David & Tammie Durant:
“Our daughter, Meg, was enchanted by MVMS from the moment she began there, a month short of her third birthday. After sticking close to the teacher’s knee for a few days, she became so enthusiastic about going to ‘work’ each day that she barely had time for a goodbye kiss. She has enjoyed the other children and loved her teachers ever since. She has moved from being an attentive watcher to feeling herself one of the big kids, sure that her supervision is crucial to the little ones. Now, just past her fifth birthday, she is a good beginning reader, a math whiz, and an accomplished singer of the ‘Days of the Week,’ ’50 States,’ and ‘Months of the Year’ songs. But more important than her intellectual growth has been her overall development into a self starting learner. She can’t know how fortunate she is to have had such small class sizes, nor how unusual it is that her teachers know every step of her progress and chart growth day by day. MVMS has a varied international group of students and faculty, so she has imbibed the pleasure of knowing different cultures. And it is a wonderful advantage to have parks and nature centers right outside the door, as well as the MVMS garden and the woods nearby. There is no TV at MVMS: instead, there is a wealth of Montessori materials that allowed Meg to learn numbers and shapes and concepts at her own pace and inclination. We stumbled on the school without much knowledge of Montessori; it was the most fortunate of accidents. We cannot imagine a better environment; we recommend MVMS without reservation!”
Eric & Joy Ostrem:
“Mississippi Valley Montessori taught our daughter many things, including reading, writing, math, organization, getting along well with others and many other concepts. She is a better person for having attended this school and we would do it again. Thanks to all the teachers who helped us raise her during her early years.”
Kaori & Tim Morgan:
“Our daughter completed the three year program at MVMS in spring, 2009. The progress we saw each year in our child was truly amazing. By her kindergarten year, she blossomed into a hardworking and inquisitive child who was intensely engaged in the learning process. Because of the progressive nature of the Montessori philosophy, we are extremely grateful that we committed to the three year learning cycle at MVMS.
“However, regardless of how many years children are exposed to the Montessori model, we believe it truly develops a child’s innate desire to learn. As a professor at a small liberal arts college in St. Paul, the students that I have worked with who have a strong foundation in the Montessori philosophy share certain traits. They are self-motivated, are able to develop conceptual ideas into final products/presentation and, in general, are a joy to teach.”
The Ames Family:
“We are so glad we decided to send our daughters to Mississippi Valley Montessori. Watching them develop reading and math skills, as well as nurturing their love of nature and the world, have been rewarding experiences. We are sure their experiences here will prepare them well for their future educational endeavors.”
Jon and Zebrina Ivascu:
“When your 3-year-old surprises you by zipping up his own coat on a hectic winter morning, it sure is nice to have one less thing to do before heading out. However, it also validates how nice it is to send them off for the rest of the day at Mississippi Valley Montessori (MVMS)! Our kids have had a terrific experience at MVMS, but we appreciate their experience too. We chose to send our oldest child to MVMS because we wanted to assist his small motor development and build his concentration skills before entering grade school.
“We have seen strong growth in those as well as many areas including social skills such as kindness to others, finishing your own tasks before starting a new one (including cleaning up) and treating all people with courtesy. It is not just zipping up his coat at age 3 or the excitement of counting to 1,000 at age 6, but all the little efforts and rewards in between that our children have grown from over the years.”
Anu & Shailesh Koppikar:
“We have a now 5 year old daughter going to MVMS for the last 2 years and Kindergarten this coming year. We chose Montessori as a learning base for our daughter since it teaches independence and to focus on a task from start to completion, among other things. We chose MVMS since it seems to have a nice and happy atmosphere in the Children’s House (classroom) and the teachers engage the kids into their activities very well.
“Our daughter has learned to be more social, develop her liking with the numerous activities and tasks from beading to addition of numbers. She has learned to explore and ask questions to encourage her own learning. I believe that giving a good foundation early on, as children are eager for input, is important. MVMS and their teachers are helping me do that.”
“The Montessori children are grouped into 3 year spans–the ages of the children in a Montessori Children’s House generally range from two-and-a-half to three to six years. The multi-age classroom is designed to support the child’s social development. There is constant interaction, child to child teaching, and problem solving. Because there is a wide range of ages, no one expects to be at the same level as everyone else. There is no competition because everyone works at his or her own pace and chooses an individual course of work. The older children are very protective of the younger ones and offer to help them frequently. They give lessons to the newer children, which reinforces the knowledge they have gained. The younger children look at the older ones as role models, and they are happy to assume this role in their own turn. Having mixed ages fosters empathy and a desire to help others. There is a sense of community that is much more reflective of life than that of the traditional setting where the children are separated by age. The social development in a Children’s House is much richer as a result of the mixed ages.
“When a child leaves the Kindergarten of a Montessori school, they already have a lot more experience in math, writing, reading, and cultural subjects than your average 1st, 2nd, or sometimes even 3rd grader. He is exposed to math, language, geography, art, music, etc. and is free to work with any material he understands at any time. The material is arranged by subjects and is readily available to the child. The activities that prepare the children for writing and reading are filled with movement, sensorial activities, and games. The math concepts range from counting the decimal numbers 1-10 to the abstract concept of multiplication and division into the millions. The teacher is rarely seen in front of the entire class with the students looking to her for instruction. Students work in small groups or independently. They are free to move around the room instead of staying at desks. If the child masters a concept, he doesn’t have to wait for his classmates who may be having difficulty. He is offered material based upon his ability and interest, or he may repeat material any length of time and his concentration is always respected. The true test of the system is the behavior of the children, their level of interest in the work, and their enthusiasm for learning.”
Barbara Carlson: (Teacher & Parent)
“I first learned about Mississippi Valley Montessori School when I was looking for a new job closer to our new home and was soon hired as an assistant teacher. Within the first year I fell in love not only with the Montessori Method which was practiced here with full authenticity, but especially with the close, involved, dedicated and enthusiastic community of staff and parents who also ran the school. Since then, I have had two children and took some time off work, but I always came back to work at Mississippi Valley and fill in at different positions. The achievements of the children I have seen especially in their three-year cycle convinced me I want my children nowhere else but at a Montessori school. Because of my continuous involvement, the flexibility of the school, and the close vicinity to my home, but especially the most fantastic location and setting of Mississippi Valley made this school a top choice for my family. I am very excited for my older daughter to be starting at Mississippi Valley this January 2012.”