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Taking In-Person Learning Outside
La Jolla Montessori School Students Love Learning on the Shaded Patio
By: La Jolla Montessori School
The school Director of La Jolla Montessori School (LJMS), Kelly McFarland, M.Ed., shares the positive outcome of spending time outside.
Learning Outdoors Works
The school features a large outdoor patio, a playground, and enough plants, trees and insects to whet the curiosity of any three year-old. "The children love the freedom, fresh air and special feelings about being outside," says McFarland. "Teachers rotate students daily for the privilege of working outside. Desks are situated on the patio where students can work on their daily Montessori projects."
For three hours each morning, the children can sit on the shaded patio and work. Then, they enjoy 40 minutes more of outdoor recess. And, if they stay for the after-school program, then it's usually another hour outside during the afternoon. "Children talk about the insects and birds they've seen and learned about in class. Their curiosity about nature has definitely increased since March," says McFarland.
McFarland describes how the children have taken their new situation seriously by not playing all day on the playground while neglecting their studies. "If anything, it has provided a different look and feel to being at school."
Reasons Why Montessori Works
At Montessori Schools, the Montessori Method is based on children:
• Working individually
• Following their interests where they lead
• Working within age range groups where peer learning helps the youngest assimilate early and easily
• Learning English and Spanish daily with an aim toward dual language fluency by the end of Kindergarten and,
• No tests.
Why Coming Back to School in January Makes Sense
The school Director describes the positive feedback she has been receiving from parents expressing how grateful they are that their children have a safe and loving place to go to every day. La Jolla Montessori School has been open since May with strict health protocols. Notably, the school purchased a 'best in class' EPA approved 'fogger' for everyday use after class. Additional sanitary precautions include wearing masks, hand washing throughout the day, cleaning all toys after use, plexiglass between tables and other tools to minimize risk for all.
Returning to school will rebuild daily routine, stability and order. Then, parents and teachers can return to fully concentrating on their students' academic prowess, social skills and emotional intelligence, management and empathy.
The longer children remain isolated without social interaction with their peers, the longer it will take for them to acclimate in the classroom. LJMS teachers are guiding children while making in-person learning outside fun. Consider bringing them back to school, will you?
For an in-person tour or virtual tour, please visit:https://lajollamontessorischool.com/
Edited by Nazanine Pineda