Yellowstone Montessori Academy is a pre-school for children ages 3 to 6 years based on the educational philosophy and materials of Dr. Maria Montessori. The business is owned and operated by Edward and Constance Dratz, who have dedicated their lives to the education of children from pre-school through graduate school.

The school is specially designed to meet the developmental needs of young children –physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and in character development.  To obtain the most benefit for our students, we recommend that each child attend our school for three years, including kindergarten.  Montessori classroom materials are designed to be presented over a three-year period. Participation in the early preschool program sets the stage for what is called “an explosion of learning” which occurs between ages 5 and 6. The kindergarten year is a culmination of a child’s developmental efforts from birth. Between six and seven the child moves from the absorbent-mind stage to the analytical stage and the brain goes through great changes. Thus, the entire program of a Montessori primary school is designed to help the child fulfill his potential during the three-year cycle from ages 3-6.

We also welcome children ages 4 and 5 to attend our school. Regardless of their age each child will benefit from the Montessori approach. Each child’s skills and abilities are assessed when they start school and then each teacher presents lessons that are most appropriate for their developmental stage. We have found that children benefit most when they attend school a minimum of four (4) half days a week.

The pages of this website explain the Montessori environment and the process of learning the child experiences in this setting. In our specially prepared environment activities are presented to stimulate each child’s individual interests, to strengthen patience, self-confidence, intellectual curiosity and academic skills. Thus, children learn the joy of concentration, of experimentation with new concepts and materials and of work that is driven from within.

In addition, a series of activities based on themes (including seasons and holidays) are rotated through the classroom. Our students work on projects that develop artistic expression, carpentry skills, knowledge of geography, wildlife, science and music. They enjoy examining insects, seeds, leaves, grass, worms and even rocks under a magnifying glass and microscope. Teachers and children read books on many varied topics.

Our indoor facilities are spacious, bright and diverse to meet the varied needs of the children. The building includes academic, artistic and practical life areas, kitchen area, a cubby rooms for personal belongings, an indoor exercise room for winter circle dancing and exercises to music, three bathrooms (two child-size) and an office.

The outdoor playground is large and has swings, climbing apparatus, two sandboxes, a pavilion with a child-size kitchen, an area for running and kicking balls on grass, a rolling (and sledding) hill and a concrete patio for four-square, jump rope and basketball. In the spring and summer the children plant a separate area with a variety of vegetables that they start from seeds in the classroom. Students enjoy nurturing the plants through watering and weeding and then harvest and cook or take home the vegetables they grow.

Our commitment to the care and development of each child’s character, knowledge, skills and talents is profound.   First we endeavor to form a deep loving bond with each child and then help each one explore his/her individual interests.

If you are interested in exploring Yellowstone Montessori for your preschool-age child, please contact the school to schedule a tour.   You can contact us by e-mail at yellowstonemontessori@hotmail.com or by phone at 406-587-5667.