It’s been two years since I last visited Ms. Megan’s school, Children’s House Montessori School, in Lewiston, Idaho. Megan has owned and operated the school since 2011. The school began in a gas station that was creatively converted into a wonderful space for children that was very quickly outgrown. Then, Megan moved her school into the old library in Lewiston, a very gracious building, with some parts dating back to the early 1900s, in an amazing location next to Pioneer Park in Lewiston. It was nice to revisit the school and see how plans and dreams Megan had for the building two years ago have come into being, and that the school is growing and thriving. Congratulations, Megan, and best wishes for your future success.
So, when I visit a Montessori School I like to focus on three beautiful things about the school. This is what I see as making the school unique.
First I love the location. (Isn’t that what realtors say? The three most important factors in real estate are location, location and location!) The school is in Pioneer Park, so as well as the playground (which in itself is awesome, and includes lots of natural elements like rocks, planting boxes, places to dig), the children have access to the park for outdoor play. The park contains a bandshell that I know is used for both impromptu and scheduled performances by the children. The outdoor space is used a lot for community gatherings. The school sits high up above the valley, and from the school you can see trains and tugboats, and osprey . . . and the school receives a lot of natural light through beautiful windows that frame the view.
Second I love the focus on the cultural subjects. it was very obvious from my observation in the K-I classroom that they were studying Africa ~ Masai shield art project, research and building models of pyramids, books about Africa in the library area, models of African animals on display, research on African animals. Similarly, downstairs in the 2 – 4 classroom, it was obvious that the children had been focusing on Greek mythology. They are working on making costumes for plays based on Greek myths that they were going to perform for the younger students, and all of the families.
I am having a hard time deciding on # 3 – was it the strong sense of community, the creative use of space (loved the variety of work stations in the K-1 classroom, including a tray table, and a small coffee table with cushions), the welcoming atmosphere, the artwork on the walls . . .I think I am going to have to go with a beautiful phrase used by Megan. “Trust my words on this.” Used sparingly, for very important information, especially concerning safety, this is a powerful phrase. Today, during my visit, Ms. Megan was talking about fire safety.
Please trust my words on this. If you live in the Lewiston Clarkson Vally, check out Children’s House Montessori School.
I leave you with some photos of my favorite details of art within the school. ( I feel that I have totally worked around my own three beautiful things limit with this post!)