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Montessori Students Have 'Fundays' at My Urban Toddler

Saline's popular store will host activities for Daycroft Montessori School students.

Daycroft Montessori School of Ann Arbor is taking “Montessori Fundays” — the school’s popular parent-toddler program — on the road.

The program, designed for parents or caregivers and their children from age 18 months to three years, will still be offered regularly at Daycroft’s Preprimary Campus on Oakbrook Drive near Briarwood Mall. (See the schedule and other program details at www.daycroft.org/fundays.)  But the school has also selected another Fundays venue. 

It’s My Urban Toddler, the popular play store and educational event site at 7325 E. Michigan Ave. in Pittsfield Township, just east of Saline. 

The store has been a hit with area families since opening in 2006.  

“We’re the place to play, shop, and learn,” says Lorrie McKee, a co-owner, along with Rosa Lee, of My Urban Toddler. “Montessori Fundays is a perfect fit for us. It’s a great use of our creative indoor play space. And it’s in keeping with our recent shift to reserving more of our facility’s time for educational classes and private group events.”

The additional Fundays location works well for Daycroft too. As Michele Buchanan, the school’s director of preprimary education, notes, “Offering the program at My Urban Toddler gives us broader outreach into the community.  This way more young families can sample Daycroft’s educational approach.  Parents will see how learning can be fun and effective when we personalize the experience to the particular child.”  

A Taste of Daycroft’s Student-Centered Learning

On Montessori Fundays, a Daycroft teacher guides young children through introductory lessons using Montessori materials. 

“A child naturally loves to learn,” says Laura Tallman, Daycroft’s Fundays teacher. “In a Montessori setting, we appreciate children’s differences and accommodate their individual learning styles. Our materials help point children to what interests them most. They can make choices about what they learn.”

This student-centered approach, says Tallman, helps nurture the child’s lifelong love of learning. “Fundays can be the first step along a joyous and successful educational path.”  

Daycroft has held seasonal Montessori Fundays sessions since fall 2010. “The program has been very well received,” Buchanan says. “Getting an early taste of Montessori-style learning can help smooth the transition to a Montessori preschool. A number of children who first came to us for Montessori Fundays are now enrolled as Daycroft students.”

Daycroft will offer two Montessori Fundays sessions at My Urban Toddler this spring.  Each session will consist of one 90-minute lesson per week. All Fundays lessons there will be on Friday from 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. 

The first five-week session will begin on Friday, March 2 and end on Friday, March 30.  Cost is $100. The second session, lasting for six weeks, will start on Friday, April 13 and conclude on Friday, May 18; it will cost $120. 

Twice a Week for Up to Six Weeks – or Single Lessons

Meanwhile, Montessori Fundays will continue at Daycroft’s preschool in four- and five-week sessions of two lessons per week – Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday – in late winter and throughout spring. Costs for Fundays at Daycroft are $20 per lesson in a multi-week session, or $22 per single lesson.

Parents can register online at www.daycroft.org/fundays; they may enroll their children for full Fundays sessions or single lessons at either My Urban Toddler or Daycroft’s preschool on this web page. There is a limit of eight students per lesson.

Alternatively, parents may call Daycroft at (734) 930-0333, or email the school at fundays@daycroft.org, to register directly. 

Another option: Registration for Fundays at My Urban Toddler can happen by calling the store at (734) 944-3628 or emailing them at info@myurbantoddler.com.

Daycroft offers one free lesson at either location.  Pre-registration is required, to help hold to the limit on class size.  Parents who call and mention code WS2010 will get the free lesson.

About Daycroft Montessori School

Daycroft Montessori School blends the distinctive student-centered teaching methods of Maria Montessori with traditional and progressive education.  This helps Daycroft accomplish its mission: to provide a personalized learning environment that appreciates individual differences, nurtures the whole child, and enables students to develop at their own pace and achieve to their potential.

Daycroft is one of Washtenaw County’s leading private schools.  It began as a preschool program in 1968.  Daycroft has since grown to include a full-day kindergarten program, an elementary school program through 6th grade, before-school and after-school care, summer camp programs, and enrichment classes.

Daycroft Elementary School (grades K through 6) and Daycroft’s administrative offices are at 1095 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor.

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