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PROGRAMS
"We must help the child act, think, and will for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit. The child's development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behavior towards him." - Dr. Maria Montessori
Our programs offer a Montessori continuum for children from birth through 15 years of age.

Program Ages Served Location
Parent Infant Community Parent and infant 2 months through walking Concord Campus
Young Child Community Walking through 36 months Concord Campus
Primary Community 3 to 6 1/2 years Concord Campus
Elementary Community 6 to 12 years Concord Campus
Adolescent Community 12 to 15 years Huntsburg Campus

Additional Program Information
See below for additional information, or click on the name of a program for in-depth information.

Parent Infant Community
Two months of age to walking
This special time for infants, from two months of age to walking, and for their parents or caregivers, is a cherished start in life. Parents and infants form a warm, engaging and supportive community. The community is supported by a Montessori trained guide, called an Assistant to Infancy. The environment and program is uniquely designed around the needs of the parents and children at whatever point they are in their journey. Parents see Monday mornings as opportunities to share stories, laugh with their peers, observe the children and come to learn more about their own child's development. The children have opportunities to move in a room specifically designed for small bodies, learn from toys and materials that are unique to Montessori environments and begin to emerge into the world of social interaction.

The growth rate of the young child's nervous system, including the rate of brain development, is astounding and Montessori educators understand that it can be protected and supported. At its peak, the cerebral cortex creates an astonishing two million new synapses every second. With these new connections come an infant's many mental milestones, such as color vision, a pincer grasp or a strong attachment to his/her parents. In the Parent-Infant Community the adults are enjoying and observing as their children respond to the specially prepared materials and environment. Similarly, parents feel supported and engaged in discussions about infant development and things to do in the home. By the time the infant begins to walk, their parents are excited about supporting the next stage of their development in the Young Child Community.

Young Child Community
Walking to 36 months
Between the onset of walking and 36 months of age the child has particular sensitive periods that contribute significantly to the child's development, to adaptation to his world, and to becoming independent within it. The Montessori trained guide, or Assistant to Infancy, is a keen observer and leads the children to joyful engagement by offering activity in response to each child's current development, interest and skill level. The child of this age is a sensory explorer, moving freely, making choices of activity, communicating with others and absorbing everything that is carefully and thoughtfully brought into the environment. They do purposeful work such as washing their small snack dishes and mopping spills with a small mop. They seek to interact with the real world and will explore and engage with great focus when shown how to slice a banana or how to operate a zipper. They show joyful responses when they learn to master tasks such as how to put on their own shoes, with each success stimulating more confidence to do more work.

By two years of age, a toddler's cerebral cortex contains well over a hundred trillion synapses. This critical stage of development is described by neuro-science as the "period of synaptic exuberance." Montessori educators respond to the unique way the cortex develops in each child by preparing an environment that serves their specific needs. There is a hum of activity within a peaceful and ordered atmosphere. This prepared environment is a miniature home, sized to the young child, where children help each other, serve each other and seek each other out. By the time these children are ready for the Primary Community, they have developed keen language skills, increased coordination of movement, skills of independence and positive social relationships. They visit the next level of the program when they are ready to join a larger group, allowing us to observe their readiness to join the Primary Community.

Primary Community
3 to 6 1/2 years
The child between the ages of 3 and 6 1/2 years has specific human tendencies, characteristics and developmental needs which are found universally. This child is driven to absorb and practice skills that provide greater independence, which allow the child to interact and manage personal needs and thus master the environment. This child sees how adults care for their environment and for each other and wishes to learn how to do these tasks as well. The Montessori Primary classroom is specially designed to provide this child with the equipment and structure with which to practice the skills of independence. The Montessori guide is trained to observe and respond to the child's emerging interests and capacities. Correctly timed demonstrations are offered based on each child's unique readiness, then the child is provided the freedom to practice, repeat and explore the new skills until he is satisfied.

The primary-aged child has great capacity for concentration if the environment is orderly and calm. The child can sustain enormous effort in the face of challenge if given the independence to work it out without unnecessary adult interruption. Children at this age have sensitivities for touch and language, so the guide will present the sandpaper letters to the three-year-old, linking movement, sensation and sound. When these lessons are timed to their interests and developmental ability, the children will learn the letter sounds without apparent effort and will write their own thoughts and read phonetically, often quite fluidly by the age of six, or even earlier. As interests in the mathematical concepts of category, quantity, exchange and operations emerge (around four years of age), the child begins to play collective games with the decimal beads. The children choose the activity in the environment that best suits their internal needs, whether it is inviting a friend to the snack table, caring for plants in the garden or engaging in a challenging memory game. As these needs are met and the children are engaged in interesting and challenging real-life work, they become peaceful and respond to the world around them with great joy.

These children then enter the Elementary Community with confidence, a love of work, a strong academic foundation and skills of independence that free them to pursue the new work of their next phase of development.

Elementary Community
Ages 6 to 12
This is a period of intense intellectual capacity. The children have boundless imaginations and a desire to go beyond their homes and classrooms to explore their culture and every aspect of the universe. They are drawn to social interactions and have a strong desire to understand social order, moral action and how they fit within a community. These children are motivated by big challenges, large numbers and important concepts. They love to hear the stories of how things have come to be. They are motivated to great work of their own, because they have the freedom to choose and to pursue aspects of these important stories that strike their particular interests. These children are the social beings on adventures into the universe. Because their Elementary Montessori environment is designed around these needs and capacities, their level of engagement is deep. In Montessori Elementary classrooms one sees a collaborative community of learners working side by side, supporting each other to create a project or resolve a puzzle. The children encourage each others' efforts but also challenge themselves to learn more. Every day, one can hear children saying, "Tomorrow I am going to break my own math fact record from today," or, "I want to expand my math operations to extend the length of the school hall," or, "I want to write a chapter book about my research on deep sea life." These are motivated students in a dynamic exchange of ideas and discovery who are developing life-long work habits. Their learning is woven into meaningful context of the larger and universal picture, the interdependence of life and the interconnectedness of all peoples, which Dr. Montessori called Cosmic Education. The students have the opportunity to revisit and expand upon previous explorations of the curriculum which includes:

  • The Sciences: biology, chemistry, geology, geography, astronomy and physics; mathematics, geometry and algebra;
  • Math: mathematics, geometry and algebra;
  • Communication: writing, reading, grammar, expression and presentation;
  • Culture: art, spiritual beliefs and expressions, fundamental needs of humans; and
  • History: formation of the earth through timelines of life and movement of civilizations.
Dr. Montessori believed that most of the academic work should be completed prior to entering the work of adolescence. The elementary children have a deep understanding of the world and a strong skill base to move into the next plane of their development, the Adolescent Community.

Adolescent Community
Ages 12 to 15
The Montessori approach to adolescent development addresses the most fundamental needs of the 12 to15 year-old child: community and identity. The adolescents can develop a sense of who they are while they live, study and work in a place where their strengths are recognized. In this diverse community where adults and students collaborate, passions are uncovered, intellects are stimulated and contributions have real meaning. Adolescents thrive in an environment where the use of the brain is partnered with the work of the hands. They develop true responsibility in a culture that models respect and expects hard work.

Adolescents are introduced to the workings of adult society: division of labor, commerce and exchange, discovery and innovation -- while still immersed in the beauty of natural surroundings. They learn by living and by doing, as well as by studying. They connect what they learn to the solving of real problems and tasks. By the end of this stage of development, adolescents have developed a confidence for public speaking and making presentations; they have learned that work is serious and noble; they have discovered the importance of disciplined work and study habits; they have come to understand their own gifts and interests. They have gained both practical and emotional independence, and they still love to learn.

Core Programs
  Parent Infant
  Young Child Community
  Primary Community
  Elementary Community
  Adolescent Community

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© 2014 Hershey Montessori School
Concord Campus: 10229 Prouty Rd. Concord, OH 44077
Huntsburg Campus: 11530 Madison Road, Huntsburg Twp., Ohio 44046
440.357.0918 phone    440.357.9096 fax    staff@hershey-montessori.org

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