Primary ages 3 thru 6
Director of School
Co-Director of School
The Nativity Montessori School admits students of any race, religion, color and national or ethnic origin.
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A Montessori school is designed to use a philosophy for educating the whole person and is named after its founder, Dr. Maria Montessori. The school takes advantage of the sensitive years between the ages of three and six, when the child is most able to absorb information from his/her environment. Our environment helps the child to develop emotionally, socially, intellectually and physically.
Our school history goes back to 1916 when a
community preschool was started at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in
What is the Difference between Montessori and Nursery School or Daycare?
there are many high quality daycare centers and nursery schools where creative
daily programs are followed, most do not follow a single philosophy of child
development as does
When a child enters a Montessori classroom for the first time, she is given “lessons” on activities which are suited to her age and skill levels. If the child wants to work with these activities, she may do so at any time, for as long as she likes. Indeed, to interrupt a child who is working well, concentrating, and enjoying his activity, would be to break one of Dr. Montessori’s basic tenets, which is never to disturb a child who is focused on work. To do this would be to stop a child from ever increasing her attention span.
People who write children’s television shows think that children have short attention spans, and therefore change themes and ideas quickly, every few minutes or so. This is far from the realities of child development, as we see every day in our classroom. Children as young as three and four can concentrate on a single activity for as long as twenty minutes to an hour! Most children spend an average of ten to fifteen minutes on a single activity, more on activities that they especially like, or that is meeting a need in that child. A three-year- old, who loves repetitive movements, can spend twenty minutes spooning rice from one bowl to another, and back again, before stopping. A five-year-old, who happens to be incredibly interested in math at the time, can spend all morning working steadily on a single math activity, not because he is told to (he may put it away whenever he likes) but because he WANTS to! If he were never given the opportunity to work with concentration for extended periods of time, he would never be able to do this. Montessori once said, “Concentration is the best gift we can give our children.”
Our classroom is full of happy children who are doing the activities that they want to do – activities that have been observed for more than 100 years as the things that all children like to do, and that help children to grow, mature, and become active participants in life.
In addition to the way children are “taught,” our school differs from daycare in that although we do offer full-day programs; follow the public school calendar, which includes two weeks off at Christmas, one week for Spring Break, and two or three professional development days interspersed throughout the year. The class is finished for the year in May and resumes again in August. Parents are responsible for finding alternate care for their children during summer months and holidays.
Is Nativity Montessori a
is not affiliated with any religion, although we are housed and sponsored by
the Church of the Nativity in Maysville.
We deal with religion as part of daily life, catering to the children
who are in the class, and to forming an understanding of other religions. We observe the Christmas and Easter holidays,
but also learn about Hanukkah and Passover,
What Age is Best to Start?
Children who start school at around age three do best in the Montessori classroom. This is because he or she will have the benefits of the complete three-year program, each year building on the knowledge and skills attained in the previous one. Children who start at age four or five also benefit from the program, but don’t have the advantages of those who have been in since age three.
Parents of children who enter Montessori at any age need to be aware that their child will gain the most benefits in his/her final, usually the third, year. This is why almost all children stay at NMS until grade one. A full-day program is available at the Preschool level so that the children can spend more time in this ideal environment. Four- and five-year-olds thrive in the full-day program!
The Five Areas of a Preschool Montessori Classroom
Practical Life Area
Everyday life skills, social graces, and movement are all part of the Practical Life Area through fun and interesting activities such as pouring, spooning, transferring objects using tongs, tweezers or a baster. Scrubbing tables, chairs, and floors, as well as washing clothes and polishing, all promote care of the child’s environment by doing the things she sees adults do every day. This area also promotes concentration and attention to a task. The child learns to do for him/her self.
The young child strives to be independent and to do things for herself. Through the Practical Life activities the skills needed to be independent are learned and habituated. Learning social graces, what to say and when, help the child to learn to be a part of every day society. These are continued during our mealtime as well.
This area helps to develop the child’s senses and awareness of the world around her through the use of specialized materials designed to isolate individual qualities such as color, size, shape, weight, texture, and more. This is a very “hands on” area, each activity involving the whole child.
The Montessori Language Program is a phonetic based approach to reading. Language is such a huge part of our world, from speaking, to isolating sounds and then into reading. The Montessori child essentially “teaches” himself/herself to read through learning the letter sounds, writing words using those sounds, and finally reading those words back. It is an exciting time when a child “bursts” into reading!
We begin with manipulative, and then slowly lead into abstract concepts. Beginning with numbers 1-10, 11-99, and 1-1000, the children learn linear counting and recognition of numerals, which then leads into addition, subtraction, multiplication and division concepts. This is done through fun activities which involve lots of movement, manipulative and group work. As the child matures, individual work is encouraged and abstract learning begins to take place.
This area introduces the child to the world beyond the classroom. Global awareness, geography, science, botany, music and art activities are all available to the child on a daily basis. Specific countries are often highlighted, with special activities surrounding those countries. Art activities are individual, and encourage experimentation. Music is expressed in song, listening, and playing rhythm instruments. The children gather in a group every day to listen to stories, sing, or play special games.
Director of School and Teacher (Mrs. Dottie)
With a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education
Head Teacher & Assistant-Director (Mrs. Bonnie)
Mrs. Bonnie Davis was born
and reared in
Instructional Assistant (Ms. Laura)
Ms. Laura Jones is our full time instructional assistant. Before coming to NMS in 2013, Laura had been a math tutor and We are fortunate to have Laura as part of our staff.
Music Teacher (Mrs. Tammy)
Tammy Conrad holds a B.A. degree in Music Education from
Board of Directors
President Brad Holajter
Past President Dr. Shawn Ross
Treasurer Julie Corlis
Secretary Denetra Keeton
Rev. Michael Henderson
Director & Teacher
Head Teacher & Asst-Director