Kiani Ruiz started out teaching in a traditional school. She soon switched to running her own Montessori school out of her home.
The popularity of it grew over a two-year period, and last year she opened the Navarre Montessori Academy, located at 7552 Navarre Parkway, Suite 27, in Harvest Village Court.
Open to children ages 3 to kindergarten, Ruiz said the academy is focused on developing confident, multicultural, multilingual children who have a respect for diversity and community and are committed to lifelong learning. The school is set up to help children learn through their senses.
“We’re guided by the children, but we also challenge the child,” Ruiz said. “They are focused on something and we’re working to develop their concentration and their ability to follow instructions.”
On a Tuesday morning inside the school, the children are busy doing various activities. Some are painting. Others are reading. They have also all spent part of their morning making butter and seemed excited about seeing how it was going to turn out.
Ruiz said getting away from set standards in a classroom makes a difference.
“The child is learning because they are interested. They want to read, or they want to paint. They are doing things they are interested in and learning at the same time.”
The teaching goes beyond just learning a language — Spanish is also taught at the school – or learning about shapes or sounds.
“They are learning life skills, too,” Ruiz said. “How to mop the floor if something spills or to clean a table or to open and close a door quietly.”
The environment in a Montessori setting also opens the door for the older children to be leaders. Ruiz said those who have been at the school since the age of 3 and are now in kindergarten lead the way.
“They show the younger kids how to do things they have learned while at the school. They become leaders, and at the same time it’s reinforcing everything they’ve learned in past years.”
The goal is to teach children to love to learn and have a solid foundation to build off of going forward.
And even when the children aren’t at the Montessori Academy, they are applying what they’ve learned in school to their home life through the help of their parents.
“We give the parents the tools to help their children build on what they’ve learned here,” Ruiz said.
The Montessori Academy here in Navarre sticks with the Montessori philosophy and method of education.
The school is a proud member of the American Montessori Society.
Children will be taught by teachers dedicated to allowing for the personal growth of each child.
Hours do vary. There is an extended day option that begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.
The full day starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m., though parents do have an option of picking up their child at 12:50 p.m. if they are only staying for a half day.
The day includes play time outside, group lessons, singing, games and snack time. There is even a rest time worked into the schedule.
There are currently two openings at the Montessori Academy. For more information, reach out to Ruiz at 850-710-3879 or visit www.montessorinavarre.com.
Navarre Montessori Academy
7552 Navarre Parkway, Suite 27
Navarre, FL 32566