Central Iowa is full of great schools to choose from for your kiddos. Whether it’s private or public we are very lucky to have a plethora of quality school choices. Like many aspiring new parents we had made up our minds to go the home school route. But when that didn’t work out we had to find a school that not only met our qualifications, but also fit our kids learning styles. One of the main qualifications that we were looking for was a school that used Montessori style learning.
If you aren’t familiar with Montessori, here is a brief summary: Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process.
So after some online searching we came up with a list of area Montessori schools to take a look at. Here are some tips that helped us sort out the best fit for our kiddos:
- Take a tour! You can’t get a feel for the school just by their website. You need to see the facilities, meet the teachers and see the students in action.
- Look for a low student to teacher ratio. If you are paying money for the school, you want your child to have as much individual teaching and attention as possible.
- Does the school provide a family type atmosphere? This was important to us as well. For us, we wanted the experience to be similar to home school, with that family environment.
- Does the school offer the chance to explore nature? Exploring nature is a big part of the Montessori principals.
So after some tours and lots of debate we came up with our choice and couldn’t be happier (email me if you want to know which school gets my endorsement). If you are looking for a Montessori School for your kiddo, here is a list of schools that you should check out:
Main Street Montessori & Middle School is an independent, private school offering a multi-aged, experiential, hands on education to children age 3 through eighth grade.
Location: 925 Main St, Norwalk
Programs Available: Primary (Ages 3-6), Elementary (Ages 6-9), Middle School
Tuition: $5,500 per year
Sayre Montessori offers academic excellence, cultural diversity and strong character development through an individually paced curriculum that reaches beyond the classroom and into the community.
Location: 1700 28th St, West Des Moines
Programs Available: Primary (Ages 3-6), Elementary (2 Levels: Lower Level ages 6-9, and Upper Level ages 9-12)
Tuition: $7,000 per year
Montessori Children’s House provides early education training for children 18 months to 7 years. MCH has over 200 students with nine classrooms and 12 classes.
Location: 1505 42nd St. West Des Moines
Programs Available: Early Preschool (18-24 Months), 3-6 Year Old, 5-7 Year Old, Spanish Immersion, Summer
Tuition: Varies per program
Cowles Montessori is pleased to offer a Montessori style of learning for students in the Des Moines area. At Cowles, we believe in the powers of the individual child, drawing upon his or her inner motivation to learn. Classrooms are set up in multi-age groupings where they learn from each other and because of each other.
Location: 6401 College Ave, Windsor Heights
Programs Available: Early Childhood, Lower Level (Grades 1-3), Upper Level (Grades 4-6), Middle School (Grades 7-8)
Tuition: None (Des Moines Public School – There is a waiting list)