Hilltop Montessori School involves parents

Arriving in the village of Mt Laurel, I drove down Olmsted to Abbott Square and Hilltop Montessori School.

Today was “Donuts with Dad,” a monthly activity that was in full swing with cars lining the streets.

Executive Director Michele Scott took me on tour, explaining the activity.

“We try to involve parents in the education of their children. These days, more moms are working. Dad’s pick up the slack,” she said, “For one hour, fathers, and some grandparents, get acquainted with the child’s activities. They share a snack and show their work. Some are quite involved.”

More than a hundred dads, and even a few moms standing in for them, were suited up for work.

Cell phones were put away. Some dads sat in pint-sized chairs, eating snacks from tiny hands.

Dads were lolling about or sitting cross- legged on the floor with children, putting puzzles together, working on projects and doing various activities.

The scene was one of generations connecting, attention being paid to budding children.

Students at Hilltop know they’re important to most loved ones in their lives.

“Parent involvement is a Montessori belief,” Scott said.

The Montessori Method is the result of experiences and discoveries of Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952), whose observations of children brought awareness to a child’s great need for boosted confidence and emotional well-being.

She noted a child’s mind is especially “absorbent” of facts during ages three through six, during which foundation is being laid for future life successes.

The teaching method at Hilltop Montessori allows children to learn at their own pace, using materials that help a child fully explore their environment.

The teacher provides individual instruction within set guidelines.

Students learn respect for self, others and the environment.

The methods promote inner motivation and self-discipline.

The school fosters creativity, curiosity, promotes self esteem and understanding of one’s responsibility to the world.

“Muffins with Mom” is another parental activity at Hilltop Montessori, a school which offers highest quality private education. Its students range from 18 months old through eighth grade, and currently hail from three local counties. The children are multicultural, and from varied socioeconomic background.

For more information see Hilltopmontessori.com or call 437-9343.

Gladys Hodge Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at gsherrer@hotmail.com