Let’s start with this: my now nearly 21 year old boy and 17 year old girl haven’t asked me for money in years. Why? Because they learned early on to be proud of and to nurture their own independence, are unconsciously competent in their ability to delay gratification, and understand that they are responsible for themselves, their family and friends, and their communities.
These characteristics were formed by the wonderful teachers at Montessori and reinforced at home. One day I came home to find my young daughter singing “This is my school, my place of work and play…” while washing the dining room table — unasked. We did have to politely redirect her when we awoke to hear her vacuuming the house at 5am, however….
My son is now a sophomore at Yale and daughter headed to the University of Edinburgh, both with many self-arranged and self-financed trips to other continents over the past few years. They have healthy habits and relationships, interesting hobbies, work more hours than any kids I know, built their own savings and retirement funds, and are secure with themselves, their place in the world, and their future.
That’s about all a parent can hope for in the best of circumstances, and from all the kids we know from the school, apparently it’s just how things are done at Montessori Columbia. Many thanks to the teachers and staff who grow all these wonderful little beings for our world, you made the difference.
I cannot express in words adequately how amazing your teachers are. I observed such grace and wisdom and kindness these past two days. You have a treasure in Mr Young. His thoughtfulness with regard to this trip and “next year’s upper el class” is amazing. And his sheer support and championing of his students while letting them achieve independently is admirable. Another standout moment was watching Mr. Sidney handle a moment with a student, who’d misplaced her money in the gift shop. His tone with her was so calming and supportive and he communicated so well that he was there to help her get to the bottom of the situation, even if that meant having them close out the register. He is an angel. I am pretty sure.
“I felt like I learned things that kids two grades ahead of me in other schools were learning.” Josiah’s love of learning and his Montessori foundation did not just prepare him for life; it also helped him to become a Jeopardy champion. On August 1, 2013, he competed on Jeopardy Kids Week and won $22,200. He is the youngest person to receive a key to the city of Columbia. Josiah plans to major in engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then complete his MBA at the University of South Carolina. While he loves math and science, his ultimate career goal is to own a roller coaster company!
Taylor Marie Doggett, an alumna of the Montessori School of Columbia, attributes her voracious appetite for learning to the foundation she built during her years at MSC.
“There is absolutely no school that rivals it. The charming campus, the dedicated family of teachers— I leapt out of bed every day, eager to go to school. Eating carefully divided brownies during a lesson on fractions, initiating mock presidential debates on the playground as fifth graders, completing research projects in every grade…that kind of environment and encouragement of learning were incredible gifts given to my classmates and me during our time there.”
Taylor enjoys reading, volleyball, hiking, and water sports. After MSC, Taylor attended and graduated from Hammond School in Columbia. She is a first-year student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Honors Program, where she is studying Public Policy with a minor in Social and Economic Justice. After completing her degree, she envisions a long career fighting injustice in the United States penal system.
Foundation and collaboration, those are the two words that would summarize both our girls experience at the Montessori School of Columbia. Taylor is a freshman Honor Student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and we credit MSC for providing a solid foundation in reading and writing. Her classmates encouraged, challenged and supported each other. Danielle will be in 6th at MSC and in addition to solidifying her reading, writing, and mathematical skill she has an opportunity to collaborate with students, faculty and staff as she develops and grows as a learner.