Montessori Education from Lake Mary Montessori

UN Model: Our Country is Algeria!

Carlos and Sam, sixth-graders from the Barry class, traveled to New York City with their teacher, Anna Gonzalez, to the Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) from February 28th to March 3rd, 2010 .  Held in the United Nations Headquarters, the MMUN program is an opportunity for students to learn about current issues through real-life experience, as they participate in a simulation of the United Nations.

Model United Nations programs were originally developed for high school and college students, and have been in existence for over 50 years.  According to Gonzalez, The United Nations was reluctant to partner with schools for elementary and middle school students, as they felt these children would not be capable of the research, writing, and presentations required for the project.   Four years ago, after much convincing, Montessori students were invited to participate in the first Model United Nations for students ages 9 to 15.  This year, 772 Montessori students attended the MMUN, with Lake Mary Montessori Academy students attending for the first time.

Carlos, Sam, and the rest of the Barry class spent months preparing for the trip to New York city to represent Algeria in the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).  UNEP is "the voice for the environment," and is charged with keeping tabs on the global environment and bringing environmental issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.   The students act as delegates for their assigned country, defend their county's position, and finish by voting on resolutions.  They do all of this while wearing suits and sitting in their country's seats in the UN building.

According to Gonzalez, Model United Nations President Ed Elmendorf said that LMMA's students were the best he'd seen in four years the program has been in existence.  He said that Carlos and Sam's position papers and debating skills were superb.  The students presented Algeria's position to the rest of the Montessori student delgates, and voted on four resolutions.  Gonzalez said that her students were confident and well-prepared to speak in front of the large group.

LMMA students were joined by Montessori students from Mexico, Canada, Sweden, Jordan, The Dominican Republic, The Virgin Islands, The United States and Puerto Rico.

When they weren't at the United Nations, the students and their teacher went to American Museum of National History, The Empire State Building, Times Square, and The Statue of Liberty.  They had dinner at Grand Central Station and went Ice Skating at Rockerfeller Center.  Both boys said that one of their favorite parts of the trip was having a snowball fight in Central Park. For more information about MMUN, go to:  http://www.montessori-mun.org/

Why Choose Montessori?

In these challenging economic times, many parents find it a struggle to continue to send their children to a private Montessori school.  Some parents are asking themselves if the expense is worthwhile.  There are a myriad of reasons to send your child to Montessori, but to answer the question of ‘Is the expense worthwhile,” parents must only look at the sad state of our public school system:  We live in a state where the public schools’ main concern is what a school’s grade is.  They are interested in the overall school grade, rather than what your child can do individually.

In contrast, a Montessori school’s main concern is: Who is your child, and how can we best help your child reach his or her highest potential?

The four pillars of the Lake Mary Montessori Academy program are:

1. The cultivation within our students of passion for excellence in everything they do, both inside and outside of school.
2. The development of a strongly held set of universal values, which include self-respect, respect of others, honesty, integrity, responsibility, empathy, compassion, kindness, peacefulness, a sense of concern for others, warmth, and a love of community.
3. The development of a global perspective and a sense of international understanding.
4. A lifelong commitment to give something back through service to others who are in need.

In a word, what these four pillars teach is character.

At LMMA, teachers are focused on helping each child to reach her maximum potential.  Children who attend LMMA get an incredible sense of self-worth. They become independent, passionate learners and problem-solvers. They complete their work and do things well.

Children at LMMA learn non-violence and conflict resolution.  The concept of bullying is foreign in the Montessori environment.  The children and staff have mutual respect for one another.  They learn to work independently and to work as part of a team. We are an International Peace Site.

LMMA students work on community service projects throughout all grade levels. The school has an annual food drive, the Kindergartners participate in The Heifer Project, and the upper grades choose which causes they would like to support.

Public school teachers in Florida are too busy teaching for the FCAT, making sure their students can recite meaningless facts, and managing children’s’ behavioral issues to deal with the larger issue of viewing each child holistically.

What LMMA and other Montessori schools around the world focus on is helping children to grow to be  more empowered and more balanced in all aspects of their lives.

These are very powerful lessons, which go far beyond the simple memorization of facts and formulas, and lead to the development of a child who is a lifelong, joyful learner.  And that is the best investment you can make in your child’s life.

Montessori Teaching Methods

Experiential learning, or learning by doing, is a fundamental component of the Montessori teaching method.  In a traditional classroom, students assimilate facts from books and teachers’ lectures, memorize them, and are tested on them.  Do the children truly understand what they have memorized, or are they just regurgitating facts that have no meaning to them?  Think back to your childhood history and geography classes; is there anything that stands out?  Do you remember the facts you were tested on?

Experiential Learning and Cultural Awareness Imagine, if rather than reading about the history and geography of Venezula, a parent who grew up there came into your classroom in a traditional Venezuelan dress and presented a lesson on her home country’s history and geography.  That would be something to remember, and that is exactly how LMMA students learned about Latin culture last year, when the Latin parents at LMMA came together for the first annual Latin Culture Day.  This cultural immersion was a wonderful complement to what the children were already learning in their classrooms with their teachers.

Latin Culture Day is one of many experiential learning opportunities students at LMMA experience on a regular basis.  They learn about Chinese New Year by celebrating it in the classroom with their Chinese classmates.  Indian parents come in to make Diwali lamps to celebrate the Hindu Festival of Diwali with the children. As a result of this ongoing cultural immersion, the children gain a broad global awareness.  They will have the ability to understand, respect, and appreciate differences in the people they meet and work with, traits that will serve them well as they make their way through this world.  Sheila Linville, Directress at LMMA, encourages parents to come in and share lessons about their culture, because she knows that when children experience something that is authentic, it is memorable!

Experiential Learning and Compassion Experiential learning is not limited to cultural awareness at LMMA:  In a traditional school, students might learn to sew in Home Economics, but at LMMA, the students are doing so much more than learning how to operate a sewing machine.  This semester, in the spirit of compassion and peace, the upper elementary students are making quilts for injured soldiers returning home from Iraq.   According to the Brookings Iraq Index, over 31,000 American troops have been injured in Iraq between March, 3003, and January 2010.  CNN has reported that on average, over 45 injured troops return to the US every day.

As the children observe how the sewing machine works, learn how to operate it, cut the fabric, and sew the quilt together, they will be mindful of the CNN news story they watched about injured troops returning from Iraq.  Along with the quilts, the students will send letters of thanks for the soldiers’ service to their country.

Link to CNN news story on quilting project: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/12/20/gif.soldiers.quilts/index.html?iref=allsearch

“I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand” ~ Confucius

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Science Shows that Montessori Education is Successful

Three-year-old Jackson was a shy child; he was hesitant to join groups of children, and when an adult addressed him, he looked down and did not answer.   Jackson’s parents were worried about him: how would he succeed in school if he could not even talk to new people?  They felt that he would get lost in a traditional VPK classroom.  His parents decided that Montessori school would be the best choice for him.  They felt that an environment in which all children are treated with respect and viewed holistically would be the best way to get him to come out of his shell.

Two years later, Jackson is confident, articulate, and a leader among his peers.  His teachers have taken the time to get to know him, he has gained confidence from the work he has done in class, and all of the students in his class are friends.

Aside from growing socially, Jackson is reading at a second-grade level, knows several Spanish phrases, and knows more geometry and geography than his parents do.
Jackson’s parents now know what a study in Science magazine showed… that Montessori students fare much better than their non-Montessori school counterparts.  Published on September 29, 2006, the study showed greater success for Montessori students both academically and socially.  The authors of the study concluded that, “when strictly implemented, Montessori education fosters social and academic skills that are equal or superior to those fostered by a pool of other types of schools.”

Academics:
Five-year-old Montessori students were significantly better prepared for elementary school in reading and math skills than the non-Montessori children. They also tested better on “executive function,” which is the ability to adapt to changing and more complex problems, and an indicator of future school and life success.

12-year-old Montessori children wrote essays that were rated as “significantly more creative and as using significantly more sophisticated sentence structures” than the non-Montessori students.

Social Skills:
Montessori children in all age groups scored higher on social and behavioral tests, and demonstrated a greater sense of justice and fairness. On the playground they were much more likely to engage in emotionally positive play with peers, and less likely to engage in rough play.

12-year-old Montessori students were more likely to choose “positive assertive responses” for dealing with unpleasant social situations, such as having someone cut into a line. They also indicated a “greater sense of community” at their school and felt that students there respected, helped and cared about each other.

The Importance of Montessori Accreditation

Dr. Maria Montessori founded her first school in 1907, but she never trademarked her name.  As a result, any school can call itself Montessori.  When you choose a Montessori school, it is of utmost importance that you look into the school’s credentials.

School Accreditation:

There are two major Montessori accreditation agencies, the American Montessori Society and the International Montessori Society, which work to regulate the quality of Montessori schools.  In order to gain accreditation, schools must go through a lengthy approval process which includes recognition criteria such as a 12 to 18 month self-study and on site team visit.  Montessori teachers go through specialized training programs.

Teacher Accreditation:
A university B.A. or B.S. in education is not sufficient to become a certified Montessori instructor.  A Montessori teacher is trained to teach one student at a time, while simultaneously overseeing up to 30 students working on different projects.  The Montessori teacher’s role is to guide the child as she explores and researches new subjects.   The teacher teaches by teaching, rather than by correcting.

“WHY LMMA”

Allow us to show you why LMMA‘s Montessori Program is one of the country’s best, as validated by a National Accreditation Team

To see if LMMA is the right choice for your family, and in order to help evaluate our Montessori Program compared to a traditional program, we have created a comparison worksheet. This worksheet will assist you in making the best decision for your child. Please enter your email address and you will receive your FREE comparison worksheet. This also allows you to participate in our Montessori e-course of pertinent topics.

At Lake Mary Montessori, we inspire a passion for excellence; nurture the curiosity, creativity and imagination born within us all; awaken the human spirit of every child.

  • With LMMA’s accreditation from the American Montessori Society & Southern Association of Colleges & Schools, We have successfully:
  • Completed an intensive 12-to-18-month self-study involving administration, staff, teachers, and parents;Participated in a rigorous onsite peer review;
  • Reaffirmed a commitment to a strategic plan for long-term improvement; and
  • Complied with AMS school accreditation standards.

The loving and caring environment found at LMMA is hard to replicate, the beauty of their multi-age environment speaks for itself, the educational curriculum quenches the most voracious of appetites and the dedication of the faculty to each of the children is unmatched.” – LMMA Parent

Private Education for Preschool through 6th Grade

JANUARY

1/6                  School Closed / TWD Teacher Work Day
1/7                  School Resumes
1/20               School Closed / Holiday
1/22                Future Kindergarten Family Meeting
                         (8:30-9:30 a.m. OR 1:30-2:30 p.m.)
1/23                Primary Community Meeting
                        (8:30-9:30 am. OR 1:30-2:30 p.m.)
1/28               Barry Class Business Sale
1/31                Elementary Community Meeting
                        (1st – 6th grade parents 8:15-9:00 a.m.)
12/20               School Closed / TWD Teacher Work Day
12/20-1/6        Holiday Break

Our Vision

At Lake Mary Montessori Academy, our Vision is of a world that can finally live in peace, a global community based on interdependence, respect for all life and all people, reached through the only path that can truly lead there; our children.


The Mission of Lake Mary Montessori Academy is to:

• Inspire a passion for excellence
• Nurture the curiosity, creativity and imagination born within us all
• Awaken the human spirit of every child


Programs Offered

Lake Mary Montessori Academy offers private education for preschool, kindergarten, and elementary aged children.