Hours: 8:45– 11:45 AM (Ages 3 to 4 ½)
Extended Day Hours: 8:45 AM – 2:30 PM (Ages 4 ½ to
The Children’s House is the realm of the 3 to
6 year old child. It is a warm and welcoming Prepared Environment,
especially designed to build concentration and self-discipline.
The Montessori directress is the link connecting the child to the
Students new to the Children’s House program,
starting as young as age 3, attend our school from 8:45– 11:45
AM Monday through Friday. As children show academic and social readiness
to work independently, usually between ages 4 ½ and 5, the
directress will invite them to stay for Extended Day. These children
stay for lunch beginning one afternoon a week. The children’s
workday then extends from morning into the afternoon with opportunity
for more in-depth exploration.
Children, ages 3 to 6, directly learn through their
senses and absorb information effortlessly through movement and
hands-on materials. The focus of Montessori education is not academic
readiness or the mastery of specific skill, but development of the
whole child – socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.
The mixed age classes offer opportunities to learn
which do not exist in same-age settings. The older, experienced
children become leaders and role models to the younger children,
who absorb social values and cultural impressions from the activities
of the older children. The children learn details of math, language
and geography just from walking through the classroom! Through leadership,
the older children gain self-confidence and responsibility. A natural,
family-like atmosphere develops spontaneously, resulting in a bond
between the children and also with the Guide. From this comes the
greatest level of social development - mutual care and respect.
All classrooms include four distinct areas: practical
life, sensorial, math and language. A fifth area, often referred
to as cultural or science, combines work from both sensorial and
Practical Life offers opportunity
to instill care for self, care for others, and care for the environment
while setting the foundation for concentration, independence, and
eye-hand coordination. This area helps develop self-confidence while
laying the groundwork for all other areas of the curriculum.
Sensorial exercises allow the children
to manipulate materials, classify and clarify information into finer
and finer distinctions, and comprehend their world through the use
of their 5 senses. Dr. Montessori referred to these materials as
Language development occurs naturally
and spontaneously before the age of six. Montessori exercises focus
on both spoken and written language. The classroom is rich in oral
language including conversation, stories, songs and poetry. The
children learn phonetic skills necessary for composition and reading.
The hand, which has been developing control and coordination in
Practical Life activities and Sensorial exploration, is now ready
to begin the formation of letters. Through effortless learning the
child now “explodes” into reading and writing!
Mathematics materials help develop
the child’s innate “mathematical mind” as he manipulates
concrete materials which isolate a specific concept in preparation
for later abstract work. The materials lay the foundation for arithmetic,
algebra and geometry. Mind and body become integrated through exploration
with the didactic materials.
Highlawn has five Children’s House classrooms.
Each classroom serves 24 children, directed by an AMI certified
teacher and one assistant.
The Children’s House Extended Day Program is
offered to children 4½ and older. This session runs from
8:45-2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The afternoon extended day
allows the older children to have more academic, smaller group experience
in their classroom. Extended day is offered to children at about
four and a half years of age as the teacher feels the child is ready.
Children are invited to start one afternoon and slowly increase
the number of afternoons. The decision concerning the child’s
readiness for the extended day is always made by the classroom teacher,
with input from the parents.
Readiness for Extended Day is determined by observing
the child. Guidelines the teacher will use include the following.
- has a desire to stay for lunch and the Extended
- has given up taking naps or no longer naps everyday.
- can work independently for extended periods of
- can focus during the more difficult and complicated
Hours: Monday though Friday from 8:15 AM – 3:00
education at Highlawn does not end with the Children’s House
experience. It continues into the child’s elementary years
constantly focused on the changing developmental needs of the child.
Maria Montessori wrote, ”The successive levels of education
must conform to the successive personalities of the child.”
As the elementary-aged child gradually moves from the concrete learning
of Children's House to the more abstract ones of the elementary,
Highlawn Montessori meets his developmental needs each step of the
The elementary program builds on the child’s
Children’s House experience. Highlawn’s elementary environment
balances concrete, hands-on materials with the child’s developing
imagination and powers of abstraction. The Montessori elementary
program serves 6-12 year olds by focusing on:
- Integration of the arts, sciences, geography, history
- Presentation of the formal scientific language
of zoology, botany, anthropology, geography, and geology.
- Presentation of knowledge as part of a large-scale
narrative that reveals the origins of the earth, life, human communities,
and modern history.
- Mathematics curriculum presented with concrete
materials that reveal arithmetic, geometric, and algebraic correlations.
- Open-ended research and in-depth study using primary
and secondary sources as well as other materials.
The elementary program collaborates with the Johnson
County Corinth library to provide a literacy program that includes
quality interactive literature experiences, library skills, library
technology skills, guest speakers and more. Students attend regular
small group and whole group field experiences focused on science,
history, geography and the arts.
The curriculum is also enhanced by resources brought
in from the community such as professional musicians, naturalist
interpreters, hydrologists, drama instructors, zoo docents and people
with first hand knowledge of cultural practices. The elementary
students enjoy weekly Spanish instruction as well as regular visits
to the classroom by volunteers including Japanese and French language
teachers, local chefs, skilled seamstresses, and multicultural experts.
In addition to our regular schedule of classes, Highlawn
Montessori also offers options to working parents or those who occasionally
need additional hours of care for their children. These options
include Before Care, Explorer’s Club, and the After School
Program. Summer Camps are available during the summer months.
Before School Care
Our Before Care program is open to children enrolled
in any of our regular classes. Children attending Before Care join
one of our AMI trained teachers in her classroom. The program coordinates
with regular classrooms, allowing the children to participate in
a Children’s House environment in which they are free to move
about the room choosing work of interest to them. They may serve
themselves snack, and occasionally a child will bring in breakfast
to eat during
this time. Before Care is available on a drop-in basis from 7:30
to 8:40AM, five days a week. At 8:40 children are dismissed to their
own classrooms. The cost is $6.00 per morning.
After School Care
Our After School Program is an extension of the Children's
House class. This program provides a relaxed, cozy, home-like atmosphere
under the direction of a trained Montessori teacher. The afternoon
program is optional, upbeat and lots of fun. This program offers
the best of both worlds; the nurturing and comfort of home and the
challenging stimulation of Montessori. Children participate joyfully
in many activities; care for the environment, science, cultural
activities, art, music, movement, cooking and games. The children
may choose to participate in an organized activity or work freely
in a fully equipped Montessori classroom. The limit of twelve students
and communication between the Primary Children's House Teacher and
After School Teacher will enhance the child's social, emotional,
spiritual and cognitive growth. Parents have the option of enrolling
their children on a fee-based schedule for 2, 3, 4 or 5 days, with
varying dismissal times until 5:45pm.
Day and Elementary students may join our Explorer’s Club following
regular afternoon class time, one or more days a week. Specific
programs are led by Montessori trained teachers. Each Explorer's Club day has a different theme varying year to year. Explorer’s Club is available five days
a week from 3:15 to 5PM, on a monthly block basis. Cost is based
on the number of days available in any given monthly block. Pre-enrollment
During the summer months one
or two week long programs may be offered to currently enrolled children.
Each camp session focuses on the fun of exploring a particular activity
or subject. The children may also work with regular Montessori classroom
materials as they choose. These camps are scheduled from
9AM to 1PM. Children bring their lunches and often enjoy eating
outside during this time. Pre-enrollment is required.