Our Montessori Programming
Infant/Toddler - 12 weeks to 36 months
In 2019-20, the infant room (12 weeks to 16 months) will be a five-day program. Half-day and Full-day options available. The transition room (16 months +) and the toddler room (2-3 years) will remain a two-, three-, four- or five-day option.
The first three years of life are full of exuberant growth. Movement, language, and personal independence develop more rapidly now than at any other time. At this crucial stage of development, the Montessori classroom provides a safe place in which the child’s unique self can flourish and find meaning.
The Infant/Toddler community at Stepping Stones Montessori knows that each child is a special individual, full of potential. The child’s experiences away from home are carefully constructed. Each child is nurtured and empowered. Classrooms are inviting; materials are appropriately stimulating. Movement is encouraged, while meaningful, ordered activities satisfy developmental needs. Our trained Montessori faculty members use richly expressive language to accompany every action. In such an environment, a child can truly thrive. Summer registration options are available to current families.
Children’s House - 3 to 6 years
Children at this age are required to attend Monday - Friday, with no exceptions. Half-day and Full-day options available.
Children’s House is available to children ranging from 3 to 6 years of age and is the natural entry level for 3-year-olds. At this stage of development, a child’s inherent desire to learn becomes apparent. Concentration, coordination, independence, and a sense of order are encouraged during this phase of the child’s education at Stepping Stones Montessori. Parents will see their child developing initiative, inner discipline, and a deep respect for themselves, others, and their environment. The child who completes Children’s House naturally transitions to our Elementary Level.
Elementary Level I - 6 to 9 years
At this stage of development, the child enters a classroom where she will be for the next three years, with the same teacher and peer group. In an environment of continuity, this unique feature of the Montessori curriculum promotes creativity, builds self-esteem, and allows the development of leadership skills as the older children naturally become mentors for their younger classmates. With a heightened sense of curiosity, a well-developed ability to solve problems, and a greater sensitivity to the environment, the child begins, in earnest, to learn the traditional disciplines of mathematics, literature, and science.
It is at this stage, too, that the child begins to expand his cultural boundaries through active participation in the areas of art, music, creative dramatics, and foreign languages. In these years, the child becomes accustomed to success and simply treats the obstacles that he encounters as new challenges to overcome.
Elementary II (Upper Elementary) - 9 to 12 years
The Upper Elementary classroom provides the capstone for the Montessori elementary experience at Stepping Stones. As one Stepping Stones Elementary II teacher explains, “The teacher’s role at Stepping Stones Montessori is not to force interest or entertain students. Rather, it is to create a ‘learning environment’ where the child is continually challenged to reach his or her maximum learning potential.”
Adolescent Program at River Ridge Farm (Middle School) - 12 to 15 years
Opening in fall 2018, our Middle School will be the first and only farm-based Montessori school in West Michigan. It will provide students with an intellectually rigorous and rewarding experience rooted in the belief that motivation for learning is an end in itself as well as a means to other achievements. Click here for more information.
Transitioning to Traditional School
Our children are well prepared to face future challenges. They leave Stepping Stones with a strong sense of self, a solid academic experience, and, most importantly, a love of learning that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. Graduates of Stepping Stones Montessori School transition successfully into other school settings.
Stepping Stones Montessori offers before-school care to families who need care for their children prior to the start of the school day. Before-school care begins at 7:30 am and is open to all Stepping Stones children. Our trained staff provides quality care in a Montessori environment, allowing for a smooth transition from the child’s home to the classroom.
Our after-school care program is open to all Stepping Stones Montessori students who need care after the regular school day. After-school care is open five days a week until 5:30 pm. Students are cared for by trained staff and are provided with a snack and various activities each week. Activities are based on themes and provide the children with a rich experience to complement their busy day.