A Message from Laura Baur
When I tell people I started a school, they always look a little startled and are curious as to why someone would do such a thing.
I have a couple of answers to the question. My first response is my children. When my oldest son turned 6 and first grade loomed ahead I began the quest for finding the right school. His interest was focused firmly on construction trucks and outside playing and rarely did he slow down to use crayons!
After a first grade school readiness test required by one of the schools we were considering, a discussion began that would set the course for ultimately finding Montessori education. I was told, yes, first grade is fine, but he won’t enjoy it. He enjoyed moving-not sitting. He might struggle writing from the board and the subjects he excelled in would not be taught past the current year’s curriculum. When asked what would be best, the answer came back Montessori. Naturally, this set me on a path to discover Montessori.
I would find the following tenents of Montessori Education a reason to build Five Oaks Academy.
- Multi-age classrooms provide great mentoring opportunities for students. Children love to learn from other children; older children love to “teach”. Maria Montessori taught that it was one thing to just receive and process information and another entirely to learn a work well enough to teach another
- Each student is educated based upon individual need. There is no better way to learn!
- Instruction is not limited to one year’s level of curriculum. This is great for gifted learners.
- Children need a happy, peaceful, and safe environment in order to learn to their potential. They need to be free to make the mistakes and resulting leaps in learning that happen with the experience of “safe” failure.
- Our students are consistently taught to feel comfortable with their current level of study & performance. They are encouraged to compete with themselves and always preform at their highest levels. The result of this approach and attitude is a reduction of test and performance anxiety.
- Hands on learning and materials-based education offers children the opportunity to explore high level concepts while cementing concrete skills that create a foundation for future learning.
Five Oaks is a beautiful place that my husband and I are very proud of, and its success is certainly due to our teachers and the strong leadership of our director. We have a dream team of professionals who are inspired teachers, and maybe most importantly, happy to be working with children every day.
The second reason I share with parents is my need to be involved in an endeavor that makes a difference, an endeavor that moves people forward. Creating and Establishing an environment that promotes happy learning is amazingly rewarding. My husband and I share a common goal of making this learning environment available to the community so that many children can benefit from Montessori education and philosophy.
Laura can be seen on campus most days and is very active in the school community. Laura’s children have recently graduated Five Oaks Academy and are currently in high school in Greenville, South Carolina.