"Our two children have been in Children's Garden Montessori for the past four years and we could not be more pleased. Joan and her staff have been nurturing and patient with our active boys, and reliable and professional with us. I trust each member of her team completely to make decisions for our children and to work toward their individual growth. As a certified AMI Montessori teacher, Children's Garden has won my loyalty through their dedication to the Montessori method and their exceptionally prepared environment. As a parent, there is nothing as exciting as watching your four-year-old sound out his first words. This could never have happened with out Children's Garden's guidance. I truly believe that our children, as well as our family, are better off because of this remarkable school."
"We have felt so fortunate to have Children’s Garden Montessori pre-school in our community. We wanted more than day care for our children, and we found that safe, positive, fun and engaging environment at Children’s Garden. Our kids have thrived at this school, progressing both intellectually and socially as a result of the experienced and caring teachers, the low teacher-child ratio, and the Montessori educational philosophy."
"Enrolling my daughter in Children's Garden Montessori was the best thing I ever did. Ms. Dot and Ms. Berit are stellar teachers as they create an environment full of wonder and practical, hands-on learning. In several weeks, I witnessed my daughter not only begin to sound out words in the books I read her, but also develop such a passion to learn more about the world around her. Every child should have the opportunity to experience the Montessori approach to education; it's life-changing!"
"As grandparents, having our grandson Tucker in Children’s Garden Montessori has just been wonderful. Every day that we bring Tucker into school, we see how all of the teachers enjoy what they do—that they enjoy being with children of all ages and that they are very passionate about imparting an enthusiasm for learning and living life with a positive caring attitude for all. We are very fortunate to have Tucker at the Children’s Garden Montessori."
--Larry and Jeri
Let me begin by telling you that I am biased. My wife Joan is the director of Children’s Garden Montessori. I teach math at Santa Fe Community College. And I’m stunned at what I see at Children’s Garden Montessori.
When my oldest son, Luke, first went to a preschool, I remember observing the chaos and thinking “well, he’ll have lots of freedom here.” My son didn’t like this first school. With 20 kids all expressing their freedom at once, he didn’t feel safe. I learned something, and I remembered how I only liked those elementary school classes where the teacher had created a calm, caring, purposeful environment.
When I drop in at Children’s Garden, I am still continually amazed at how focused these kids are. The atmosphere is typically one of absorbed concentration. I think “our attention spans much get shorter as we get older”, and I note that few community college students display this kind of intense focus. Sometimes you can hear a pin drop as the kids are each working on their own thing. Sometimes there’s a cacophony of noises, but the kids are really engaged, and the atmosphere is calm, peaceful, and plugged in.
What I’m really trying to say is that you need to see this. It far exceeds what I thought was possible with kids this age. Just drop in once as a learning experience, even if you don’t have kids. As I’ve tried to figure it out, I’ve come to just a few conclusions about how this atmosphere is created.
The environment is set up so that kids choose their own activities, on their own internal schedule. The kids get “lessons” on various materials from highly trained teachers. Everything is set up to teach the kids independence. They even have this way the kids learn to lay out their coats in front of them on the floor so they can pick them up and put them on in one motion. The kids do real work, working with concrete manipulatives that set the foundations for learning math, reading, and writing. It seems to me that this environment is set up for learning the way people really like to learn.