In a nutshell
If you could give your child anything what would it be? Confidence? Inspiration? The freedom to follow his/her dreams? When you give your child a true Montessori early education that is what he/she will get. The Montessori method is not a new one. Created 100 years ago by Dr. Maria Montessori, the process of learning in our specifically structured environment has been proven to be an enriching, effective way for children to grow and thrive as life-long learners and innovators.
It is not a surprise to Montessorians that many of our modern “out of the box” thinkers came from a Montessori educational environment. Teaching children to follow their dreams is a natural process in these classrooms, from the early stages through high school. What better way to have a longstanding love of learning?
At Charles Towne Montessori we draw on 40 years of experience in early through elementary education and apply it to the contemporary world. A solid core, a tradition of inspiration, is what drives our school.
Charles Towne Montessori is recognized by the Association Montessori Internationale. Created by Dr. Montessori herself, the AMI assures the highest standard of Montessori education by requiring careful adherence to the method and materials that have been proven over the last 100 years to be not only effective, but superior in many ways to the educational methods employed by most traditional schools. In fact, any school can call itself Montessori without any particular criteria, yet AMI requires a standard of excellence be established and maintained. This is insured by intensive assessment by the AMI every 3 years.
Multi Age Classrooms
Montessori classrooms are structured with children ranging in ages. Dr. Montessori designed the classrooms specifically for multiple ages. It is integral to the method that the younger children learn and find inspiration from the older children, as the older children gain confidence and a sense of achievement by helping the younger students. A well-functioning multi-age classroom adapts to the need of each child, promoting enrichment in all areas of the curriculum.
One of the hallmarks of true Montessori education is the materials that are used in the classrooms. Each material has special purpose, and has been set up to build skills necessary for reading, writing and arithmetic even for children who are years away from mastering these tasks. At Charles Towne Montessori our materials are replicas of the originals that were crafted by Dr. Montessori with early childhood cognition in mind.
Testing and Homework
Montessori children are not subject to a lot of testing. The materials are designed in many cases to show children when they have made a mistake. Our children do not feel the same sort of pressure that is imposed by frequent testing, and are taught that making mistakes is part of the learning process and is not a sign of failure. These self-correcting materials allow children to feel empowered when they get it right, instead of shame when they don’t. Starting at 3rd grade (or the equivalent in our classrooms), CTM students take a standardized test once a year in order to provide a basis for placement when they leave our environment. Our students generally test very well, and place easily in middle school once they complete our program.
Certainly there is one. When students complete our elementary program they will go on to 7th grade somewhere else. After the years here, they have learned about how to budget their time, how to complete what they start, how to take responsibility for their own tasks. They have spent classroom time with children of various ages and from different backgrounds and are socially conscious and personally confident. Their differences and similarities have been accepted and even celebrated, so they have a great sense of their own presence in the world. Academically, our students are generally advanced for their grade level, which allows them the grace period to make the transition to a traditional school environment.
What We Offer
Mothers Morning Out
A half day program available for toddlers from age 2 to 3, students may attend 2, 3 or 5 days a week. Children gain a basic introduction to Montessori education and benefit from social time with their peers. Upon graduating from this program children are eligible for the primary program.
Children can start in our Pre-primary program at approximately age 1, when they are walking well. We offer a full day program, five days a week for busy families, who want more than day care for their child. Pre-primary provides toddlers with a morning work cycle, social interaction with peers, plenty of fresh air, and a quiet afternoon nap. Children in this program experience the first stages of Montessori education from the ground up.
Students ages 3 to 6 attend the primary program at Charles Towne Montessori. Led by internationally certified instructors, our 2 primary classes offer Montessori in its purest form. Younger children ages 3-4 ½ or 5 have the option of a half day program where they get the full benefit of the morning work cycle plus social time on the playground. When developmentally appropriate, children are invited to join the “extended day” or afternoon work cycle. These children get more advanced lessons and smaller classrooms to focus on higher challenges. This full day program is considered the equivalent of the kindergarten year, although in the Montessori classroom, students are not restricted by the parameters of traditional schools 5K (kindergarten) programs.
Upper and Lower Elementary students encompass grades one through 6. By this point in their Montessori education these students are developing and perfecting the skills of time management, self-discipline, self-motivation, and accountability. The elementary curriculum has the extra benefit of special programs such as Mandarin Chinese, music and madrigal, performing arts, a scientist in residence, an artist in residence, physical education, Global Studies program and an active “going out” program. Also AMI certified, the lead elementary teacher brings these students the full range of elementary curriculum.
The Big Picture
Think Globally, Act Locally. I am sure you have heard it before. As a not-for-profit private Montessori school, recognized by the Association Montessori Internationale, that is just what we do. Our students can come from any AMI school in the world, or transfer to any other one, and receive the same thing that we provide at CTM. During their time here our students will encounter children from other cultures, explore foreign lands and customs through their studies, and learn how Charleston itself is significant historically and in the present in a global forum. They will have had experiences with the arts and sciences, music and theater, community projects and entrepreneurship.