“MINE is a school. As it happens, all schools also provide care for the pupils, but it should be clear that MINE is much more than childcare or daycare. The teachers at MINE are well-trained experts. My daughter has been there for a year now, and from the first week, it was obvious how much she was learning at MINE. Whenever we visit our friends and family, and they see the things Mary can do for herself, and her interest in exploring and trying things, they comment that she’s so independent and ahead of where they’d expect. While I hope some of that has to do with her own constitution, I’m confident that any child at MINE would exhibit similar abilities thanks to the hard work of the teachers at MINE. It’s difficult for me to write a thorough review of how great the program is at MINE especially in comparison to other places because as much as I try to learn about parenthood and child rearing, I’m a graduate student, and always wish I had more time to educate myself. Thankfully, I learn from MINE, they’re teaching me and my wife, in addition to our daughter. To me this is a tremendous additional value: I learn, in a way that many other parents don’t have the opportunity, from the experts at MINE to give my daughter room to explore, learn, and grow and to decide for herself when she’s ready for things that I would’ve considered beyond her at a given stage.
At MINE, aside from their instantiation of the well-renowned Montessori curriculum in which the children are taught various “works” that are developmentally appropriate and challenging, they are teaching her about eating, nutrition, cleaning up after herself, and communicating with adults and peers. The music time when they play guitar for the children has become my daughter’s obsession. She loves to watch and listen and especially enjoys helping to strum. She’s note even 18 months, but we’ve got her a small ukulele, that she’s started to enjoy at home. From a young age they’ve helped her learn sign language along side english (note: please don’t hold the misconception that was popular in the past about this having a negative impact on the children’s spoken-language development because a tremendous volume of research directly contradicts this), and we think this may be why she seems to have many fewer tantrums than other children her age: she can communicate with relative precision what she needs, and we can understand and at least acknowledge, if not provide for her request.
Not only is the school wonderfully staffed with these loving, caring experts whom my daughter is delighted to see, and sometimes reluctant to leave, but the facilities are beautiful. It is clean, and obviously very intentional in the entire layout and even which “works” (manipulatives, or “toys” if you must) are currently out in rotation.
They school is young and growing and as such they are on the cutting edge of utilizing information and communications technologies *where appropriate* (and intentionally not, when a nuisance, burdensome, or diminishing the quality of education and care) to communicate with the teachers, parents/families, and public. The community among the families is growing with people sharing babysitters, nannies, clothes, toys, tips, events, and etc.
In my role as a graduate student for research and for assistantships I hold, I have to travel a few times a year. This is already a difficult thing to leave my family for several days at a time, especially with my working wife to have to care not only for our daughter, but also our dog on her own. I really don’t know if I would be able to bring myself to do so if we were not both completely confident in and happy with Mary’s education and safety all day every (week)day at MINE. To know that not only is she at least safe, but further is learning and growing and working every day and eating better than either of us, is such a pleasure.
I whole-heartedly recommend that you very strongly consider enrolling your child or children at MINE.
Dr. Michael Stewart and Emily Stewart