Montessori Children’s House of Valley Forge: A Unique Community in a Unique Setting
Learn more about this exceptional preschool located on the grounds of a National Park.
When Jill and Patrick Conlin moved their family here from New York, they had two little ones with another on the way, so finding the perfect fit for a preschool was a very important priority. The family made several trips down, and looked at so many schools and daycares. “I remember pulling up to Montessori Children’s House of Valley Forge,” Jill Conlin relates, “and we were like ‘this is it.’” Today, all three Conlin girls (Cassidy, 7, Lyla, 5, and Reese, 3) are part of the MCHVF family.
The Conlins’ oldest daughter Cassidy had attended a Montessori program back home, and the family liked the philosophy that relies on a community effort and independent spirit. Says Jill Conlin, “I think Montessori really lays the groundwork for kids to have the confidence to do things on their own. The teachers are really warm and take the time and invest so much of themselves into each child, and make sure they’re doing what they do best to thrive.”
Further, the Montessori three-year cycle, which begins at preschool when the child is three and culminates in Kindergarten, allows children to stay in the same environment with the same group of children and teachers building a strong, stable, and consistent community. MCHVF’s innovative, child-centered curriculum has helped Cassidy flourish as she moved onto public school, both academically and socially.
And the strong ties remain—since advancing to grade school, she has returned to read to her younger sibling’s class and to help out with school events. In this strong community of parents, staff, and alumni, this is completely the norm. The Conlins intend to continue this trend, to “make sure the girls remain connected to the school and put in what they got out.” Lyla just completed her Kindergarten year at MCHVF, while Reese joined the school in the Toddler class when she was two.
Situated on 3.5 acres in the beautiful Valley Forge National Historical Park, MCHVF is a unique and breathtaking setting for kids ages two to six to begin their lives as students and global citizens. The location in the Park offers amazing access to students, including monthly visits from National Park Rangers and a host of nature-focused learning. “The ability to enjoy that space in that way makes it so unique,” Conlin tells us. “They come in and they actually bring animals from the park, talk to the kids about what’s happening that season.”
The MCHVF curriculum goes beyond the eco-system of the Park and connects it to environmental conservation at large. Conlin recalls her three-year-old turning all the lights off in their house and telling her family “It’s for the polar bears!” By weaving this appreciation for nature into the very fabric of the school, they are teaching children to care for the earth and feel connected to something larger than themselves from the beginning.
Want to learn more about Montessori Children’s House of Valley Forge? Call 610-783-0110 or contact them through their online form.
Photographs by Ivory Tree Portraits.