Our before and after care programs are a natural extension of the child’s school day, and are led by experienced Montessori teachers. Environments are carefully curated to encourage quality and meaningful experiences.
Enjoy this snapshot from the After School staff.
The PMonts Toddler Afterschool Program offers a continued seamless curriculum that allows children to develop and explore from morning to pick-up. The schedule embodies the Montessori Best Practices and is a continuation of the school day, with a well-thought-out schedule to provide students with consistency. Each environment is filled with activities that encourage independence and allow freedom of movement.
We start our time together outside in the toddler playground or by going for a nice nature walk, weather permitting. During intermittent weather, we use the Kaleidoscope room, which is beautifully designed for toddlers to move and socialize together, play the parachute game, or dance.
When we transition into the Hummingbird Room (one of the toddler classrooms), we have “circle time” where we sing songs, play games, and read stories. Once a week, we have Spanish class during this time. Then, children are provided with a community snack, after which they are encouraged to choose work from the shelves in different areas of the classroom. The activities are culled from various categories, such as art, practical life, small manipulative, language, sensorial, and peace corner/library.
The program is designed to allow freedom of choice and movement, the ability to express oneself creatively through rotating art, play, and projects, and the opportunity to socialize and rest after a long day. This unstructured time is balanced by routines that bring comfort.We start our afternoon time together outside for about thirty minutes, weather permitting. When we transition into the spacious and light-filled Vitality Room, children have the opportunity to choose to have their snack or engage with stimulating work that is presented on the shelves. These works include art, practical life, sensorial, language, geography, language, and peace practices. We find that children gravitate most to sensorial work. Sensorial work includes puzzles, blocks, and other hands-on, manipulative materials which provide an experience they crave at the end of the day. They often like to work in pairs and use their creative skills to build and create things, while solidifying special friendships.
The Vitality Room is designed for the children to be in a relaxed, comfortable environment where they can support and encourage each other. In Primary After School, friendships across the program are both made and reinforced. The faculty follow the same Montessori principles of respect for the child, positive discipline, and acting as the “guide on the side” rather than the “sage on the stage,” as children enjoy all that is prepared for them.
In Lower Elementary After School, we start our time together with a brief circle, a snack, a story, or a conversation. Following this, the children enjoy choosing what they would like to do. This may include games, art, building activities, or crafts like finger-knitting and sewing. We also incorporate time outside on the playground, weather permitting.To enhance our program, teacher-guided activities are offered for those who would like to participate. Mrs. Hartman, a teacher in our Primary program, has been showing the children how to make wonderful bead creations, like pillows, keychains, and even spiders! Students love these sessions and look forward to them. Our elementary art teacher, Mrs. McElheny, also joins us every other week for a new art project. We round out the week with some fun movement exercises in the Crescendo Room (gym) with Coach Winnie from TGA Fitness. Here your children participate in everything from golf to dancing. No matter what each day brings, we always enjoy spending our time together!
In the Upper Elementary After School program our goal is to provide a Montessori environment that allows for freedom within limits, creating a space where children can play, create, and socialize. We always start After School with an hour of time outside, if the weather permits. On days when it’s too cold or too hot, we divide our time between outside and the Imaginarium (the art room) where we have an assortment of arts and crafts, board games, puzzles, building blocks, and a library of books.
We also have rotating, cross-disciplinary activities that students can choose to participate in. We have bi-weekly art lessons, opportunities to learn archery and other occasional offerings like computer animation coding classes. Teachers also guide the students in learning skills like crocheting, knitting, and sewing. In the words of one of our students, “There’s always something to do.”
The Imaginarium, where we spend our time after 4:00 PM, is a beautiful space filled with art, creative supplies, and inspiration. When we come in from playing outside, we always have thirty minutes of quiet time (fifteen minutes on Friday). We turn on peaceful music and encourage self-directed, independent work, whether that be homework, reading a choice book, or working on an individual project. We always help students to finish any project that they start, to encourage perseverance, creativity, and self-confidence. Our teachers aim to “follow the child,” finding the things that children are drawn to and incorporating those activities into our After School program.