Fall has arrived, and with it comes the start of a new year of education.  If you’re looking for an alternative style of childcare for your child, look no further than South Portland.  South Portland is home to its very own Montessori school, Sunstone Montessori School.

In case there are readers who are unfamiliar with the term “Montessori,” a Montessori school is “a system of education for young children that seeks to develop natural interests and activities rather than use formal teaching methods,” according to Dictionary.com.  The Montessori ideology was founded by Maria Montessori, an Italian doctor who spent her time teaching the children of Rome’s ghettos.  With her work, she created a “child-centered method of teaching” that “focuses on five areas:  practical life, sensory awareness education, language arts, mathematics and geometry and cultural subjects,” according to Amanda Rock.

Sunstone Montessori offers education for children from 2 ½ years old through 6th grade.  The education provided at Sunstone is comprehensive and interactive.  The school functions under “the premise that children thrive when they become the lead participant in their acquisition of knowledge,” according to their website.  At Sunstone Montessori, children are the directors of their own education, and their interests are allowed to pave the educational path.

The children at Sunstone Montessori in South Portland are grouped in mixed age classrooms.  They also stay with the same teacher for three years before moving to the next level.  If you have children ages 2 ½ to 6, you can check out their Children’s House program, which includes hands-on interaction, freedom of choice, and many social interactions.  If you have a child in 1st through 6th grade, the Elementary program will serve you.  The Elementary program introduces children “to the entire universe of human knowledge,” according to their website, and the children take student-organized trips around town for extended education.

Just this past year, Sunstone Montessori made a big move to combine their Children’s House campus with their Elementary campus.  The school now exists in a single, unified campus.  You can find it at 6318 SW Corbett Avenue, in John’s Landing, Southwest Portland.  If you’d like more information about Sunstone Montessori School, be sure to check out their upcoming event “Introduction to Montessori Elementary,” on November 13th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.  Childcare will be available by reservation and will cost $5 per child.  Stop by South Portland’s Sunstone Montessori School this November 13 between 6:00 and 8:00 pm to learn more about how to enroll your child in a Montessori education.  If you can’t make this event, be sure to check out their website at www.sunstonemontessori.org.

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