Garden Gate Montessori
Walnut Creek, CA
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I feel compelled to share our sons school with the rest of this community because of the positive experience we've had over the last 3 years. Garden Gate Montessori in Walnut Creek has been a blessing to our lives in many ways. Our oldest will complete Kindergarten there this spring, and our youngest will start this fall. G.G. has a top quality program, amazingly caring teachers, a gorgeous classroom and gardens, and a commitment to meeting the needs of the WHOLE child and his/her individuality, while stressing the respect of others. The Montessori prepared environment is always set up immaculately, and the children have the freedom to learn at their own pace, while supported by the gentle encouragement of the teachers. Our son has grown in so many ways, but I must say I am most proud of the way he has blossomed into a caring, respectful, creative, and fair little boy. He still has his wild and exuberant childish ways (thank goodness), but he has balance and peace, which really do set the foundation for learning. He has not been hurried to learn, and now at 6, is really ready to take on the challenges of reading, writing, and math. He has a hunger to learn, because his school environment and teachers have given him room to grow at his own pace. He goes to school 4 mornings per week, but there are 2, 3, and 5 day programs available. http://www.gardengatemontessori.com
Looking for a preschool in the Walnut Creek area? I recommend Garden Gate Montessori. When you first go through the garden gate, you cannot help but feel comfortable, as the garden is beautiful and peaceful. It invites children to explore, play and learn. Entering the classroom, it is plain to see the love and care that have gone into the environment. That same love and care is taught to the children so that they will enjoy their environment and learning to the highest degree. I taught in preschools for 20 years from Concord to Moraga. Before en rolling my daughter at Garden Gate I researched some thirty schools. I went to schools that had broken toys for the children. I went to schools that were dirty. I've worked at schools that had a 6-8 month turn over for teachers. I've worked with unqualified and unconcerned teachers. You will find none of these common problems at Garden Gate Montessori. The school is extremely well kept. The teachers are kind and devoted to the growth of each child as an individual. For more information call Mimi Glass at 943-7484.
--A Garden Gate Parent
Re: Preschool for shy 2.5-year-old in Contra Costa area (Jan 2005)
I feel for you here, as I have been there. If you can do part- time and expand your search to Walnut Creek, we have found a small Montessori program out of a woman's home near the 24/680 interchange. It is called Garden Gate Montessori and they run a toddler program on M and F mornings for under 3 y/o and TWTh mornings for 3-6 y/o. The toddler program has only 6 children, and I can tell you what a HUGE change having a small group has done for my daughter. Here is the website: http://www.gardengatemontessori.com/home/ Best of luck! Sharon
Re: Preschools in Contra Costa Co. with small classes (Aug 2004)
I highly recommend Garden Gate Montessori in Walnut Creek. It is a small preschool, run in a home. The director/teacher is a wonderful woman, and a real Montessori expert. My daughter has been thriving there! She is easily stressed by too many people and/or mildly chaotic environments and she loves it there. THe classes are small (currently 6-8 children, but possibly expanding to 12-16 as the year progresses) but more importantly, there is an environment of respect for rules, the environment, and each other, which has made it a comfortable place for my daughter. Please feel free to contact me if you would like more info. Or you can go directly to the Garden Gate website at http://www.gardengatemontessori.com/. Jaime
My husband and I are moving to the Walnut Creek area soon, and are beginning to look at preschools for our son. We are quite unfamiliar with the area and would appreciate any recommendations for preschools to help narrow down our search. I have checked past posts in the archives but would appreciate any additional and more recent advice. Also our son is now 14 months and I have heard that some preschools require an application at least a year in advance; if you have any experience with this process I'd appreciate hearing your story. Thank you very much! Kim
I HIGHLY recommend that you look into Garden Gate Montessori in Walnut Creek. We tried several different preschools with my daughter (turning 4 this summer!) and this is the only school that worked for us. The teacher/director, Miss Mimi, is an experienced Montessori educator and a true believer in the Montessori philosophy. She respects the children and helps them to become the best little people they can be. My daughter adores her!
The children spend lots of time in the garden, learning about and appreciating nature. Inside, they choose the activities they enjoy and learning comes naturally. They also learn to respect each other and take care of each other. Since it is a small school, the group has become like a little family.
She offers a toddler program for 2 and 3 year olds on Monday and Friday, and a pre-primary program for 3-5 year olds on T/W/Th. It is unusual to find such a high-quality part-time Montessori program, so I urge you to visit soon. Please keep in mind that many schools call themselves Montessori, but don't adhere to the true spirit of Montessori. Miss Mimi does, so don't assume that a visit to another Montessori program would be the same.
Please feel free to contact me if you'd like more information. Or you can visit the Garden Gate website at http://www.gardengatemontessori.com, or call Miss Mimi directly at 925-943-7484. Jaime