By Eric Andresen
“Please come join us to celebrate our 8th year in Lyons, Colorado. All current and past students and families of Lyons Montessori School are welcome, as well as prospective students and the community. “Hot chocolate and a birthday cake will be served,” announces Laurie Kennedy, Montessori Director. This
is an excellent opportunity to meet Laurie and her staff, tour the facility, or just socialize with old and new friends. The festivities will begin at 6 p.m., this Thursday, January 10. The school is located in the middle of Main Street (between 4th and 5th Avenues) on the south side of the street. There is limited parking available in the back next to the Barking Dog café, so we are encouraging guests to walk, ride their bike, or drive their golf cart.
The mission statement for the Lyons Community Montessori (LCM) is “To impart to children a sense of wonder and concern about the world around them.”
This transcends to having a goal of teaching children in a safe, loving, and nurturing setting that allows them to grow as individuals by promoting independence and self-reliance. They also strive to expand the children’s natural sense of curiosity, help to teach them a sense of the world around them, shape their experiences by working in groups, and guiding them on how to share and care about others. The LCM is able to offer all this and much more in a beautiful learning environment in the middle of our vibrant downtown here in Lyons. With an outstanding teacher/student ratio of 1:7 greater focus is on every child and their specific needs in the classroom.
Montessori teaching is based on eight pillars of learning: practical life, sensory, language, math, geography, history, science, and peace. All topics are interrelated with a strong emphasis on hands-on learning. More specifically, practical life lessons teach fine and gross motor control and the ability to sequence work. Sensorial lessons involve educating the senses through comparison, matching, and sorting, also classified as pre-math. Language lessons are based on a phonetics program that focuses on each child’s individual ability. Math lessons instruct the child in enumeration, quantities, and operations that use manipulative materials to move the child from concrete to abstract learning. Geography teaching helps develop a clear sense of spatial orientation through enriched interactions. History lessons help teach the children about themselves and time, including clock concepts. For science, instruction is focused on anatomy, botany, and zoology. And the peace teachings are used to introduce the concept of a person in the world. Pervasive throughout each area are music and art.
The LCM has a wonderful staff of educators with over 50 years experience in teaching the Montessori philosophy. Their hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with school hours from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. They have three separate learning areas. Two of the areas are next door to each other at the Main Street facility, while the third building is offsite and dedicated to our community’s youngest students (18 months to three years old). The LCM is actively looking for new and future students for all three locations.