Celebrating Their Child’s Development
Following are a few of the testimonials we have received from happy and enthusiastic parents.
“This is the first year that our family has been a part of the Hands on Montessori family. Our daughter joined the Toddler/Montessori Beginners classroom after attending a Montessori school in another state from the age of 18 months. HOMS has made the move and transition so much easier for her. The school adheres to a traditional Montessori environment and curriculum, and the small class size for the Montessori Beginners group has been great. While the pivot to online learning has been challenging, especially for a group of kids 3 and under, it’s provided a wonderful outlet for my daughter during this challenging time. The teachers and administrators have provided great guidance and strong content. They’ve offered assistance with materials, and made the daily calls a place for my daughter to continue to learn, grow and engage with her peers. HOMS is also very supportive of the parent community, and that does not go unnoticed! Thank you guys for all you do!”
When it was time to start thinking about enrolling my niece in a program, I wanted a program that would take into consideration the whole person. I wanted her to develop academically, socially and emotionally so I looked around. I also wanted her to be in a place that she felt secure, people cared about her and would be part of a school family. Well, I found a place that fit the bill, my niece is currently enrolled in the Hands-On Montessori Toddler Program. She LOVES it! The teachers are very loving, attentive and professional. She is thriving and loves learning, thanks to Hands-On. Even with COVID-19, the love continued. They quickly changed gears and went to distance learning even with the toddlers. I had my doubts that it would work with the age group, but the teachers are so great and get the kids involved with dancing, singing, puppets and stories while still doing ABC’s and 123’s … she still enjoys it and is so excited when she sees her friends and teachers! I’m very happy with the incredible progress my niece has made this year, even with the COVID-19 situation. She is very capable, and the teachers/staff bring that out and foster a since of self confidence that will carry with her through her entire school career. I’m appreciative of the support and love she gets from her teachers and all the staff, and especially the way they were able to adapt to these unprecedented times. Hands-On was one of the best decisions and it’s on to the Pre-School next year!
There’s no shortage of praise I could give for the Hands On Montessori School. I quite literally couldn’t imagine my son being even close to a better fit in a different school. The staff and teachers are amazing people, who love each child and take real time to get to know them. So much value is placed in who an individual child is, and what their strengths are as they are guided from an understanding of how they personally will excel. The learning environment goes beyond mere academics; it is a school in which kindness, love and respect for life is also instilled. It must be said too, how amazing the staff has been at HOMS during this year specifically. Despite the Covid-19 epidemic, they didn’t miss a beat. Due to the tireless efforts of those at HOMS, my child has been able to maintain his school routine in the best possible way, with classes being hosted every week day. They also provided many printable projects that they went over via online school, as well as sufficient help in obtaining any of the materials needed. Having many nieces and nephews in other schools, I feel comfortable in saying that not many other schools are able to adapt in the same way this school has.
Hands-On Montessori has been a life saver for myself and my family during the pandemic. My daughter has not actually attended any physical classes at Hand-On Montessori, but is enrolled to begin kindergarten for Fall 2020. When the stay-at-home orders began, Emily reached out regarding enrollment for the Fall. During our conversation, I informed her that my daughter’s current pre-school was not providing any assistance or guidance on continuing our daughter’s education while being at home. Our family was having some difficulty, due to both adults still being required to work full-time all while managing having two little ones at home that needed structure and education. Upon my mention of this issue, Emily offered to allow our daughter to participate in the daily Zoom class that they were offering their current students. The opportunity to have my daughter participate in the classes, has been amazing. The teacher’s have made every effort to make her feel as if she is as much a part of the class as anyone else. She has been guided through weekly lesson plans that have allowed her to continue her education in a way that she takes ownership in her own learning. As a parent, I wholly recommend Hands-On Montessori to anyone who has a child that they are interested in receiving a great educational experience. From the first interaction with the staff at Hands-On Montessori, we have been extremely impressed and satisfied and it makes me feel very comfortable knowing I am sending my daughter to a school where everyone cares about her well-being and education. Thank you, Amber Noyes
Our daughter is in her third year at HOMS and is currently in the extended day Kindergarten program. Obviously this year has not gone as expected for anyone. When announcements were made that schools would not meet physically for the remainder of the school year, the HOMS teachers and staff sprang into action. Montessori learning is intrinsically hands-on. Moving Montessori learning onto an online platform definitely had its challenges for teachers, children and parents. However, with the love, patience, and strong bond already built between the teachers and students, online learning has gone beyond original expectations.
Amidst the chaos and upheaval of all our lives during these difficult times, the HOMS teachers and staff have been our rock through the storm. It has been such a comfort for my daughter to continue her routine of learning and see her friends and teachers every day. Online learning has been an adjustment for us all but we cannot thank everyone at HOMS enough for all the hard work, love and care that they put in to every single class.
Sending love, Kat
I am writing to share my experience with HOMS in their virtual learning program, as well as compare it with my older children’s parallel experience in the public school system. First, HOMS responded extremely quickly to the school closures in mid-March, rolling out an online/virtual learning program with daily synchronous zoom calls within two weeks of the shut-down. In contrast, my older children in the local (and extremely well-rated) public school were given templates with optional/non-graded/suggested activities and no “live” (online) interaction with their teachers for the first three weeks of the shut-down. With regard to the education they have received since starting online learning, my HOMS child is in the Kindergarten and Earth (primary) class, so he spends one and a half hours each morning with his K class and then another hour or so with the primary class. The K class is extremely structured and covers much of the learning they were doing in school – for example, one day working on journals, another on handwriting, another on science or an art project, etc. – and maintaining the structure of what they were doing in school, such as the daily morning message. Since the primary class covers a range of ages from 3-6, this is inherently less structured and includes specific learning experiences followed by open work period. During the open work period, I notice the teachers are often checking in on kids as they work independently (as they do in the “live” Montessori classroom as well!). I also hear songs and story read-alouds in both classrooms. On occasion they have lunch together virtually as a class, which is a nice way for them to reconnect with classmates in a fun environment. In addition, special events, such as the “QU” (diagraph) wedding and the cultural art fair (to be held in June) were recreated in a virtual manner which, although not quite the same as being live, were extremely special and thoughtfully done. My son said that the “QU” wedding was the best day ever! He loved it! The weekly art projects (learning about different arts as well as combining science and art) have also been a highlight of the learning experience! Finally, HOMS teachers held spring parent-teacher conferences via zoom. In contrast, my older children in the public school have once weekly “check-ins” with their teacher (elementary)/advisor (middle school) and very limited synchronous or asynchronous learning. Although there are optional “extra help” online sessions, there are almost no actual classes or instructors teaching new materials to students. Occasionally, there will be an audio recorded lessons, but for the most part students are asked to read secondary sources or websites to gain the information in order to complete assignments. My elementary school student has had one actual lesson to introduce a new topic. Each week he is given a template that presents daily tasks to be completed in each subject. Total time spent completing the assignments takes less than two hours. Parent-teacher conferences were not held as planned this spring. My middle school student receives assignments in each subject at the beginning of the week which are due by the end of the week. Working about two hours per day, all work is completed by Wednesday or Thursday. In addition to the weekly “check-in”, he has a language class once per week where they play an online game as a class or watch a movie. While some of the specific assignments have been relatively engaging and interesting, there has been limited teaching of new material. I understand and appreciate that all schools are facing an extremely difficult and unprecedented situation by having to adapt to online teaching/engagement, but the agility and speed with which HOMS rose to this occasion have impressed me to no end, particularly in the context of the public school response. I often say that my Kindergarten is the only one really learning anything this spring and that is wholly attributable to the very caring, competent and thoughtful teachers and administration at HOMS.
We knew Hands-On Montessori(HOMS) was a special place from the moment we entered the doors at the open house. And our daughter knew it too, and that’s why before we even left the open house that day, she asked if she could attend HOMS. And we were right. It’s very special. But I don’t think we knew truly how special it could be until COVID-19. Immediately after the stay-at-home order was issued in Massachusetts we started receiving resources from HOMS to help continue our daughter’s education at home while the team at Hands-On Montessori tirelessly figured out a way to transition to distance learning. This took a lot of careful planning considering electronics are not part of a traditional Montessori education. So they had to make it touch each child. And I believe they have. When the stay-at-home issue was ordered and our daughter was continuing her education at home, with all the resources HOMS provided, my sister’s four children, two towns away, were having a very different experience. And my friends’ children, in other parts of the country, were having a very different experience. They were all kind of left to fend for themselves at first and figure out what to do with their children at home. This new culture, being a first for all of us, had it’s growing pains. Small ones, as far as I could see. But the honesty and transparency that came throughout this process and seeing the improvement and growth day to day is what truly matters. Nothing is perfect, but to feel the love and caring of the entire team at HOMS, and how much these kids mean to them, and their desire to make this the best experience possible for all of these kids, reinforces for us that we have not only found a school for our daughter, but a home and community created by this school. Until Francesca is too old to continue, we feel so comforted knowing that HOMS is where she will be getting her education.
My daughter has been attending Hands-On Montessori School for the last 4 years, beginning with extended day kindergarten. I am really pleased with how she has advanced and matured. In addition it has always been a pleasure interacting with the teachers, staff and other parents. When it was decided that school would be closed to ensure the safety of the students, due to the corona virus pandemic, l was fearful of how my daughter’s education would be impacted. I am pleased to say Hands -On Montessori school has exceeded my expectations. Not only have they provided my daughter with daily class materials, they have also provided avenues for their students to display their creativity and have fun together for instance, Pj day, Scavenger hunt , bird watching, culture fair, yoga, games, arts and crafts. Every Friday the teachers and the student have lunch together, just to name a few of the fun things they do with the students. My daughter has adjusted well, I am happy she still has access to the valuable teaching materials provided by the school. I would like to thank the teachers and staff at Hands-On Montessori school I am please with all the precautions they have taken and there efforts to provide continued education for the students.
What a year! Wow! But the way you an your school and your amazing teachers rose to the challenge- it’s incredible. I can’t imagine the undertaking that occurred to shift an entire school to a remote learning platform that maintained the essence of a Montessori School platform/soul. You have accomplished this and so much more. While both of my children participated in their own “special ways-” I appreciate all of the understanding that you and your teachers showed towards my children. I can not even begin to tell you how happy and relieved I am that we will be returning next year- and hopefully we will be in the school more than we are out of it. Have a wonderful summer- Get some rest! Much love, Jen
My son, Gavin, spent three years at Hands-On Montessori School, and I can remember like it was yesterday the process of trying to determine the best place to send him for nursery school and kindergarten. With over ten years of work in the field of education, ranging from elementary teacher, curriculum coordinator, and building principal, I knew too well the importance of the foundation of early childhood education. I was overwhelmed with the daunting task to select the right environment for my son. I had visited over a half a dozen nursery schools (including multiple Montessori schools) making close observations of classroom culture, materials, curriculum focus areas, and instructional techniques. Luckily, once I visited HOMS, my decision was easy, and with confidence, I registered him the next day. Three years later, I know I made the right decision. HOMS provides a nurturing environment where my son was able to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically. He gained a love of learning and discovery, a sense of independence, and a keen awareness of the power of community. He worked with five teachers over the course of his time at HOMS, and I was always impressed with their commitment to create a challenging but fun learning environment. Kids were given the tools to truly take ownership of their learning through multifaceted experiences that addressed the many ways young learners gain knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Teachers saw the value of the partnership between school and home providing regular newsletters showcasing the curriculum topics, specific questions to ask our kids to spur conversations about their work, and special moments. Teachers provided such detailed progress reports that I was always blown away with the level of specificity of my son’s progress on the many learning standards. It was clear that with careful observations, conversations, and assessments, teachers developed a deep understanding of each individual child. Probably most importantly for me, every teacher showed my son love and compassion and made him always feel safe, and I know that is why he flourished. As I reflect on Gavin’s growth, I am also incredibly grateful he had the opportunity to participate in the full three-year Montessori experience by completing his kindergarten year. Kindergarten at Hands-On provided such a strong academic foundation for him that I know it will positively influence his future learning for years to come.
We love Hands-On Montessori! I have two children currently enrolled, and this is our third year here at HOMS. From the moment we first walked into the school, we knew that this was a very special place. The teachers and staff are all highly experienced and fantastic communicators. They truly care for each and every child, and feel like extended members of our family. I love the individual attention this school is able to provide, and I have watched my children grow beyond just early academics. In this montessori environment, my children have grown in their social skills and confidence as well. As a parent, I am also very comforted to know that every child here is treated with the love and respect, and taught to be kind and gentle to others in return. I highly recommend this school! 🙂
I am a parent of 2 children who attended Hands-On Montessori School (HOMS) from preschool through kindergarten. Our family has been part of the HOMS community for the past 6 years and we are extremely pleased with the education our children have received from this school. The teachers do a wonderful job to instill the love of learning in their students. I have often heard my older child say, “everything I learned, I learned in kindergarten!” and I truly believe he means this. It is through the skills he developed at HOMS that have provided such a strong foundation for his continued learning throughout the years. I truly recommend Hands-On to anyone who would like to provide their child a strong education in a nurturing and community environment.
Both of my daughters have attended Hands On Montessori School, one for preschool and the other for both preschool and extended day kindergarten and both have had wonderful and memorable experiences. It is a warm, nurturing and educationally enriching and challenging environment and the staff is wonderful. They couldn’t be more accommodating and are quick to reply to any questions or concerns we may have. Weekly and often times daily emails with pictures and explanations of what’s happening in the classroom keeps parents engaged and involved and parent participation is something that is welcomed and encouraged. The teachers and directors truly value and respect the learning process and this is evident in the way that they teach, respect and care for the children. As an extension of our values at home, they have fostered a love of learning and critical thinking (yes, even at this young age!) in my kids that has laid the foundation for future successes in school and in life. Hands On focuses on the growth and development of the whole child, including their social and emotional growth as well as their academics. I can’t say enough good things! Highly recommend to anyone looking for an exceptional early educational experience for their child!
My children have thrived at this school which has inspired their love of learning. It is a small school, and a fair price for a Montessori School and great alternative to tradition preschool because of the Montessori curriculum. We looked at many other schools in 2008 before choosing this school and we have been very happy with our decision. Many of the kids in my younger son’s class are siblings of the kids my older son went to school with. My older son and younger son have had same teachers, who were there before we started in 2008. Turnovers occur everywhere, and in every business, and there have been a few turnovers here over the past 6 years with a few teachers, but NONE have affected my sons at all. The strong math and science curriculum, the peace education, grace & courtesy, the mix-aged classrooms, etc. along with caring guides, is what makes this school. Also, parent involvement is highly encouraged. Teachers have parents come into the classroom to help, and as a parent, I can come into the classroom to observe whenever I want, it is an open-door policy. We are politely greeted every morning in car line for pick up and drop off. The heads of the school make sure there is consistency in teaching and that all materials and lessons are age appropriate. The founder was a traditional school teacher before embarking on Montessori so the best of both worlds, Montessori and State Certified. We recommend this school to others and are happy to be a part of the community.
Hands On Montessori has been a nurturing and inspiring place for my sons. We have been connected with the school since 2008. Both of my kids love learning thanks to Montessori method, and particularly, to the safe learning environment and dedicated staff of this school. Kids learn world geography, concrete math skills, and much more using hands on materials. Kids are excited to take responsibility of classroom duties and help their peers learn. They learn to solve conflict and learn grace and courtesy as modeled by their dedicated teachers. We are glad to be a part of this school family. I know my kindergarten son, who is still there, has supportive teachers and staff that care about him as a person and a student. Highly recommend. Big things come in small packages.
Dear Em & Cathy,
Thank you for creating such a wonderful place for our children to learn, grow, blossom and see the world in a more meaningful way. You have set them on a marvelous path and we are forever grateful. With Love and Appreciation,
Marisa, Glenn, Cryin, Liam, & Ari
Dear Miss Em & Miss Cathy,
Thank you both for all your support these past years. Both of my children treasure their Hands-On School memories. We’re sad to have to move on, but will keep in touch. Thank you for everything.
Julie & Mark Atwood
Dear Emily & Cathy,
Liam and I want to thank you and the other teachers for taking the time to meet with us all last night. As you know, we had already made the decision to enroll Alyssa in the extended day kindergarten program. That was a “given” for us. We attended the information session to learn more details and logistics of the program. We never expected to walk away with such immense feelings of awe and gratitude.
Two years ago, as we began researching preschool options, we learned about Montessori education. That journey culminated in finding HOMS and we knew with the utmost certainly that we had found the right environment for Alyssa. Since then, we have continued on this track, but hadn’t stopped to re-evaluate it. Last night’s meeting allowed us the opportunity to reflect on our decisions, and it was so wonderful to feel even more confident than we did two years ago. Our certainly that HOMS is giving Alyssa the best possible academic foundation is of immense importance. But, as a mother, I feel truly blessed to have found that academic strength within a group of such devoted, loving people.
It is amazing- as a parent, you spend every moment of your children’s lives putting everything you have and everything you are into helping them become the best people they can be and then the day arrives when you have to allow them into the care and trust of an environment you cannot control. I was petrified of that day until we found you. There are no words to express how amazed and truly grateful we are.
I just wanted to write to you to let you and your staff know how grateful my husband and I are for the experiences our children had while attending your school. As you know, Michael attended the first year you opened, back in 2003-2004 and then again in 2004-2005. Julianne attended from 2004 to 2007. Then environment and the teachers were all the best we could have hoped for. Both of my children grew more confident not only in their ability and intellect, but in that loving and nurturing environment their personalities blossomed.
Michael has gone on to public school and is currently in first grade. He has had amazing report cards and is reading books at a fourth grade level. He still appreciated the time he spent there and on many a day misses it. Julianne will start kindergarten this fall and is definitely prepared for it as she has begun to read herself. More than that both have learned to love learning and are confident people. I believe that Hands-On had a lot to do with that. I would highly recommend your school to anyone searching for a preschool/elementary school for their children (although I could not enroll them further for kindergarten and elementary, I wish I could have). Anyone who wants a school that provides not only a superior learning environment but also a truly caring and loving place for the children should look no further.
My best regards for you…and everyone at Hands-On. My family will miss your school very much. I wish you all much success in the future and many thanks for all of you r care and concern over the past four years for Michael and Julianne. They will never forget you And I will always appreciate the feeling like of being a great mother for choosing the perfect preschool.
Dear Em and Cathy,
Here we are at the last day of school in 2007. This year has really flown by. It’s hard to believe that McKenzie is already old enough to be leaving HOMS. I feel like it was just yesterday that she started, but that was 3.5 years ago!!! I have very missed feelings about her moving on – excited for her to expand her social circle and experiences, but sad that she is leaving the place she feels most comfortable, aside from her home.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you both for everything. I cannot say enough about the experience that she has had with all of you. It has been more than I ever could have imagined when we brought her to meet Em for the first time at the age of 2! Little did I know that I would have a 3 year old, who knows where Madagascar is on the map, or a 4 year old who could locate most of the 50 states, or a kindergartener who is reading chapter books to herself when she goes to bed each night. And, of course, I am seeing the same wonderful things from Ben and Meghan now too.
This year has been an amazing year for McKenzie’s development. I’m sure you have seen it too. She has grown into a very bright, happy, self confident little girl. Her experience in the extended day program as well as the drama program after school has been nothing short of spectacular. Thank you both for your dedication to all of the children academically, socially, and developmentally.
McKenzie thinks the world of everyone at Montessori. I know she will miss you all terribly next year (and even next week!), but she is already excited about visiting when she can next year with Ben and Meghan.
Have a wonderful summer and thank you again for all that you do.
To Everyone at Hands-On Montessori,
I can’t thank you enough for such a wonderful experience my kids had at your school. The last six years have just flown by. Because of HOMS my kids all love going to school and continue to do well. They made great friends and learned so much. I wish I had 3 more kids to send to HOMS.
Dear Hands-On Montessori,
I just wanted to thank you for allowing me to come and observe your school and commend you on your program. Even though I observed a “snapshot” of your daily routine/program, I really enjoyed it. During my ole’ days of being a classroom teacher I had the opportunity to visit and observe many preschool classrooms in NYC and just by watching your classrooms in action for a few moments, I could tell that your child-centered school is really first rate!
I would love Trevor to attend your program next fall if possible. I know we would both love it. Thanks!
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all you’ve done to make Daniel’s year at Montessori a success. As I look back, I know that a strong foundation was built at HOMS that will pave the road for his success and happiness in life. I just recently came to realize how often you took notice and responded to Daniel’s personality and abilities. May times in situations that warranted some intervention, it was due to your involvement that these situations ended on a positive note. I am certain there were many times that your involvement went unnoticed yet it had an important impact on a child or the School.
I appreciate all you’ve done for Daniel and the HOMS. You are an outstanding teacher, professional, and inspiration to all in the education field. I wish you continued success. Should you even need a compliment or a reference, do not hesitate to call! You are the “Unsung Hero” at Montessori and they are lucky to have you!
Dear Emily and Staff,
Thank you all for making this such a wonderful first experience in a Montessori School for our family. Our boys mean the world to us and it meant so much to know that each day when we dropped them off they were loved and nurtured by you and your special teachers. You opened an amazing school and we feel so blessed to be a HOMS family. You all did such a wonderful job! Thank you all again and we wish you a happy summer!!!
The Porter Family
Dear Ladies, (This was from a woman who was going back to school for teaching)
Cathy, please apologize for me as I have forgotten the Director’s name who actually filled in as the teacher the day that I observed.
Just a short note to say how much I appreciated the experience at your school. I attached the birthday form, the song & floor plan. Then my presentation was the actual comparison of the two philosophies. The greatest similarity being your conflict resolutions and I felt the biggest difference was the equipment and classroom settings.
By the way, I received 100% for the presentation & 100% on my written project. Both of which are sincere. Thank you again for your time & I highly recommend your school.
Bonnie H Conti
Hello Senorita Emily:
Thanks for your speedy return phone call, first of all! Sometimes I talk so quickly I tie my tongue…I feel like I may have done that when I said that it’s not what you say – or what any of the women we treasure at HOMS say – it’s how you say it that has us coming back for more. Of course, if you told us that part of the Montessori Method, maybe not that widely discussed, is that they set the school on fire, we might have to rethink our decision. (And while that would give us pause, even that might not deter us!) To your point, among the other well made points made last night, anyone can hang a Montessori shingle, but it’s your obvious caring couples with your experience that makes all the difference.
While I know that it can be hard for us really big kids to look at things from our kid’s perspective, I am glad that doing so is the expertise of all of you as Montessori educators. In the meantime, my hat’s off to yet another “real world” simulation that you have designed for our kids! You can tell that it boggles my mind that while not one of us “big kids” would believe for one second that we – or even the company (read school) would have the same chance for growth at a company – or being a company – where we were ALL the newbies or where every last one of us was two years from retirement, we would hesitate to believe that our kids wouldn’t get the same benefit. (the multi age makes sense!)
Such challenging work! But its worth repeating that we are glad all of you chose it.
I wanted to thank you for letting me visit your school. Your classroom is beautiful and I saw amazing work being done. Thank you again and good luck with your future plans for the school.
Where would we be without you Miss Em. You must know that you have made such a positive influence on the many lives you have touched, especially Meagan’s. Thank you for all of your love, support and drive that reflects the work that you do. The Lowery Family greatly appreciates it!
Hi Em & Cathy,
Just wanted to say thank you for all your efforts and support this year. We love HOMS and are so glad Jack is part of the HOMS family. It has been a fantastic experience! Miss Cindi and Miss K have done an excellent job and work so well together in the classroom just from my time that I was in the room with them. They are and excellent compliment to each other.
I appreciate all of your time and patience with the kids (and parents).
The Gill Family