps. When given the proper environment in which to learn through his senses a child may choose to experience a material repeatedly. Through his senses he takes in any task he is doing, and it is also through his senses that he experiences self-correction.
I had the opportunity to observe in a primary classroom. I watched one of my students from the previous year, who was newly three, take a final knobbed cylinder block from the shelf. She sat on her rug and repeated the exercise from start to finish five times before returning it to the shelf. Each time she began she removed all of the cylinders and placed them on her rug. One by one she picked them up and dipped her finger inside of the holes along the block. It appeared that she was testing the depth of the holes before placing the cylinder she held in her hand in the hold she thought it might fit. When one was too tall or too short she took it out and continued her task of looking for the perfect fit. I am not aware if she had had a lesson on this material or not, but her concentration and method of correcting herself caught my attention. “A man is not what he is because of the teachers he has had, but because of what he has done” (Montessori 172).
Montessori, Maria. The Discovery of the Child. New York: The Random House Publishing Group, 1967. Print.