Learning Tree

Preschool in Seattle, WA 98122

We are a community of people working together to bring harmony into one another’s lives.

We share a vision of peace, both inner and in our world.

We work to achieve that peace through our own daily experiences and through the skills we are developing within ourselves and in each new generation of children with whom we share our lives.

Our goal is to provide an environment that enriches all whom it touches.

We work together to create a place where everyone can grow and feel nurtured and accepted.

Child Ages:
2.5 years - 6 years
Licenses & Accreditations:
Washington State Department of Early Learning
Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

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Dr. Maria Montessori discovered a good deal about the nature of the learning process in young children. She came to believe that every child delights in spontaneous activity directed toward intellectual discovery. A carefully prepared environment in a Montessori classroom nourishes and encourages a child’s natural development. Attitudes and confidence developed during these formative years will serve them throughout their lifetime. For a confident child, new activities are not only a challenge but a delight. A child is most apt to retain a positive attitude toward learning and acquire confidence in a relaxed atmosphere where they set their own pace, follow their own interests, and are freed of criticism and competition.

The following are some basic Montessori concepts:

1. The small child is a lover of work—spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.

2. The child needs to learn by doing. At each stage in a child’s mental growth, corresponding physical occupations are provided by means of which they develop and refine their movements. Their natural wish, “Help me to do it myself” is respected.

3. Based on a profound respect for the child’s personality, there is room to grow in biological independence. The child is allowed a large measure of liberty (not license) which forms the basis of real self discipline. This is a higher discipline which originates within the child as they gain practice making their own decisions and exercising their own will. It is not a discipline which is imposed from without and based on rewards and punishments.

4. Since the children are freed from competition and they do not work for praise or rewards, learning becomes its own true reward, and the sharing of learning naturally follows. Children help each other and learn from each other; they do not compete against each other. This results in a positive social community within the classroom.

5. Finally, the Montessori method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely their intellectual faculties, but also their powers of deliberation, initiative, creativity, and independent choice. The children are helped on both the emotional and intellectual levels to gain skills, confidence, and awareness in order that they will become the mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy and happy adults they are meant to be.

The main curriculum areas in a Montessori classroom are Practical Life (self-help), sensorial, Cosmic (Science), Language, and Math. All areas are interconnected and carefully sequenced, building each new skill on earlier success.

The instructor is not so much a teacher as an observer and preparer. Helping each child solve the “problem of the match” is her/his main function. The children’s natural love of repetition and order are respected. The main goals for the children are that they achieve “normalization” (a self-reliant maturity), a love of learning, and a reverence for life.

The materials are kept in perfect condition and carefully displayed on low shelves. They are self-correcting so the child can truly be his/her own teacher.


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