ABOUT AFMWe strive to maximize your child’s potential
The original AFM Ahwatukee campus was founded in January, 1995 on the belief that every child should be helped to reach their maximum potential and that every child has the right to be treated with love and respect in their school environment. As AFM Education continues to grow and expand, we remain true to our high academic standards, our family environment, and our commitment to the Montessori approach and philosophy.
Each of our Certified Montessori Directresses have extensive teaching experience and are committed to helping your children maximize their academic potential, while focusing on the development of the Whole Child. Our support staff is made up of a wonderful group of caring, compassionate personnel who will assist your child in feeling at home in our environment.
How Do You Tell If It Is Really Montessori?
The Montessori name is not protected by copyright, so how do you know if a school is a “real Montessori?”
Here are some things to look for:
- Certificate of Affiliation
- A Five Day Program
- Montessori materials
- A “Hands-on” Approach
- Montessori Trained and Certified Teachers in every classroom
- Classrooms That “Hum”
- An Atmosphere of Respect
- A “Family” feeling
- Confident, Independent Children
- Social Interaction
- Individualized Programs
Dr. Maria Montessori distinguished herself not only as the first female medical doctor in Italy, but also as a dedicated scientist and educator.
She established the first “Casa dei Bambino” (Children’s House) in Rome in 1907, and through extensive observation and insight, developed an approach to child education, which encompassed a new philosophy of education.
The teacher’s role is to connect the child to the Montessori materials and resources of the classroom and to maintain a calm, peaceful classroom environment to aid concentration. The children learn through concentration on, and interaction with, the Montessori materials.
Excitement over the Montessori method of education exploded in North America with the publication of an article in McClure’s Magazine in 1911 entitled, “An Educational Wonder Worker: The Methods of Maria Montessori.” Dr. Montessori’s first American student Anne George opened the first North American Montessori School in New York in 1911. Today Montessori’s philosophy and methods of education are respected and practiced worldwide.
Dr. Montessori continued to lecture, write books and train students in her teaching method until her death in 1952.
The toddler program at our Ahwatukee location is designed for children 18-36 months. Our staff/student ratio in the toddler program is 1 adult for every 4 students. This program prepares younger students to enter the preschool and Kindergarten learning environment. Art and Spanish lessons are included in the toddler program.
Our preschool and Kindergarten program is designed for children 2½ years of age through kindergarten. In order to be enrolled, all children must be able to use the bathroom independently.
The children in the AFM preschool and Kindergarten program spend a good portion of their time during the day involved in both group and individual lessons using Montessori equipment.
Additional lessons include Spanish, Art, Art Appreciation, Music and Movement.
Special events such as visits from professional storytellers, magicians, environmentalists/nature lovers and musicians play an important role in the children’s education.
Our student/staff ratio is 1 adult for every 7 students.
Montessori education employs a mixed-age grouping so that children may move at their individually appropriate academic pace while staying with their social peers. Children also have the opportunity to teach and assist others with subjects they have already learned about. This provides a review of their skills while developing confidence and self-esteem. The mixed-age group also mirrors the world they are preparing to enter, and provides opportunity for fully developing the skills required to live effectively in our society.
Parents are encouraged to continue the child in Montessori through their kindergarten year in order to receive the maximum, long-term advantage from the experience.
The sensorial materials in the Montessori classroom are perceptual, didactic materials. The materials help the child develop organization skills and help refine the use of all five senses in learning. Many of the sensorial materials are based on mathematical concepts.
The language program stimulates self-expression and confidence. Through a phonetic approach, a firm basis in spelling and reading is developed. Because of these acquired skills, reading becomes effortless and pleasurable. The Montessori approach allows the child to develop a very natural and comfortable relationship with language.
Math has been a stumbling block for some children, not because of its nature, but because of the way it is presented to the child. Montessori materials allow the child to see, concretely instead of abstractly, the quantity and later the function that he or she is performing. This hands-on approach allows the child to experience, rather than memorize math.
This introductory area includes care of self, care of environment, grace and courtesy. Montessori exercises for these include the dressing frames, sweeping and greeting. While the child is learning these practical skills, he or she is also developing concentration, advancing his or her independence and increasing his or her small muscle control.
The study of geography begins in the preschool and Kindergarten classes with the use of large puzzle maps and the simple globes. Social Studies includes the needs of man and the acceptance of every human being’s special gifts.
The study of science is pursued through real life objects in the classroom. Plants and animals are studied in the classroom, and experiments with magnets, water and plants are undertaken as a group, or individually. Cards for studying botany, zoology and physiology are always available to the child.
Creative Arts Program:
- Art & Art Appreciation
- Music, Rhythm & Movement
Parents as Partners:
Studies have shown that children whose parents take an interested, active role in their education have a greater chance for academic success and improved social development.
At AFM we work as partners with parents. All head directresses have one late night each week to be available for parents between formal conferences.
We also involve parents in the following ways.
- Three new parent meetings every fall
- Christmas family sing along
- Parents are invited to parties and special events
- One way observation windows in each classroom
- Open observation policy
- Parent appreciation brunch
- Classroom birthday parties
Come Visit & Compare!
An informative, guided tour of our classrooms by one of our experienced directresses is available weekly. Call the school for date and time.