Why Choose Hand In Hand

Why Choose Hand In Hand

Hand In Hand has three unique features that set it apart from others:

  • Christ Centered: We love Jesus. He is at the center of everything of who we are, why we educate, and what we teach. There are many Montessori schools, but very few Christian Montessori schools. Learn more »
  • Constructivist Education: Learning is an active and constructive process. Constructivist education emphasizes hands-on involvement, critical thinking, problem-solving, and social collaboration. There are many traditional schools using the behavioral model, but very few constructivist models. Learn more »
  • Collaborative: We work hand-in-hand with Christ, hand-in-hand with parents, hand-in-hand with children, and the the children work hand-in-hand with each other. There are many professional educational program, but very few that emphasize, encourage, and embrace the parent’s role in educating their own child. Learn more »

“Why Montessori” from a Lifetime Educator

I am the youngest child raised in a family of eleven, by emigrant parents from Italy who understood the value of the opportunity of education in this country and the value of the home environment. They provided fertile ground for me on my quest of my life’s message. As a wife and mother of two grown married children, and six grandchildren, I have had many opportunities for observing children on a daily basis. I have taught in both public and private schools, religious and non-sectarian schools. I have dedicated my life to instilling a love for music, learning and life in all that call me “teacher.” My experiences in teaching for over fifty years range from parents and their newborns to sophisticated college students.

Over the last 25 years, I have become aware of a different approach to teaching children. Instead of teacher dictation, it is child participation. Instead of group lectures, it is individual learning. Instead of theory and abstract, it is concrete and tangible. And everything is in the hand of the child. Instead of “sit down and be quiet,” it is “let’s move and sing!.” As a music educator, I knew what a change in my style of teaching meant to my music classes. My students retained more! They came to class expecting something wonderful to happen and left with joy! We begin to see measurable results with even our youngest of children.

Marlene Testa Lee
Christian Montessori Family Education

Director and Music Director

Then, I began to think—what if we adapted these changes to the conventional classroom with reading, writing and arithmetic as well? In my past experiences it was all about the teacher. In the environment I have now chosen to work in, it is all about the child. There is a difference! I have often wondered, if we could enhance the learning potential of children in some way, what would it be? What makes the difference for children in education? When the child is grown, what will be the deciding factor of “success” within their childhood? How do children learn? The learning environment is comparable to the soil, water and sun the surround a tiny seed. The health of the plant completely depends on the health of its environment. So it is with children! It seems that our society says “parents make the difference”—yet our state funding, mandates of school learning, parenting policies, attitudes and actions communicate quite the opposite.

Children need time—time with their parents and time to grow. Values are caught, not taught. Parents who invest in actively teaching their children about life, receive an abundance on the return of their investment in the character qualities of their children. Independent practice repetition and individual choice should constitute the majority of the time spent in education. It allows children to understand the problems, correct their own mistakes, and in general, spend time concentrating and thinking. This is the apprenticeship for adulthood.

In the beginning, when God created the world, He created everything that existed. Then He created humans with one distinct difference—in His image with the ability to think and reason not just react. Thinking and choosing is the deciding difference in those who succeed. The Bible states in Proverbs: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” If it is the ability to think using our maximum potential—the authority of God and His viewpoint of life and learning must be in the forefront of our children’s minds. God expressed to His people in Deuteronomy: “Teach your children, while you walk with them, talk with them, rise with them. Write it on their hands, inscribe it on their hearts.” So now we know it and believe it. We must take the challenge to make it happen. We must embrace our God-given responsibility to raise our children and teach them to think for Christ and His Kingdom. We do believe that all of life is better Hand in Hand, as parent to child, parent to teacher, teacher to child, child to child, parent to parent, and all to God.