Frequently Asked Questions

How long has the Montessori Learning Center of FWB been operating?
The Montessori Learning Center was open in 1982 and has been at its current location since August 1992.

When does the school have registration?
You may put your child on the waiting list at any time, and you will be contacted in February to schedule an appointment to observe the school. After observing the school’s program you may register your child at that time. Should you choose to register your child, you will be expected to pay your registration fee ($150.00) and August tuition.

Does the school provide scholarship or accept Florida vouchers?
Yes, there are several scholarships your family may be eligible for through the state of Florida. More information can be found on SUFS’s Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and SUFS’s Gardiner Scholarship (PLSA) at www.stepupforstudents.org.

Does Montessori Learning Center provide before or after school care?
Montessori Learning Center offers 30 minutes of after care for a fee. There is no before care at this time.

Does Montessori Learning Center provide snacks and lunches?
Our school does not have a full service kitchen and it is the family’s responsibility to provide their child’s meals and drinks.

What is the  eligibility cut-off date for attendance? 

Your child must be 3 by September 1 to attend our school and meet the required age to move up to the next class (4 by September 1 for Pre-Kindergarten and 5 by September 1 for Kindergarten).

Does Montessori Learning Center offer a part time enrollment program?
No, each of our classes are a full time program, which means that your child is expected to attend school Monday – Friday, August- June. We feel that if your child attends school every day it will enable your child to feel part of the group and have a sense of belonging to the school.

Is my child allowed to celebrate his or her birthday at school?
Yes, we strongly encourage parents to celebrate their child’s birthday at school by having snack with them. If you decide to do so then we must require you to provide a store bought snack because of many children’s food allergies. We promise to sing Happy Birthday and give them a Birthday crown.

What is Montessori Learning Center’s Illness policy?
No one knows your child better than you so we rely on your parent intuition when deciding if your child is well enough to attend. We do enforce a 24 hour fever free policy.

Can I purchase a Montessori Learning Center t-shirt?
Of course you can! Please ask any of the teachers for a shirt. The cost is $10 and the sizes are 2-4, 6-8 and 10-12.

Why should I send my child to preschool?
Most educators and psychologists today agree that the single most important period of development of a person’s intelligence occurs between birth and age five. A child’s mind is extremely absorbent and his curiosity is at a peak during these early years. When properly nourished and stimulated, the child’s mind forms patterns for learning that serve him well throughout his life. The Montessori system of preschool education is one of the most effective and fastest growing methods to guide a child through these critical years.

What is the difference between day care, nursery school, and preschool?
Day care centers are generally set up to care for children on an all day basis. Nursery schools are generally focused on socialization and play. Preschools are oriented toward education experiences, combined with socialization and play.

How is a Montessori preschool different from other preschools?
In most preschools, the children are taught educational concepts in a group by a teacher. In a Montessori preschool, the children learn concepts spontaneously as they work independently with the many materials in the learning environment.

What is the Montessori Method of Education?
The Montessori Method of Education is a unique approach to learning. Rather than teaching the child concepts, an environment is designed to stimulate the child’s interest and facilitate his or her understanding and learning capacities spontaneously – with little or no adult supervision.

What is the purpose of the Montessori Method of Education?
The main purpose is to develop an environment wherein the child can unfold spontaneously and manifest the greater person within. As the poet Wordsworth wrote,”The child is the father of the man.” As the child begins to develop his or her inner self, his or her love of life and learning expands continuously.

Who started the Montessori Method?
More than 75 years ago, Dr. Maria Montessori was Italy’s first woman medical doctor. Using her scientific background, she began observing children in the Children’s Homes of Rome. On the basis of her observations, she developed unique materials and a child-centered learning environment. She was one of the first people to revolutionize freedom of expression, self-education, and learning through the use of movement and senses.

What is in a Montessori classroom?
The Montessori classroom is a child-sized world. Whatever is in the world outside can be incorporated meaningfully into the Montessori classroom. To a child, the world is unmanageable-it is too big, too complex, and too confusing. By careful selection of materials by the teachers, an environment is created that allows the child a place to explore life on a level he can understand. The material and exercises are designed to stimulate independent exploration. This prepared environment entices the child to proceed at his or her own pace from simple activities to more complex ones. Throughout this process, the child’s natural curiosity is satisfied and he or she begins to experience the joy of discovering the world around him or her. Materials and curriculum revolve around practical life, sensorial, language, math, geography, history, science, art, music, drama, and dance.

How do children interact in this environment?
As the children develop their sense of pride in their work, a feeling of confidence, well-being, and joy begins to manifest itself in the child. A new child is born. A classroom of Montessori children is a joy to watch. There seems to be a spirit of respect, love, and cooperation among the children that is not often found.

What is the role of the Montessori teacher?
The Montessori teacher carefully plans the environment in the interests of the children, and she helps the children progress from one activity to the next. She is trained to deal with each child individually, allowing the child to choose from any activity within his or her range of ability. She stands back while a child is working and allows him the satisfaction of his own discovery.

With all of the freedom, isn’t there confusion?
The concept of freedom in the classroom is a freedom within limits. A child is allowed to work freely as long as he does not disturb others. Actually, the children having the freedom to follow their interests are generally happy and busily involved with their work.

What is the best age to start a child in a Montessori preschool?
Dr. Maria Montessori outlined various periods of sensitivity. During these times, a child is more capable of and interested in learning specific concepts. At the age of three years, a special sense of order, concentration, coordination, and independence begin to emerge. This time is ideal to begin a child’s training in Montessori since the child is at the perfect period to build a strong foundation for future learning.

How do Montessori children adjust to public schools?
Children who have been in a Montessori environment are generally very flexible and adjust quite easily to the public school situation. They are generally better students and spend their time in more productive ways because of their self-direction and positive attitude toward learning.

Why is a Montessori experience for five days a week?
The Montessori classroom experience is for five consecutive days in order to allow the spontaneous learning of the child to flow smoothly. A child taken in and out of school every other day does not have the same opportunity to pursue unfolding interests.

What about socialization and group work?
Socialization is very much a part of the Montessori Method. In the classroom, you will notice the children interacting continuously, choosing to work on projects together, and older children helping younger children. Each day there is some group activity and outdoor play.

For whom is the Montessori Method designed?
The Montessori Method is an approach to learning and as such has no distinction of class of intelligence. It has been used successfully in all parts of the world and in all types of programs: Headstart, gifted children, mentally retarded children, average children, etc.

What are the Practical Life Experiences?
Through independent activities, all students participate in practical life exercises to expand their experience and participation in the everyday activities of their culture. These life-skills emphasize the sequence and order necessary for the successful completion of any task and enhance the child’s further development of motor skills and precision.

Isn’t Montessori expensive?
Tuition at Montessori preschools throughout the country is sometimes higher than other preschools because of the extensive materials, encompassing environment, curriculum, and trained staff. It is, however, a very reasonable cost in contrast to other activities that you would plan for yourself or your child. It becomes a matter of what you value most. To give children the finest possible experience in their most sensitive years is to give them a strong foundation throughout their lives. Many educators believe that it is just as wise to invest in a child’s preschool education as it is to invest in his college education. The child who enjoys learning and becomes self-directed at the critical preschool age will benefit through all of his years of learning. The expense now is a profitable long-term investment! The school’s tuition schedule is outlined under School Policies, which appear later in this booklet.

How long is the Montessori school year?
The regular program follows the same schedule as the Okaloosa County Public Schools system.

Does Montessori employ current research and theory in educational methods?
Montessori is not a static or closed system of education. While there are certain materials and methods that have been proven effective through the years, Montessori is as much an attitude about education and children as it is a specific method.

Do you encourage parental involvement in the school?
Since the parents are the officers and board members of the Montessori Learning Center, parental involvement is encouraged through conferences, observations, classroom assistance, periodic general meetings, etc. The teachers feel that the more parents can understand the experiences of the child in the classroom, the better able they are to follow through at home. The child benefits even more from his or her Montessori experience because he or she has a consistent environment in which to grow.