Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Montessori just for preschoolers?
A. Montessori schools tend to focus on preschool and lower elementary school because ages 0-6 are known as the most influential ages for development, but the Montessori educational method can organize programs for students up through high school.
Q. What is the difference between traditional schools and Montessori schools?
A. Take a look at our comparison table to find out.
Q. Are Montessori schools as academically rigorous as traditional schools?
A. Yes. Montessori classrooms encourage deep learning of the concepts behind academic skills rather than sole memorization of the curriculum.
Q. Why do Montessori classrooms look different?
A. The distinctive arrangement of a Montessori classroom mirrors the Montessori method’s differences from traditional education. Rather than putting the teacher at the focal point of the class, the classroom shows a child-centered approach. Children work at tables or on floor mats where they can spread out their materials, and the teacher circulates about the room, giving lessons or resolving issues as they arise.
Q. If Montessori children are free to do whatever they want in the classroom how does the teacher ensure each student is receiving a fully rounded education?
A. Montessori children are free to choose within their provided curriculum options and have only as much freedom as they can responsibly handle. The classroom teacher and assistant ensure that children do not interfere with each other’s learning and that each child is progressing at their own appropriate pace in all subjects.
Q. Is it true that Montessori schools have no textbooks or homework?
A. Montessori education is experiential and hands-on; children work with specially designed materials in the classroom before learning abstract pencil-and-paper methods. As students grow into the upper elementary and middle school years, written resources make more appearances. Students are encouraged to do their own research rather than relying on a textbook’s descriptions. Students may be asked to complete components of some class projects at home. Middle school students do have homework such as math problems, writing and reading assignments, and research papers but it’s considered important not to over-schedule a child’s time and to leave plenty of time for free play. Though many “fun” activities are considered to be appropriate homework. These include reading, gardening, music lessons, hiking, journaling, or playing a sport.
Q. How are students adequately prepared for real-life competition since Montessori classrooms emphasize non-competitiveness?
A. Montessori classrooms emphasize competition with oneself: self-monitoring, self-correction, and a variety of other executive skills aimed at continuous self-improvement. Students typically become comfortable with their strengths and learn how to address their weaknesses. In older classes, students commonly participate in competitive activities in which students give their best performances while simultaneously encouraging peers to do the same.
Q. How do Montessori graduates fare in the real world when they have to follow a structured agenda?
A. Increasingly, the modern world favors creative thinkers who combine personal initiative with strong collaborative skills: exactly the characteristics which Montessori education nurtures. Adults who attended Montessori schools have spoken of their childhood experiences with the Montessori method saying it gave them not only the ability to work cooperatively in existing settings, but also the skills of confidence, creativity, and communication needed to make innovative and ground-breaking changes.
Q. What grade levels does Lowcountry Montessori School offer?
A. Lowcountry Montessori School offers Preschool for 3 and 4 year olds, along with grades K through 12.
Q. Do students at Lowcountry have to wear uniforms?
A. Lowcountry Montessori does not require uniforms, although a basic dress code is in place.
Q. What supplies do I need to provide for my student?
A. If a supply list is needed for a class, it will be shared with families and posted on the website over the summer in order to purchase classroom materials.
Q. Is transportation for Lowcountry Montessori School students provided by the school?
A. Transportation is not provided by the school. Students are brought by their parents.
Q. Will lunch be provided?
A. Many students will bring their lunch to school with them. We are a peanut and tree nut-free facility. We offer lunches from third party sources Monday - Thursday for $6 each meal. See the Front Office for details.
Q. Who can attend Lowcountry Montessori School?
A. Lowcountry Montessori School is a public charter school, and is open to all students who reside in the state of South Carolina and would like to attend. If there are more students wishing to attend than seats, enrollment is determined by a lottery.
Q. What does it cost to attend Lowcountry Montessori School?
A. For PK3 through high school, Lowcountry Montessori School is a tuition-free public school. We offer an extended day fee for the pre-school program.
Q. What are charter schools?
A. Charter schools extend the privilege of choice to all families. They provide options for parents and students in pursuing their ideal educational experience. Charter schools are open to all children free of charge who are eligible to attend traditional public schools in the state of South Carolina. Charter schools are governed by a local Board of Directors and are required to meet and often exceed the standards of its Authorizer and the State Board of Education.
Q. How are charter schools governed?
A. Charter schools are governed by a Board of Directors. Bylaws of the Board of Directors outline its role and responsibilities.
Q. What are the benefits of sending my child to a charter school?
A. Children attending charter schools benefit from high academic standards, and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Charter schools are organized by a founding group that is passionate about the basic tenets of the curriculum. Enthusiasm for the school is contagious. Board members, staff members, parents, students, and community members are attracted to the charter school because their interests coincide with the charter school’s educational program and special themes.
Charter schools have to be responsive to parents’ concerns because they operate in a free market. Parents literally make the choice to send their children to the magnet or theme school. Parents also typically transport their children to school, which means that parents have a stronger connection and more active communications with the faculty and staff.
Q. How do I enroll my child in Lowcountry Montessori School?
A. Parents or legal guardians are invited to submit an application for student enrollment at Lowcountry Montessori. Students will be accepted and assigned to classes on a first come, first served basis. If a particular grade is full, students will participate in a lottery process at the end of the official enrollment period or will be placed on a waiting list in the order enrollment applications are received.
Q. Who is eligible to enroll at Lowcountry Montessori?
A. Any student eligible to attend public schools in South Carolina is eligible to enroll at Lowcountry Montessori. To enroll in Kindergarten, your child must be at least five years of age on September 1st of the school year of enrollment.