Nothing replaces the actual experience of direct contact with nature. When children actually feel the breath of a llama on their hands, bury small fingers in the luxurious alpaca fleece, look into the eyes of a pony, these moments hold an acute awareness for the children that the world they've heard so much about actually lives and breathes and has a personality and needs love.
Care of animals teaches children responsibility. Children learn the importance of keeping the barnyard orderly, clean and healthy. This is a natural way for children to expand their awareness and responsibility to the outside world.
The barnyard at La Mariposa Montessori is a daily retreat of joy. We have alpaca, llamas, sheep, miniature horses, miniature donkeys, goats, chickens, birds, fish and a pig. These animals are loved and cared for by the children.
Maria Montessori created an education plan that includes excellent academics along with the development of the child's personality. It is the development of the personality that results in the child's ability to act on intrinsic values. The most effective way to develop the personality is to give the child "work" that is genuinely productive and fulfilling. The community service projects at La Mariposa provide just such work, and what a joy to witness the achievements.
Weekly, the students have community interaction with the residents of Santa Fe Cares Center and Rosemont Assisted Living Center. The children visit their "grand-partners" and swap stories, play games and brighten the rooms with their cheerful smiles and warm hugs. Everyone feels great after socializing with our treasured elder grand-partners.
This activity gives the children an appreciation for the continuity of our culture as they hear stories from the past that resemble stories from their own lives. They also learn how different some of our behavior is now than in the past. This type of interaction outside the normal family circle expands the child's world view, while giving joy to the elders and purpose for the children.
Children are instrumental in choosing their trips and community service programs. The students in the elementary classrooms have the opportunity to go on many field trips including the Aquarium, Explora, Natural History Museum, trips to Bosque Del Apache, Valles Caldera, Heart and Soul Animal Sanctuary, Las Golondrinas, Folk Art Museum, Santa Fe History Tour, and The New Mexico Museum of History. Senior students also participate in a week-long field trip at 100 Elk Ranch in Buena Vista, Colorado.
Children in the Pre-K and K classrooms have a weekly music program. This includes aspects of song, dance, instrumental play and rhythm. Starting in the first grade, students are able to learn piano in a one on one setting. This continues through the elementary grades.
Gardening & Nature
Our 10-acre campus allows us to provide students with daily outdoor time in a healthy, engaging environment.
Assistance Dogs of the West
The students in the upper elementary grades have the opportunity to train the ADW dogs as a part of our curriculum. Weekly, the students will meet with their assigned dogs to train in groups. They also may take part in the ADW graduation each May.
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