Mississippi Valley Montessori School offers half-day, through lunch and full-day options. All options are five days a week so children can develop independence, confidence, and responsibility toward the community of children and their Children’s House. Five days a week also provides ample time (without the interruptions of adult life) for children to explore and learn with hands and minds in an environment specifically designed for their developmental needs.
Morning Half-Day Program (8:45 to 12:00)
At children arrive between 8:35-8:45 and greet their friends and teachers. Throughout the morning, children choose work that they have been presented in the areas of practical life, sensorial learning, mathematics, and language, as well as in art, music, geography, and biology. The guide presents new activities to the children individually or in small groups. The children also teach other children work that they know. Each morning is a buzz of purposeful activity and social interaction as children work with energy, concentration, and joy. Children learn to cooperate, help others, and resolve conflicts. Children also choose restful activities (such reading a book, talking to friends, or having a snack) as they feel the need. At the end of the morning cycle, the children do their classroom jobs (making sure their environment in back in order and clean) and they may hold a large group collective with their guide. At 12 pm, the morning children leave for the day.
Lunch and play (12pm to 1:15)
Children who stay through lunch or for the full day spend until 12 pm in the Children’s House (see morning half-day program), working and helping create a community of learners and helpers. At 12 pm, they prepare for lunch and go to the lunchroom to eat with the teachers. Lunch is leisurely, a time for conversation at small tables. We encourage you to provide low-processed and a variety of foods, something appetizing and healthy (see our guidelines on lunch). After lunch, they wash their dishes and clean up. We respect the different pace of children, so playtime may be shortened if they elect to spend more time at lunch, but in any case children get to play outside or in the gym after they are finished until 1:15.
Full-Day Program (8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.)
If you choose to have your child stay with us for the full-day option, your child will have the option of Naptime or being a part of the afternoon work cycle.
Some children still need a nap when they start the program, and some others occasionally need to rest in the afternoon. Sleep is paramount for a child’s optimal development. The nap program is a time of routines, in which the child gets the comfort of stories and light music before napping, but it is flexible enough to include children who may need to rest occasionally after a busy morning. At 1:30, children who take naps do so in the room adjoining the lunchroom.
b. Second Work Cycle
Non-Napping children ages spend afternoons having a second work cycle in our Children’s house delving more deeply into their work. Incorporated into this part of the day is substantial time in our outdoor natural surroundings. We are fortunate to have a beautiful yard with a big garden, raised beds and a greenhouse for the children to tend to. We have a wooded area and pond as well. Our proximity to Dodge Nature Center affords us the opportunity to hike on their property and take advantage of the farm animals, trails, pond docks, rapture center, reptile rescue center, and woods.