1. What are the basic principles of your method of education?
Montessori represents an entirely different approach to traditional education. It is structured around the belief that a child learns best in an environment that supports each individual’s uniqueness. The classrooms are structured so that children can function independently and become self-motivated learners. Our goal is to empower the student to develop to his or her highest potential, to become a self-motivated learner, and to be a creative and critical thinker.
2. How are accommodations made for students that are either accelerated or below their grade level?
At MHOK each student has their own curriculum vs. in traditional schools it is one curriculum for every student in the class. Everyone has strengths and weakness and because of its individualized approach, the different needs of each child can be met by one classroom environment. We are asked many times, “If children work at their own pace, don’t they fall behind?” Although students are free to work at their own pace, they are not without the guidance of a teacher. The Montessori teacher closely observes each child and provides materials and activities that advance his learning by building on skills and knowledge already gained.
3. How is discipline handled?
A Montessori approach to discipline consists of a delicate balance between freedom and discipline. Like any part of Montessori education, it requires respect for the child. Freedom and discipline are two words that are not usually used together, at least in regard to children. It seems counter-intuitive – how can you give kids freedom and still have discipline, or be disciplined and have freedom? It is generally understood that children can only “behave” when strict discipline is imposed on them, meaning their freedom taken away – this is the thinking of traditional schooling. Dr. Maria Montessori discovered that the two, freedom and discipline, indeed go hand in hand. True discipline, however, comes from within the child. We develop the child’s inner compass for what is right and wrong, without needing external rewards or threats of punishment to do the right thing.
4. Do you have a financial aid program?
Each year Montessori Hale O Keiki offers need-based financial aid to families who qualify. To be considered for financial aid, all students must have been accepted for admission or re-enrollment. MHOK uses School and Student Services (SSS) by NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) to help determine eligibility. The family’s total income and assets, number of children attending tuition charging schools, housing costs, medical expenses, debt obligations and other special circumstances are also considered. However, while we try to assist as many qualified students as possible with the limited resources that we have, financing a private school education remains the primary responsibility of the family. MHOK requires both parents (whether divorced, separated or never married) to complete the financial aid process.
To find out more about MHOK go to www.MHOK.org
Image Credit: MHOK