Who are we?
We are HAND IN HAND CHRISTIAN MONTESSORI! We are one of the largest Christian Montessori communities in the USA with over 390 active learners. We are one Academy, (a 501c3, non-profit organization) with four campuses - Central (Roseville); South (Bloomington); West (Wayzata) and a Virtual Campus as well.
What do all the words in our name mean?
Christian = We are Christ-followers and love is the most important thing. We love because He first loved us. We are non-denominational, Gospel-centered, Christian community that believes "in the essentials - unity; in the non-essentials - liberty; and in all things - charity." We stand on Ephesians 1 as our theological posture.
Montessori = We offer an educational method that is based on observation with respect for children as active learners, prepared environments and trained teacher guides. Choice and control are paramount in the process as we focus on respect, responsibility and resourcefulness. Montessori is the name derived from the founder of the method and materials - Dr. Maria Montessori.
Hand In Hand = We believe that that Jesus took children seriously and called them to Himself, placed His HANDs on them and blessed them, and said the Kingdom of Heaven belonged to those who were like children. We believe that true learning occurs when the child can do things for himself/herself and have the activities in HAND along with freedom and boundaries, and an open work cycle. The HAND is the chief teacher of the child. We believe that parents are an essential part of education and should be encouraged, educated and embraced with a HAND-shake style partnership.
What is the Italian connection?
Dr. Maria Montessori = one of the first, female, Italian physician who lived at the turn of the century and discovered, through scientific observation, a natural educational process based on human tendencies. She designed hands-on materials and prepared environments that gained world-wide recognition and results. She had materials and methodology for four planes of development - infancy/primary; elementary; secondary and maturity.
Nido = nest in Italian and perfectly describes the natural environment for babies and toddlers to discover the world around them and move freely - learning to eat, sleep, play and move organically with loving adults who guide them. Dr. Montessori described a space for the very youngest that was a nurturing nest.
Casa = house in Italian and is the term that Dr. Montessori used in 1907 to describe her "casa de bambini" which means house of the child. This term depicts the environment where preschool and kindergarten age children have furniture and learning tools that perfectly fit their size. There is even a doorway just their height welcoming them into their community.
Vecchio = elder in Italian and honors the beautiful heritage and history, wisdom and experience that each elder brings into the community. The Montessori method can also be applied to our elders, especially those living with dementia, who are benefiting from the method and materials on a daily basis. We offer a Vecchio Volunteer program that welcomes elders to help with reading, music, gardening, and playing games with children.