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Lake Hills Montessori

600 Cuernavaca Dr.
Austin, TX 78733

(512) 263-9342


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

From the Director:

The Montessori approach evolved over many years as the result Dr. Maria Montessori’s work. The Montessori Method is used now with children of all ages. At LHM we focus on the preschool and kindergarten aged child. The preschool aged child displays an inherent tendency towards discovery, cooperation, kindness, and nonviolence. It is our challenge to promote all of these characteristics to extend them into later childhood and adulthood. Teachers are trained to challenge each child to extend fully his/her unique style of learning. Our classrooms are characterized by calm, orderly, focused and respectful learning behaviors. We believe that respect breeds respect and creates an atmosphere within which learning is facilitated. Current brain research suggests that learning environments that are stimulating and relaxed; intriguing and safe for exploration facilitate learning in children. In our classrooms children manipulate everything in their environment and therefore learn by doing. Through movement and touch, children explore, manipulate, and build storehouses of impressions about the physical world around them and move these learning experiences into concrete thoughts. Many exercises, especially at the early childhood level, are designed to draw children’s attention to the sensory properties of objects within their environment: size, shape, color, texture, weight, smell, sound, etc. Children begin to observe and appreciate their environment, which is key in helping children discover how to learn. We try to help children fall in love with the process of focusing their complete attention on something and mastering its challenge with enthusiasm. The environment of the Montessori class is a learning laboratory in which children are allowed to explore, and discover.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught Computers: Lake Hills Montessori is committed to computer education as a vital element of learning for our Primary students. They gain hands-on experience through daily computer usage. Students learn to use the mouse, word processing and graphics programs. Spanish: Primary students are taught Spanish weekly by a bi-lingual teacher. The instruction is geared to the developmental level of the class. The children learn beginning Spanish through songs, poems, games, and movement activities. Music: Music is an integral part of our curriculum at Lake Hills Montessori. All children participate in musical activities daily in the classroom. Physical Education: Children engage in a daily free-play on the playground (weather permitting). Lake Hills Montessori students have a wide variety of equipment to use for large motor-skills development as well as a large shaded playground. After-School Program: We offer an after-school program from 12:00 pm until 6:00 pm Monday-Friday. Lake Hills Montessori’s After-school program teachers provide a supportive and caring environment for children. Children participate in art, cooking, and science projects daily in addition to outdoor play. Summer Camp: Lake Hills Montessori summer camp extends for ten weeks from June through mid-August. Adding to the Montessori environment, children participate in exciting activities such as art projects, nature studies, theatrical performances, and water play. They also learn about the world around them through field trips. The objective of the camp is to foster creativity, discovery, and friendship in a loving, supporting environment.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The underlying foundation of our school is respect:
I respect myself: true learning is respect.

I respect my friends: we are social beings and our actions affect others.

I respect my environment: our main duty in life.

It is imperative for a child’s learning and for the smooth functioning of our school community that each child learn the “cycle of activity”:

I choose my work.

I complete it properly.

I put it away, ready for the next person.

We are working on normalization (a child in harmony and self and environment). This is accomplished as a child learns to Work and enjoys working. Work (the process, not the product) is what brings fulfillment of the FIVE MAIN GOALS:

Concentration: The ability to observe and comprehend, the ability to remain focused on a task for ever increasing amounts of time.

Independence: in choices, in decision-making, in care of person and environment, and in the responsibility for learning.

Control and Coordination: of body, mind and heart.

Purposeful Activity: learning to engage in purposeful activity, as opposed to chaotic or nervous activity.

Joyful Accomplishment: to experience the feeling of, and to quest for joyful accomplishment (the positive experience is what propels a child to accept himself and and desire further knowledge).

With these goals in mind, each child is guided in development at FIVE LEVELS:

Physical: potential learning problems can first be spotted in a young child’s ability to control movements.

Emotional: young children need patience and guidance to learn to control and express their feelings.

Intellectual: young children are collectors of knowledge (they absorb it from their environment).

Mental: to know, to experience, to use all known information for experiments and problem-solving.

Spiritual: develops strength of character, revelation of true personality, and desire to be of service to others.

A Typical Day

Young Primary
7:30 am Arrival/Outside Time
9:00 am Circle Time
9:15 am Snack
9:30 am Class Begins
10:30 am Outside Time
12:00 pm Dismissal/After-School Program
7:30 am Arrival/Outside Time
8:30 am Class Begins/Ellipse (group lesson)
8:45 am Work Period
11:45 am Outside Time
12:00 pm Dismissal/After-School Program
Primary Afternoon Program
12:30 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Work Period
3:00 pm Dismissal/After-School Program
After-School Program
12:00 pm Lunch
12:30 pm Nap
2:30 pm Transition Time/Dismissal
3:00 pm Snack/Free Play/Outside/Art Activities

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school