Nurturing the Whole Child since 1986
Whole Earth's Programs
Ages 3-6: The Age of the Absorbent Mind
11:1 Student-teacher ratio, class size of 22 with two teachers. All programs 5-days/week with an early release during parent teacher conferences. We offer AM, full, and extended day options.
At age 3, children begin to develop order, concentration, coordination, and independence by being introduced to lessons that mimic daily Life, such as taking Care of self, environment, and grace and courtesy lessons. The E.C. students are encouraged to think for themselves by working independently and in small groups of 2-3. The goal of a Montessori classroom is to build intrinsic motivation, curiosity, and love of learning in every child.
Grades 1-3: The Age of Imagination and Interests
12:1 Student-teacher ratio, class size of 24 with two teachers. The program is 5-days/week with an early release during parent teacher conferences.
The elementary child has reached the stage of development where they like to know the cause and effect of everything surrounding them. The lower elementary child begins to develop abstract thinking skills and imagination with the guidance of the Five Great Lessons. Our program continues to feature small group and one-on-one lessons, with a focus on building a community within this group.
Grades 4-6: The Age of Abstract Thinking and Industry
15:1 Student-teacher ratio, class size of 15 with one teacher. The program is 5-days/week with an early release during parent teacher conferences.
The child has moved beyond cause and effect to “how.” The focus in this age group is to make sense of the incoherent data and ideas they are experiencing in the world. Social interactions are fundamental, and we honor this by offering more collaborative group projects. Students are expected to plan their daily schedules in one-week increments.
All levels receive specialist instruction in art, gardening, health education, music, and Spanish.
Why five days a week?
In Montessori education, consistency is essential in developing the child’s sense of order and responsibility. Children genuinely feel that the classroom is their second home and desire to maintain and care for it. At this formative age, routine is of the utmost importance. Consistency is the foundation for learning in the future. Often, the problems that arise later (such as lack of discipline or lack of concentration) are a direct result of failing to provide a consistent basis for education.
Why Montessori for Kindergarten?
Montessori is one of the most developmentally appropriate models for early childhood and elementary education. The primary reason to keep your child in Montessori for Kindergarten is to complete the maturation process, from the youngest student in the classroom to the oldest. This gives children the opportunity to develop both academically and socially. As Dr. Maria Montessori says “The child is like a flower that needs to be tended. Once it starts to bloom, it must continue to be stimulated and cared for, as it has been from the very start.” Science continues to validate the procedures and methods Montessori invented and that have been in practice for over one hundred years.
Why a three year commitment?
WEM programs are carefully designed to help each child successfully make the journey from wonder-filled childhood to self-assured, optimistic adulthood. WEM’s Early Childhood Program occurs in 3-year cycles; two preschool years and the Kindergarten year children all together in one classroom. Authentic, mixed-aged Montessori classrooms are vibrant with developmentally appropriate materials, teaching methodologies, and individualized instruction. Intellectually rigorous yet nurturing. In multi-age classrooms, students inspire each other!
The same 3-year cycle carries over into the WEM Lower and Upper Elementary program. Students in either 1st to 3rd grade or 4th to 6th grade share a single classroom. Children of all ages naturally absorb the lessons that are thoughtfully presented around them. Individual instruction deepens learning intensity. Student-driven discovery fuels academic and social development.
This inclusive structure offers many benefits. Children can progress at their own pace without grade level stigma. Younger children learn from older children and aspire to do what their peers are doing. In turn, older children further their mastery of subject matter and receive immeasurable academic confidence by acting as teachers to younger children. Mixed-aged classrooms also assist in developing more persuasive social and emotional skills by creating classroom “societies” where all children have input and agree upon the rules that will govern their community.
What are the parents saying?
“I attribute much of Derek, Jared and Matt’s success to the fabulous learning that occurred at your school and wanted to send a quick update on the alums: Derek attended Rice University for his undergraduate degree then went on to Harvard Law School and is now working for a large firm in San Francisco. Jared graduated from Yale in Physics and continued his graduate studies in Physics at Stanford University. Matt graduated from Harvard in Statistics but emphasized also in Pre-Med coursework. He is currently working at Danae Faber Cancer Research Center while he applies to Med School.”
The Schwede Family
“WEM continuously provides an academic experience that encourages true learning, builds connection, empowers the students and stands for each child knowing they matter and make a difference. My daughter has attended Whole Earth for the last nine years, and now my son is in his third year. I am clear their love of learning and confidence in the world is a result of their education at WEM.”
“My son Christian was enrolled at WEM for several years. Each day I send him to school with the confidence that his academic and social needs will be nurtured by the caring staff, faculty, and administrators employed at WEM. His teachers have done an unbelievable job working with Christian to cultivate his passion for learning about new things and, therefore, acquiring knowledge far earlier and in greater depth than he might in a more traditional school environment. I am forever grateful for how WEM fostered my child’s confidence for learning how to learn.”
The greatest gift we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.