Early Experiences Last a Lifetime

Children's House Program

Early experiences last a lifetime. There are 1,892 days from when your child is born until they enter kindergarten. This 1892-day journey is remarkable, complex, and far reaching. The brain research has taught us that early experiences significantly influence social emotional, language and intellectual development. In fact, 85% of your child’s capacity to learn is determined by age five. So, the program you choose for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent.
CMEC has always been and continues to be a leader in high quality early childhood education. Here are the reasons you should choose a CMEC education for your child like thousands of other families have since 1984.

List of 6 items.

  • Program Structure

    Our Children’s House program, a term coined by Dr. Montessori, serves children preschool to kindergarten, ages 3 to 6 in mixed aged classrooms. We are sometimes able to accommodate 2.5-year old’s if they meet certain requirements and we have availability. 

    We are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 6:00. We offer a half-day and full-day program five days per week in addition to before care and late day care if needed. Monday to Friday. Each classroom has 2 teachers with a maximum of 24 children. 

    We adhere to and are compliant with all health and safety regulations. We have been providing continuous in-person learning since June 2020 with minimal disruption due to illness. 

    Here is our flow of the day which details how your child spends their time while they are here at CMEC – insert flow of the day

    Communication matters so we have multiple vehicles for sharing information including an initial home visit, Transparent Classroom, conferences, email and of course face to face. These are in addition to our weekly Friday Notes and Final Friday schoolwide newsletter.  
  • #1 Highly Qualified Teachers

    Highly qualified:  Our elementary team is highly qualified. All lead teachers are either Montessori credentialed, state licensed or both; many have advanced degrees. This means they are highly skilled in implementing the Montessori method and a 21st century curriculum. They have the expertise and knowledge to provide the curricular experiences your child needs to be successful in both school and life.  
     
    Nurturing and kind:  Our teachers are special. They recognize that children are highly influenced by the emotional climate of their environment. They know that the tone of their voice, their facial expressions, and the messages they give are impactful. They are aware of the power of identity and cultural messages recognizing that everything they do gives your child a message regarding how they should feel about themselves. Your child’s emotional experiences affect their personal health, well-being, and their learning readiness. 
     
    Power of observation:  Our teachers are always watching, observing, and documenting; sometimes informally and sometimes formally to establish individual learning goals for your child. We utilize a developmental screener to better understand where your child is developmentally and share this with you. We use all this information to guide and adjust what materials and experiences are necessary to promote your child’s optimal growth. This information is readily available to you in real-time through our use of Transparent Classroom, an electronic portfolio that documents your child’s progress over time. 
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  • #2 Mixed-Age Classrooms

    Relationships: Respectful and responsive relationships are at the heart of our work. Our continuity of care model supports optimal development. Because our teachers are with your child for up to three years, they get to know your child well and as a result can individualize curricular experiences promoting their growth in ways that are more difficult if your child transitions from teacher to teacher every 6 to 12 months. 

    Learning with and from each other:  Mixed-age classrooms are a key component of the Montessori method. Children stay together for up to 3 years. The benefits of the three-year cycle are many. It promotes deep relationships between families and teachers, teachers and children, and the children with each other. These early connections are the genesis of lifetime friendships. Finally, the children learn from each other. They get to be both nurtured and the nurturer, growing as learners and leaders together. Learning that collaboration is more advantageous than competition. 

    Grace and Courtesy:  In Montessori we don’t leave learning interpersonal skills to chance - instead they are taught. Children at this age are naturally social and learning how to get along with others can be tricky especially in a mixed-age classroom that’s why our teachers present Grace and Courtesy lessons. These practical life lessons have a way of being implemented at home in addition to school. 
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  • #3 Prepared Classroom Environment and Montessori Materials

    "The absorbent mind welcomes everything, puts its hope in everything, accepts poverty equally with wealth, adopts any religion and the prejudices and habits of its countrymen, incarnating all in itself. This is the child.” Dr. Montessori
    The absorbent mind welcomes everything, puts its hope in everything, accepts poverty equally with wealth, adopts any religion and the prejudices and habits of its countrymen, incarnating all in itself. This is the child.
    Dr. Montessori

    Third teacher: Dr. Montessori believed that a prepared environment is a third teacher. She believed that during these early years of the first plane of development (0-6 years), your child’s personality is being formed because of their social relationships and environments. Meaning that the primary role of the teacher is to construct an environment that promotes motivation, experimentation, curiosity, and social relationships often blending in with the children. As a result, children learn to respect themselves, others, and their environment. Our Children’s House classrooms encourage freedom of movement, allow for choice, provide comfort and are child sized. They are rich in materials for exploration and discovery. 

    The Absorbent mind: Dr. Montessori believed that this is the time that a child’s own sense of self begins to emerge. She identified six sensitive periods during this time where children are innately focused and have a special aptitude for developing a particular skill or knowledge area. The sensitive periods are order, language, coordination of movement, sensory development, interest in small objects, and concepts related to math and music. Our prepared environments promote growth in each of these areas utilizing hands-on materials that are as motivating as they are beautiful. 

    Power of observation:  Our teachers are always watching, observing, and documenting; sometimes informally and sometimes formally to establish individual learning goals for your child. We utilize a developmental screener to better understand where your child is developmentally and share this with you. We use all this information to guide and adjust what materials and experiences are necessary to promote your child’s optimal growth. This information is readily available to you in real-time through our use of Transparent Classroom, an electronic portfolio that documents your child’s progress over time. 
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  • #4 Child Directed Work

    "Never help a child with a task that he feels he can succeed”
    -Dr. Montessori
    Never help a child with a task that he feels he can succeed
    Dr. Montessori

    Learn by doing:  These are formative years for social, physical, and intellectual development. Your child’s absorbent mind propels them to learn by actively interacting with the purposeful materials in their environment. There are five curriculum areas in our classrooms:  practical life, sensorial, language, mathematics, and culture (geography and science).

    Practical life is the foundation of the Children’s House classroom. Practical life indirectly prepares children for all the other curricular areas especially reading and writing.  All the materials on our shelves are set from top to bottom and left to right which is how we learn to read   Practical life activities help children refine their fine and gross motor skills and strengthen their order, coordination, concentration, and independence all while learning how to care for self and the environment. Pretty amazing!
     
    Sensorial materials lay the foundation for math exposing children to geometry concepts that will be built upon when they enter elementary.  Sensorial materials also help children experience, notice, and categorize all the sensory information around them while strengthening their logic, judgement, and perception skills.
     
    Language experiences support your child as they move at their own pace through the stages of language:  vocabulary expansion, writing, and reading. We utilize short phonetic awareness daily activities to ensure our students have the foundational reading skills `necessary to be successful when they enter elementary school. The aim of the math materials is to awaken the mathematical mind that exists within all of us. The focus is on the process moving from the simple to the complex, the concrete to the abstract. Your child ‘s mathematical ability will astound you. Finally, culture lessons expose children to the world around them in hands-on wondrous ways. Young children have an unquenchable desire to experience, know, and understand their place in the world. 

    To learn more about each of these areas in more detail click the link to our Children’s House program guide.

    Follow the child and choice:  Children are active, self-motivated learners. Core principles of the Montessori method are that children make individual choices and teachers follow the child and offer the least amount of help needed in the process. We leverage children’s intrinsic motivation by helping them learn how to learn so they can develop a life-long love of learning. A hallmark of a Montessori education. 

    Independence, autonomy, and social responsibility: Everything we do from day one is to support your child’s independence while being part of a community - their right to choose to work with others or alone (autonomy), to value others uniqueness, and learn peaceful resolution strategies. These are powerful attributes that are often underscored in a world focused on grades and competition. Our children become strong academically but just as important they are prepared to be global citizens. 
     
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  • #5 Uninterrupted Work Cycles

    Montessori magic:  It is during the uninterrupted work cycles that the real “magic” of Montessori occurs. Our skilled teachers prepare their environments so your child can work uninterrupted for a long period of time concentrating on stimulating self-chosen works that they pursue. People who say young children don’t have long attention spans haven’t observed a Montessori classroom. Our teachers know when to join in, when to hold back, when to help, when to watch, or join in if they want us to. This is an art and based on respect for and the observation of your developing child.
     
    OCCI: This is a Montessori acronym that stands for order, concentration, coordination, and independences. OCCI are the powerful attributes that your child will develop because of a Montessori education. OCCI are foundational for school and life success, and it all begins during this very special time of development. We believe our children become strong academically because of OCCI. You must observe one of our classrooms to fully appreciate how important this is for your child. 

    Kindergarten – The Golden Year: Children look forward to this capstone year as they conclude their three-year cycle. They have grown into leaders and relish all the perks that come with that. It is a golden year. 

    Most of kindergarten occurs during the morning work-cycle. In addition, our kindergartners come together in the afternoon for an enhanced experience. Everything about this afternoon program is to equip your child with the additional skills they need to be successful in elementary school. Our goal is to equip our students with the skills and attributes they need to be well-prepared for their next educational experience. Your child joins a distinguished group of CMEC alumni who are changing the world in ways big and small. 

Columbus Montessori Education Center

Montessori is an innovative, child-centered approach to education, developed a century ago by a woman ahead of her time.

CMEC provides a high quality Montessori education to a diverse community of learners ages 6 weeks to 6th grade; empowering them to change the world in ways big and small.