Building a Legacy of Montessori Education in Cowlitz County
Our Program Philosophy Children in a Montessori Elementary are at the lead of their own education. A rich environment, inspiring lessons, and supportive guides create an optimal environment for your child’s development. At Big Leaf Montessori, children are free to engage in work of their choosing, move freely about the classroom, and collaborate with their peers. A three hour, uninterrupted work period allows students to sustain their focus and transition between subjects and projects at their discretion. During the day, children are invited to small group lesson that vary across all subjects and have been carefully planned with each child in mind. Lessons are given to inspire exploration and it is expected that students follow-up on most lessons. Follow-up, chosen by the child or suggested by the guide, can come in many forms. For example, a child may continue to work with Montessori materials, conduct a book report, build a diorama, or even compose a song about what they learned. Each child’s personal interests are valued and respected, although a balance of work across all subjects is required. Students work one-on-one with the guide to plan their educational choices to ensure this balance is reached.
Our Foundation Big Leaf Montessori began in 2014 with a group of parents holding discussions around a kitchen table. Less than a year later, Big Leaf was an Approved Private School with the State of Washington and open for enrollment. We added our Primary program in 2019 and school-age childcare in 2020. Big Leaf is the first Montessori Elementary School in Cowlitz County; however, it is rooted in decades of rich Montessori education in our community.
Why Big Leaf? Big Leaf was named for the "Big Leaf" maple trees native to Cowlitz County in Washington State.