FAQ & COVID related changes
1. I’m worried about the structured nature of the Montessori program. What about just playing?
At Little Elephant, we believe children learn through play. The child’s work is to play. Each day’s routine is the same, which provides the child with a sense of security. But throughout the day, there are periods where the children are free to choose whichever activities they’d like to work on inside, or they are free to go outside and run and dig and climb (even play in the sprinklers), with supervision and instruction on the natural world.
2. What’s for lunch?
Parents provide lunches for the children, but we’re happy to heat food. We do request that you don’t put any sweets in the lunch box, and we are trying to have a garbage-free school — reusable/glass containers are best. The children wash their silverware after they’re done. As a community, we know that some children react severely to certain food items. We are a nut-free school. COVID change: Children are now bringing their lunch and snack from home.
3. How much time is spent outside?
Approx. 2 hours per day, weather permitting. Children will go outside if it is cold and drizzling if they wear appropriate clothing and boots.
4. Are there snacks?
Snacks are always available for self-service whenever a child is hungry. We provide high-energy, low-sugar healthful treats like fresh fruit, veggies, and snack mix. COVID change: Snacks will be provided by parents until further notice
5. Will my child still nap?
All our pre-primary (Buttercups) children nap from 12-2:30/3 PM. Children under age 4 have a rest time from 12:30–2:30 PM. Once a child is four years old, the parents may choose to have their child stop napping.
6. How will Little Elephant discipline my child?
At Little Elephant, we practice Positive Discipline and natural consequences.
7. What will my child learn?
Children will be learning to be active agents in their education. They will choose activities in all classroom areas, from developing their sensory perception and working with numbers to understanding the letter sounds, refining their small motor skills, and caring for their classroom environment. The teachers work with children individually and in small groups to help with each child’s unique developmental needs. We hope to nurture in all our children a love of learning and a curiosity about the world.
8. Are all the children in the same class?
The Montessori classroom is a mixed-age class that extends through kindergarten. Children learn through teaching others and often can teach younger children in ways a teacher cannot. Due to a larger developmental continuum, children in a mixed-age classroom tend to find friendships more quickly than in a single-age class.
9. How can parents participate?
Parents are welcome to stay until 9 AM. But please respect Little Elephant as the children’s learning environment and be aware of the atmosphere at the time. If it’s a quiet time, be quiet. If everyone’s running around outside, feel free to join in. Parents are encouraged to attend children’s birthday celebrations and participate in field trips. All parents are invited to participate in our Parent Committee. The Parent Committee meets monthly and is a beautiful opportunity to connect with other families and be involved in the school. We also have several social events during the school year to facilitate community amongst the Little Elephant families. Parents and other family members are encouraged to share their cultures, cuisines, traditional clothing, specific knowledge, or interests. COVID change: All in-person activities have been put on hold for now. We will try to build our community using zoom until further notice.
10. Is Little Elephant a year-round program?
Little Elephant offers two contract options: a year-round 12-month or 10-month school-year contract. You may enroll in one of our summer sessions if you have signed up for the 10-month contract option.
If you need more answers, please do not hesitate to contact Little Elephant.