Bilingual Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten
the fun hands-on learning the children experience in a typical day, let us first introduce you to the head teacher. Debbie Barrows is owner and Directress of the Ferndale Bilingual Montessori Preschool. As a devoted parent, she became acquainted first hand with the unique value of a Montessori education. She began teaching in 1993, and became certified by the Montessori Institute of America where she has the opportunity to teach anywhere in the world. In the year 1995 she chose to open her first school in Ferndale, WA.
It took her over two years to find what she considers to be the absolute perfect location for a preschool. Ferndale Bilingual Montessori is located up church road on a safe and secure one acre piece of property which is situated in the Ferndale City limits. This private picturesque setting is 800 feet off church road and is surrounded by over 30 undeveloped acres. Parents feel very secure knowing that they don't have to worry about their children playing around traffic and busy streets. Ferndale Bilingual Montessori is also equipped with a secure fenced play area. The playground is furnished with colorful inviting play equipment.
Ferndale Bilingual Montessori Preschool has chosen to keep their school what they consider to be the appropriate size for preschool children. Children feel secure and comfortable there. A larger institutional type of school can be very intimidating for children this age. You can see more pictures of the school here.
About Our School
daily routine starts with an all-school circle time that lasts about
half an hour. This is an important time for learning through music,
stories, games , discussions, the introduction of Montessori
materials, Spanish etc. A work period of the child's own free
choice immediately follows. During this time, the children may choose
to work with materials made to introduce lessons on practical life,
art, mathematics, language, and discovering the
world around us. Weather permitting, we may then go outside for
about fifteen minutes. In addition to the traditional fenced play
yard, our unique and safe location allows us to explore the outdoors and
days of the week also mean special activities: Monday
is our class
fact day. On this day the children look forward to learning an
interesting fact about the world we live in.
our circle time includes a visit from Miss Lady (our ladybug puppet)
who teaches etiquette through the use of books, tapes, and
we adjust our time to include an educational video and popcorn. Thursday
is sharing day and the children develop social skills by sharing with
the class one interesting, educational object from home. Special
items pertaining to science or nature may be displayed at our
observation table any time. Fridays
are the only days the school does not provide snack. This allows
each child the opportunity to use the special snack basket and
One of the most important and unique experiences our school offers is the daily Spanish lesson. We were the very first preschool in Whatcom County to offer Spanish at the preschool level. Our Spanish lessons are not conversational however we practice basic vocabulary such as greetings, colors, numbers, animal names, various songs and much more. In doing this we are laying the foundation and developing the area of the child's mind that is used for learning languages. We at Ferndale Bilingual Montessori recognize that by incorporating Spanish into our curriculum children develop a greater appreciation for diversity.
By exposing children to a second language this allows the child to optimize his or her learning potential, helping to shape the brain at its most flexible stage. Young children are uniquely suited to learning a second language. Learning a second language at this age is cognitively as easy as learning a first language. Experts claim that it is optimal to do this within the first five years of life as this proves to be very valuable long into adulthood, even if preschool was their only exposure.
A recent article in the New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell quotes James Flynn, a renowned scientist, as saying"The mind is much more like a muscle than we've ever realized. It needs to get cognitive exercise". Exposure to more than one language is an excellent way of flexing the brain muscles and building them up.
Studies have proven that children who are exposed to a second language at the preschool age are mentally sharper, they possess the ability to multi-task, they are able to focus better, and they tend to be the analytical thinkers and problem solvers. It is also noted that they do much better opposed to their peers when it comes to math, language and other skills.
Children have the best opportunity to become the leaders of tomorrow by learning a second language while they are young. Domestic employers in the United States will continue to value employees who can speak a second language, especially Spanish. These capabilities will be an asset in our global diverse community more so now than ever. By enrolling your child in a bilingual preschool you will be giving them a great start in life.
cooking and science projects throughout the year
during which we provide each child with an opportunity for hands-on
we have a food dehydrator so the children can experiment with
favorite foods we will share for snack; for example learning how
grapes turn into raisins.
also have a school compost bin with a plexiglass side so the children
can see first hand under controlled conditions the decomposition of
organic matter. They will observe how living things such as maple
leaves, banana peels, grass clippings, etc. eventually die and
become food to multitudes of bacteria, insects, and worms.
have also incorporated safety lessons into our program. We feel that
safety is something that every child should be aware of. On a regular
basis we have interactive safety exercises covering areas such as: calling
911, fire hazards, sports safety, pool safety, how to handle bullies,
safety around strangers, fire drills, etc. We
do this in a fun and productive way so the children will enjoy learning
and retain what they learn as well.
would also like to introduce you to our class pet. He's a gerbil, and
goes by the name of Mr. Jingles. Mr. Jingles resides in a well
maintained, sanitary cage. The children will learn responsibility by
helping take care of him. They will have the opportunity on a
rotating basis to feed him and observe his playful activities.
a few other benefits of having a class pet are: learning to respect
living things, discipline, co-operation and sharing.
addition to Mr. Jingles we have a see through bird feeder attached
to the outside of our school window. This makes it easy for the
children to observe the birds in nature while they are comfortably
working in our cozy classroom.
introduced progressive muscle relaxation to the children last year,
and they loved it. As a result of this great response, we have
decided to incorporate this practice into our curriculum on a
bi-weekly basis, schedule permitting. Have you ever noticed how often
adults tell children to calm down, relax, be still, or focus? But
when do we teach children how to do these things? Relaxation is a
skill like reading, math or basketball. Through attentive instruction,
understanding and practice, students can learn to be calmer and more
focused. The exercise consists of systematically tensing and relaxing
specific muscle groups, along with deep breathing techniques. Studies
have shown that relaxation provides children with many benefits,
including assisting memory retention, improving the ability to focus
and reducing anxiety, anger and sleeping problems, just to name a
few. Relaxation is a powerful tool to teach our children early in
life, one that will improve their coping skills and benefit them well
into adulthood. Indeed, we believe that relaxation exercises should
be a part of every classroom curriculum.
celebrations are always welcome. However, we like to celebrate them
on Mondays or Thursdays so they don't disrupt our special activity
days. We only ask that you let us know in advance if you plan to
celebrate at school so we will be prepared.
included in our schedule of events is our unique Multi-
Fair . This is a
wonderful and exciting program that our school has developed and
we have now incorporated it into our curriculum.
Multi-Cultural learning fair takes place the last seven weeks of the
school year. During this time each of the weeks is devoted to
one of the seven continents: North America, South America, Africa,
Europe, Asia, Australia, and Antarctica. Each week is dedicated
learning about the different countries within the continent. We will
learn about the traditions, language , food, music, people, and
culture of these countries. The children will also learn greetings in five different languages. We invite the parents to be involved by
sharing their travel experiences, heritage, etc. The parents and
children also have the opportunity to choose a country and
an authentic snack to the class. Our Multi-Cultural fair is a time of
fun & learning for the children, the teachers, and the
of our school.
those students who continue in our school through their kindergarten
year we celebrate with a graduation ceremony consisting of the full
cap and gown ensemble, a diploma, and refreshments. This
commemorates the completion of one of life's first important
milestones and celebrates entrance into the world of grade school.
also offer a one month optional summer program during the summer
vacation. It is a time for excitement, fun, and games including:
water fun, field games, cooking, and prizes. Our summer school is
three day a week program that lasts for four weeks. The children have
come to enjoy and look forward to this fun filled event.
try to foster a friendly family-like atmosphere in our multi-age
classroom by encouraging respect and goodwill among the children and
staying in close communication with the parents. We encourage
parents to participate through various activities such as our annual
pumpkin patch field trip, Christmas party, mid-year
conferences, Multi-Cultural Learning Fair, and our year-end
picnic. We also encourage parents to become involved with field
trips, or by sharing a special celebration, skill or interest with the
class. We respect children, families and all cultural backgrounds.
We believe that families are the most important factor in the
development of a child's character and life. We desire to build good
interactions with parents and to help guide their children towards
growth and well being. We commit ourselves to doing the very best for
all our students and strive to help them develop independence,
confidence, self- esteem, and self-sufficiency.
know you can feel confident and secure about the incredible
opportunities for growth your child has here at our school.
Registration for fall classes cannot
come in too early, but unfortunately, when classes fill, it can come
in too late. We encourage you to register when you make your decision
so you may reserve a spot for your child.
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