Hand in Hand Details
Our Hand in Hand program is created with the developmental needs of toddlers and young preschoolers in mind (mostly ages 18 to 36 months). On an individual basis, we will consider enrolling children younger and/or older than this age range.
In our current location, each seasonal session enrolls an average of 6-8 children per class along with their accompanying adult (and each class is subject to minimum enrollment). As we gain more space and as the children become increasingly more comfortable, we will consider expanding the class sizes.
We welcome the enrollment of age-eligible siblings and offer a sibling discount. We work collaboratively with families to determine if each child will necessitate an accompanying adult or if a single adult will be sufficient for more than one child. Non-walking siblings are welcome to attend at no additional charge but must be carefully supervised by their adult partner at all times.
By the Season
Our Hand in Hand program is conducted in seasonal sessions--Fall (September-November), Winter (December-February), Spring (March-May), and Summer (June-August). Seasonal session schedules vary depending on holidays and vacations but typically range from 8 to 10 weeks. Each session is priced according to the number of adults and children enrolled as well as the number of weeks the class meets (and is subject to a minimum enrollment).
Each Hand in Hand class meets from 9am–11am (arrival 9-9:15am, dismissal 10:45-11am). Children establish a daily routine--storing personal belongings, donning indoor shoes, washing hands, gathering for morning circle, spending time discovering and learning, participating in group story time featuring a healthy snack, enjoying music and movement, and exploring in our outdoor environment. Your child (and you!) will learn and play--all while being gently guided by a Montessori teacher.
Each season, we try to plan at least one special event for all enrolled families. This event (playdate, field trip, picnic, etc.) is planned and hosted by one or more enrolled families in attendance. All families attending our special events should be aware that additional charges may apply per person (depending on the event or venue).
Before each seasonal session begins, a mandatory adults-only orientation meeting is held for all new families. At that time, the adults get to know one another, become familiar with the classroom space, discuss roles and expectations, and review the daily schedule.
Enrolling at Montessori Nature School means joining a community. We work together to make the program the best it can be and to keep tuition costs affordable (lower than other area Montessori schools). Upon enrollment in Hand in Hand, every family is responsible for 3 volunteer hours for each seasonal session.
Whether sharing a professional skill, organizing an event, or completing tasks to assist in the classroom, parent involvement is an essential element to the MNS community. ALL families take part in a weekly rotating schedule to provide a healthy snack for the class. In addition helping to provide snack, here are a few examples of other ways that co-op hours can be earned:
Provided with a list of books, checkout/return materials to the library on a bi-weekly basis.
Organize a special event like a family field trip or classroom celebration (ex., Valentine's Day).
Co-host an Open House event at the school or host an informal meet and greet in your home.
Lead a project or event focused on raising funds for classroom materials.
Contribute your time and talents to the classroom--play an instrument, bring in a project, etc.
Our Parent Co-op Program enhances each child's experience in the school by creating a "village" of support that includes many caring adults in the child's life and also allows for everyone to participate in the important work of our school.
Each family enrolled in our Hand in Hand program receives our classroom newsletter describing what to expect in the coming weeks, requests for volunteers and/or supplies, etc. In addition, all enrolled families will be members in a private Facebook group where we share Montessori parenting resources (articles, videos, etc.). and all families can contribute photos, anecdotes, ideas, and community events.