Like Old Mother Hubbard with no more room in her shoe, our school was filled with children who had different schedules and locations after lunchtime. After lunchtime our school resembles an orderly train station, with children going to different rooms based on their napping needs. Over the next few months, the faculty of Oxford Academy will be participating in a self-study through the American Montessori Society. We hope to reflect on the following questions as we continue our efforts to become an authentic Montessori program.
- What are the needs of the majority of our families?
- What would it be like to have the ½ day children in our classrooms after lunch?
- How long should the children stay before/after lunch?
- What about those children who need to rest?
- How important is it for our threes, and especially our fours and fives to be in a prepared environment all day with longer work-cycles to benefit the interest of the child?
- What is our Montessori IQ?
- How can we guarantee we are not watering down your child’s Montessori experience?
The Montessori Foundation recommends that schools organize themselves to provide Montessori all-day programs to achieve the level of concentration and developmental outcomes a Montessori education promises. We believe that an all-day Montessori program should be homelike with a real sense of community that occurs when children really live together within a group that stays all day. Children are challenged to do work with a greater range of choice and fewer pressures of time, including the opportunity of two work-cycles instead of one. The all-day Montessori program takes advantage of longer hours, allowing the child to exist at the natural pace very close to that of the home environment.
It is our hope to begin discussing and share with you as Oxford Academy begins the self-study through the American Montessori Society. We will reflect on past practices, and begin to consider if an all-day program is right for our school and our families. Our staff is committed to bringing you an authentic Montessori experience that provides your child with the desired developmental social, moral, cognitive, and emotional outcomes which develop concentration and the love for learning. We hope you join us on this journey!