About MCH Kids

 
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Our mission is to enhance the lives of children and their families through peaceful, diverse education where children respect and appreciate themselves, humanity and the community in which they live.

The Montessori philosophy must support and address the nature of the child.  A child is a dynamic, curious person that has a need to know the world.

Our philosophy rests upon respect for the child and recognition for the full development within each child.  Children need to be respected for who they are and what they are capable of.

Children in a montessori classroom are treated and respected as individuals.  The classroom is designed to encourage exploration, raise their curiosity, creativity, interest and to provide a peaceful, diverse atmosphere where a child can succeed.

In this way we hope to help the child in learning about him or herself and to instill a love of learning to carry with him or her throughout life!

Meet Our Staff

Lindsay O'Leary

Head Teacher/Co-Director

My name is Lindsay and I have been working with preschool age children and teaching for over 10 years. I attended Delta College for Early Childhood Development and then furthered my education at Seton Montessori Institute in the Chicago area and became Montessori certified in 2009. I was born and raised in the Tri City area and I currently live in Saginaw with my husband and two young children. When I am not working in the classroom I am busy being mom and enjoy all the time I get to spend with my family and friends.

Lacey Rogers

Director and Co-Head Teacher

My name is Lacey Rogers and I am excited to be a part of the Montessori Children’s House team. I was born in Florida but have called a small town in Northern Michigan home for most of my life. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Saginaw Valley State University. After graduation, I decided that my passion for working with children was greater than pursuing the law degree I had planned on achieving.

Christina Fitrakis

Assistant Teacher

I have two beautiful children.  I love being a mom.  I am excited to have the opportunity to work with children and to help encourage them.  Previously and presently, I also do financial services for middle class families.  I am always looking for ways to help and make a difference in the world.  I am an active church member and help with the children at my church.

Andrea Findlay

Substitute Teacher

I was introduced to and fell in love with the Montessori method while majoring in Early Childhood Development at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City. I then continued my coursework at Grand Valley State University and Central Michigan University studying Human Psychology. Along with my background in various childcare settings, I have also volunteered and taught abroad. I currently live in the Thumb of Michigan with my fiancé, where we farm organically full-time. I am so excited to be pursuing my lifelong passion for working with children, especially in a setting as enriching as a Montessori classroom. I’m looking forward to observing, guiding, and helping to cultivate each individual’s natural growth and development!

Tiffany Jaime

Owner

I attended Michigan State University and graduated with my Bachelor’s in Music Education in 2003.  I continued my Education and love of leadership by attending Saginaw Valley State University in pursuit of my Master’s of Education in Principalship while also earning my Early Childhood Montessori Credential through Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute.  I love working with children and watching them grow and discover in such a rich environment such as a Montessori School provides.  My goal in owning our school is to continue to provide a loving home away from home in which children are provided freedom to discover and to foster a love of learning that will last a lifetime.

Claudia D'Archangel

Spanish/ Substitute Teacher

I was born and raised in Piura- Perú and moved to the United States in 2001. My husband and I live in Bay City with our two young children; ages 5 and 8. I have an associate degree in Electronic Media/Graphic Design through Delta College. I enjoy sharing my culture and native language (Spanish) with my own two children at home, and also love teaching Spanish to other young children at the Montessori. In an era of globalization, I believe that exposing our children to another language is one of the best things we can do to prepare them for their future. I am very excited and thankful to be a part of the Montessori Children’s House team.

Makinzy Benjamin

Substitute Teacher

Hi, I’m Makinzy!  Born and raised here in Bay City.  I am a hairstylist and Novalash artist full time, but, I will be assisting at Montessori Children’s House this year.  As a child I went to a Montessori school, and my family fell in love with the gentle yet structured approach to educating young children.  I recently enrolled my 3 year old daughter Zara at MCH and also fell in love with not only the Montessori curriculum, but this school and its staff.  I am looking forward to helping out this year.  Can’t wait to meet all of you!

Kathy Washabaugh

Substitute Teacher

Hello there! My name is Kathy Washabaugh. I am a Bay City native. My husband Jim and I have two daughters. Allie is a pre-med student, and Olivia is attending Alma College. I am a multi-media artist and have worked at our family sign shop for 25 years. I have been choreographing musicals at Valley Lutheran High school in Saginaw since 2009. I sub for fitness class instructors at the Delta College RC, and I teach dancing to 2&3 year olds all the way up to adult; ballet, jazz and tap. I enjoy gardening, farming, hunting and fishing, watching and exploring wildlife, and learning from my 6 chickens. I am a recent breast cancer survivor, and I’m taking it as a blessing in disguise. It has made me stronger, and helped me to realize the importance of friendship and family, and that everyone that crosses my path is important. I see life as a whole new challenge. I believe our children are on lend from above, and we need to show them as much love and affection and nurturing that we can as babies and children. Our Children are our Future!

Our Curriculum

Montessori Children’s House provides a specially designed program where the developmental needs of children age two and a half to six can be met and nurtured.

The curriculum includes work in Math, Language, Handwriting, Sensorial, Practical Life, Geography, Science, Cultural Studies, Movement, Music, Spanish and Art. Principle goals are to develop the child’s self-esteem, independence, order, coordination, concentration and respect for self, others, and the environment. Learning socialization skills, developing good interpersonal problem-solving skills and grace and courtesy are also important goals.

Testimonials

Our son was very shy at the beginning of his academic year at Montessori Children’s House, and it was a pleasure to see him develop his independence and confidence with the encouragement of his Montessori instructors. By the end of the year, he was working closely with friends on tactile projects that not only reinforced his recognition of patterns but also helped him build his social and teamwork skills. Carol K

Midland

David loves MCH. He started out with only a half day but he wanted to stay all day so we quickly switched to a full day. He even naps at MCH!! He only takes naps for mommy but he naps at MCH so I know he feels comfortable and happy there. When I drop him off in the morning, he goes right in without hesitation. I have to call him back to give me a hug goodbye. It is such a welcoming environment. The extended hours are very convenient and the flexibility makes my day so much less stressful. Alice

We have greatly enjoyed joining the Montessori Children’s House family.  Our boys faced many changes in their recent move from Texas, but Montessori Children’s House eased the transition, providing them with a safe and nurturing atmosphere where they have made new friends, visited many of the local sites on field trips, and even learned about different cultures and languages.   Our three year old even started counting in Spanish last night while telling us a story!  Our appreciation goes out to the Montessori staff! The Thompson Family

MCH offers superior education to our area!  Our family made a wise choice by beginning education at this school. Not only did they teach our daughter how to read at age 4, but she was constantly stimulated by the diverse curriculum. Everything is organized and structured, but not too restricting to the students. The children learn values that they will carry throughout life.  We had such a positive experience that we enrolled our son as well!  We love Montessori Children’s House and recommend it to everyone we know. Alana Garcia-Ramos

My Granddaughter has been at Montessori Children’s House of Bay City for two years and my wife and I love the school. Ally appears to be receiving a quality education and is very happy at the school. The teachers are loving and her ability to socialize and play are extraordinary. She is much more independent than when she started. Dr Eric Blumberg

My daughter is on her second year at Montessori and she loves it. It’s such a thorough education I’ve seen her blossom since she started. He observation, and understanding skills are far beyond a four year old and I truly believe that is because of the education she receives here. When my son is 2.5 I will be enrolling him here as well. Elizabeth Cooper

The staff at MCH are amazing. It is awesome to see how much my son as learned and how his vocabulary has grown.
It is just the first month of school!!
I am so glad we chose MCH for my son’s school. Amy Schalk

As an employee of MCH I have had the privilege of working with the BEST staff and children!! Every single staff member that works with children is excellent and has a passion for enriching the lives of everyone at MCH. I absolutely could not ask for better co-workers or better children to work with. Seeing how a Montessori education is wholly fulfilling for children and staff is something truly remarkable and I am so proud I get to be a part of Montessori Children’s House of Bay City! Lacey Rogers

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a Montessori pre-school different from other pre-schools?
In most pre-schools the children are taught educational concepts in a group by a teacher. In a Montessori pre-school, the children learn concepts spontaneously as they work independently with the many materials in the environment.
What is the Montessori method of education ?
The Montessori Method of education is basically a unique approach to learning. Rather that “teaching” the child concepts, an enriched environment is designed to stimulate the child’s interest and facilitate his understanding and learning capacities spontaneously with little or no adult intervention.
What is the purpose of the Montessori method ?
The main purpose of the Montessori Method is to develop an environment where the child can unfold spontaneously and manifest the greater within. According to Marie Montessori, “the child is the father of the man”. As the child begins to develop this inner self, his love of life and learning expands continuously.
Who started the Montessori method ?
Dr. Maria Montessori, over 80 years ago, was Italy’s first woman medical doctor. Using her scientific background, she began observing children in Rome. Based on her unbiased observation she developed unique materials, a child centered environment, and was one of the first person to revolutionize education thought by stressing respect for the child, freedom of expression, self education, and training through use of movement and the senses.
What is in a Montessori classroom ?
The Montessori classroom is a child sized world. Whatever is in the world outside can be incorporated meaningfully in the Montessori classroom. To a child, the world is unmanageable – it is too big, too complex, and too confusing. By careful selection of materials by the teacher, an environment is set up that allows the child a place to explore life on a level he or she can understand. This prepared environment entices the child to proceed at their own pace from simple activities to more complex ones. Through this process, the child’s natural curiosity is satisfied and he/she begins to experience the joy of discovering the world around them. Materials and curriculum center around Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, Geography, History, Science, Art, Music, Drama, and Dance.
How do children interact in the environment ?
As the children develop their sense of pride in their “work”, a feeling of confidence, well being, and joy begins to manifest itself in the child. A “new” child is born. A classroom of Montessori children is a joy to watch. There seems to be a spirit of respect, love, and cooperation among the children.
What is the role of the Montessori teacher ?
The Montessori teacher is sometimes called a Directress because she facilitates the classroom activity. She carefully plans the environment in the interest of children and she helps the children progress from one activity to the next. She is trained to deal with each child individually, allowing him to choose from many activities within his or her range of ability. She stands back while a child is working and allows the child the satisfaction of his/her own discovery.
With all the freedom, isn’t there confusion ?
The concept of freedom in the classroom is a freedom with limits. A child is allowed to work freely so long as they do not disturb others. Actually, the children allowed the freedom to follow their interests are generally happy and busily involved in their work.
How do Montessori children adjust to public schools ?
Children who have been in a Montessori environment are generally very flexible and adjust easy to the public school situation. They may be better students and spend their time in a more productive way because of their self directions and positive attitude toward learning.