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Posted: April 24, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Letter to the editor... Best kept secret

 Dear Editor: With teacher appreciation week coming up, I’m moved to thank the Montessori School of Covington for its amazing curriculum and philosophy. I hope to share this fantastic secret we have in our community. I have not one, but three kids thriving beautifully at this school. We have been there for 8 years. Our oldest started, in their Early Childhood program, at age four.

The Montessori philosophy regards each child as a unique individual, worthy of respect and with individual needs. They encourage kids to accelerate in subjects they are excited about, but do not allow the child to fall behind in other areas where interest is not high at the moment. The teachers spent most of their time working with each child individually, which means they can help in exactly the way each child needs. Monthly home projects presented at school, at the elementary level, are on topics the kids choose, thereby further customizing the curriculum and expanding the learning adventure to home. I don’t ever feel like I’m flogging the kids to do endless rote-type homework. Everything is taught, as much as possible, with demonstrations and hands-on materials, which the child continues to use, on their own, to develop a full understanding. Math, language, and science all become real and tangible subjects. Cultures and geography are studied from the earliest levels and supported with enriching monthly field trips. Montessori schools have a very strong reputation for building kids with broad global understanding. This is not a school where the facts are just being packed into the child, but a place where the learning is supported by a whole fabric of appropriate context. It’s a saturation method, I suppose.

 The proof is in the pudding. Montessori School of Covington has a tiny fraction of the school-going kids in this county, yet in almost every scholastic competition in which we participate, we have county, state, and in some instances, national winners. The students, who have gone all the way through the program, have gone on to a huge variety of schools, (Young Americans, Athens Acadamy, George Walton, the Rockdale Magnet School, and public schools) adjusting smoothly and easily and making super grades.

 This is a school with very high ideals and very little flash and glitz. They are producing exceptionally complete people. I’m truly ecstatic to be able to offer this to my children. Thank you, Montessori School of Covington.

Laura McCanless

Oxford

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