WHY TURTLE RIVER
Dr. Maria Montessori stated that children experience different stages of readiness, which creates windows of opportunity for learning. Neurological studies confirm that from conception to age 4, the individual develops 50% of their mature intelligence; from ages four to eight they develop another 30%. This rapid growth of intelligence is critically influenced by the early environment and the importance of favorable conditions during these years cannot be over emphasized. Early adolescents have different needs based on their brain development, which Montessori education recognizes and incorporates into its curriculum.
Turtle River Montessori embodies the philosophy of these unique cycles of learning, and our facilities are designed to take advantage of the child’s sensitive and critical developmental stages. Classrooms are structured with custom-designed materials that are geared towards the size, pace and interests of the child to stimulate the natural desire to learn. Our classrooms are designed to accommodate a three-year age span, with the Primary beginning at three to six years, the Elementary from six to nine years, the Upper Elementary from nine to 12, the Middle School from 12 to 15, and the High School from 15-18. Each classroom is lead by a fully trained Montessori teacher. There are full-time assistants in classrooms to keep the adult to child ratios between eight or nine students to one adult.
Turtle River Montessori’s Programs
Skills such as literacy, problem solving, innovation and creativity have become critical in today’s increasingly interconnected workforce and society. Montessori teachers share the same common goals for our students, including:
Young children want and need to experience the world on their own. As early as 18 months, they begin their quest for independence—a drive that will not abate until adulthood. At Turtle River Montessori, we give children the necessary tools, guidance and opportunities to develop independence and self-reliance.
As part of a 21st century learning environment, students need a deeper understanding of the thinking, motivations and actions of people from different cultures and countries in order to appreciate the rich diversity experienced here in the US as well as across the world. Through the study of countries, ethnic celebrations, arts and crafts and cultural differences, we at Turtle River Montessori provide fun and educational opportunities for learning. The highlight of the Awareness Program is our Cultural Peace Festival held annually, in which the classes choose a country to study for a month, collecting and creating artifacts and crafts to display in the room, studying the culture and preparing for a presentation of songs, facts and skits about the country. Students receive a passport and travel to visit the other classrooms’ countries, tasting food, watching live panoramas and looking at the class’s collection. Additional celebrations include Diwali the Indian Festival of Lights, St. Patrick’s Day, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Korean New Year, and more. These studies also offer parents an opportunity to share their own cultural heritage in the classroom.
We want children to experience the joy of learning (not to please adults) as it is only in this way that we help create adults who continue to learn and grow throughout their whole lives. Children are naturally curious; they are fascinated by the wonders of the world and they learn effortlessly from it, simply by existing in the environment. At Turtle River Montessori, our mission is to spark that curiosity within each individual child, which creates excited, joyful learners. Instead of giving the child the right answers, we ask the right questions, leading them to discover the answers for themselves. A child’s ultimate discovery is their true potential as a human being.
Feeling of Community
At Turtle River Montessori, in addition to mastering academic skills, the children are involved in a Peace Curriculum which helps them with learning social skills and conflict resolution. We focus on interpersonal relationships and assist and teach them to solve problems and conflicts, so that eventually they can do so without the help of adults. It is our firm belief that if a child’s self-esteem is greatly nurtured, they will accomplish more and will have better life skills later in life. Our goal is to develop children who can express themselves politely and confidently, in a manner that benefits the entire classroom community and eventually be contribution global citizens.
Additional Educational Opportunities
As an enhancement to Turtle River’s standard curriculum, we offer our students weekly sessions in the following areas:
- Art Offered weekly to Elementary students, the Art Program provides instruction in artistic techniques and varying media, encouraging students to try different ways of creative expression. Art is integrated into the curriculum.
- Computers Beginning in 1st grade, Elementary students learn the basics of computer keyboarding, advancing their technology curriculum and producing EduTyping, a cloud-based program which allows them to work at school and at home. Supervision encourages a focus on accuracy and automatically scored lessons coupled with fun games reinforce learning. Internet safety and full technology literacy is integrated.
- Music Appreciation and Band Weekly classes full of musical building blocks to awaken and develop your child’s inborn joy and talent for making music. Programs are age-appropriate and incorporate the internationally acclaimed Musikgarten curriculum at younger ages. Children are exposed to music from around the world, different instruments and their sounds, musical play, tonal and rhythmic patterns as well as locomotive movement. Supplemental music classes and Band at the Elementary and Secondary School levels also focus on reading music, music appreciation and instrumental study, utilizing the SmartMusic computerized program for home practice that can be monitored by the instructor.
- Gardening Each classroom has its own garden, to reinforce the biology, ecology and sciences programs studied at each level. Through weekly interaction with the environment, students learn about the interconnectedness of our natural world’s plants and animals and take away knowledge and techniques they can implement at home.
- Physical Education In Elementary and Secondary School, students participate in a Physical Education program which encompasses fitness, health, and team sports. The program is supplemented by optional after-school programs in tennis, soccer and fit club, and a wide range of team sports are available in our area.
- Sign Language At the Primary levels, students learn how to sign letters and words while learning the importance of getting along without making a sound.
- Foreign Language With a focus on conversational foreign language learning, students converse in their foreign language, using basic words and phrases as well as gaining exposure to hearing the language. At the Secondary School level, we introduce computerized foreign language learning in addition to teacher-driven learning.
- YogaThe basics of yoga—the importance of exercise, stretching and relaxation—are incorporated in our fun Yoga for Kids Program at the Primary level. Students stretch like a cat, stand like a flamingo and stay still like a tree. (Elementary & Secondary School students have a formal Physical Education program).