Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Montessori Nature School (MNS) offers authentic Montessori programs for families and children from birth to 6 years of age. Rooted in the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori, we provide play-full, nature-rich learning opportunities that strengthen the joyful connection between children, their families, the local community, and the natural world.
Montessori Nature School is a thriving community of young children, their dedicated families, and supportive community partners. For now, all of our programs meet either in our classroom, at local businesses, or in the great outdoors. As our programs expand and our enrollment grows, we will establish our presence in a home-like setting surrounded by open green spaces and native wildlife.
Our inaugural year has been an exciting one, gathering steam as the school grows through the seasons.
- Summer 2017 was chock-full of free, nature-based outdoor classes for young children and their families in the local community.
- In Fall 2017, we kicked off Hand in Hand (our Montessori parent-child class) which met once each week. In addition, we hosted some holiday-themed story times at local Lenoir businesses.
- Our Winter 2018 Hand in Hand program expanded to meet twice each week and enrolled even more families. We also held a series of Family Music Classes to celebrate the season.
- Spring 2018 brought with it an expansion to holding three classes each week to accommodate the growing demand from current families to attend more frequently. With the addition of more classes, we were also able to welcome in several new families as well!
- Our goal for Summer of 2018 is to continue to offer family-friendly community programs throughout the summer months. We will also have our hands extremely full working to open our Primary program (preschool and kindergarten) in September.
Our second year promises to be a busy one too! We will be expanding our staff to include other educators and specialists, allowing us to offer a wider variety of classes and/or events. And based on the needs and wishes of our currently enrolled families and students, we will continue hosting parent-child classes as well as free community events.
Our goal will be to enroll an inaugural Primary class starting with 10 to 12 students in September 2018 and growing to 15 students by the end of the school year in May 2019. This first cohort will be comprised of 3- to 5-year-olds (perhaps a few younger, a few older). This mixed-age grouping will allow for a large number of re-enrolling students in subsequent years.
2019 and Beyond
As our oldest students graduate from MNS and move on to elementary school, we will continue to enroll students in our Primary program until we have reached a maximum class size of 16-20 preschool and kindergarten students (between the ages of 3 and 6).