JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - An additional Montessori school is coming to Jonesboro.
The Jonesboro Montessori Academy on Cherry Avenue will soon be open for business.
Ragen Boling, owner and director of JMA, said they felt this was something the community needed.
"Montessori allows the children to self-guide and learn at their own pace," Boling said. "Children learn at different rates. It has to be a differentiated classroom in order for children to achieve what they need to achieve academically to be able to move on and to be successful."
Boling said parents have already started dropping by with questions.
"People are starting to enroll their children," Boling said. "People are coming in every day to inquire about Montessori and if they want to put their children in it and why it is a good place for them to be."
Boling said many parents are unaware of what a Montessori education means.
"Montessori is not religious affiliated," Boling said. "It's not therapy. It's not just for a certain group of kids. It is for every child."
Montessori education was actually developed by an Italian physician and educator named Maria Montessori.
Boling said the children at JMA will be in a safe environment designed so that everything is on their level.
"Everything is at their reach... the tables, the chairs. The lessons we teach are designed so the children can self-guide."
Boling said the Montessori curriculum is made up of five subjects.
"There are five curriculum areas," Boling said. "Language, Mathematics, Sensorial, Cultural and Practical Life. And that's very important because these days we need to teach our children how to be self-reliant."
That curriculum also has lessons within it.
"The Montessori curriculum is comprised of lessons," Boling said. "Each of those lessons teaches one concept or skill at a time. Once the child masters that concept or skill, then they move up to the next level. The lessons are also designed for different developmental levels. Students can learn their lessons at their own pace."
Boling said what they want most is the child to succeed.
"It's a very calm, safe environment," Boling said. "When they are in an environment where they feel that way not only do they learn more easily, there is a willingness to learn. They want to learn when there's not that pressure. They're excited about learning on their own and that's what we want."
Boling said they want the children to be at ease.
"When children are nervous or upset, especially if it's a child who has never been away from a parent," Boling said. "If they are not in a calm environment or they come into a situation that is high stress and a lot of kids aren't comfortable, then they're going to be more apt to step back and not step forward. And we want them to step forward and be engaged, but we want them to do it at their pace. Montessori teachers want to inspire rather than instruct."
Boling said a Montessori education helps a child feel confident and encouraged.
"With Montessori, since the kids are self-taught, they are self-prepared," Boling said. "They have that confidence and that foundation so that when they do get into Kindergarten they are ready to learn. They are willing to learn so they don't get behind."
Boling said it's vital for parents to make sure their children get a good pre-school education.
"It's important for our children to have a good foundation of basic educational skills," Boling said. "So that when they do enter Kindergarten they will be ready and they won't be behind."
The new school can house 60 children.
They are accepting children from two months of age to Pre-Kindergarten.
An open house will be held on Thursday, May 12 at 4:00.
For more information click here or call (870) 333-2066.
Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.