My daughter has attended Applegarden for almost 3 years and we are huge fans. The school itself is a beautiful cottage nestled in the redwoods with ample outside space for the kids. There's a climbing structure, monkey bars, with ample room to run around...a gorgeous playhouse, fruit trees which provide shade in the summer, vegetables growing and flowers and a 'peace garden' for when the kids want a bit of space and quiet. There's a race track for trikes, a water table and a whole area for painting outside. My initial concern was that it would be rigid and disciplined but it doesn't dampen a child's sense of play. The approach teaches kids to focus and how to learn. It teaches self-control and respect for others. The school is beautifully organized and maintained. The activities are changed out every few months. There are parent conferences which tell us what our kids will be learning, at the moment it's South America. It's a really loving place. I believe that my kids will be more than prepared to deal with Kindergarden. Socially they will be ready and emotionally too in terms of being able to conduct themselves with grace and self-control.
We are very happy with Applegarden, for several reasons: - Real Montessori in the classroom, with all areas covered - Experienced, dedicated teachers knowledgeable in Montessori. The principal, Naome, is a Montessori educator - and she has transmitted her in-depth knowledge to her staff. - Great Montessori environment - with all the key Montessori materials presented beautifully. Materials are changed out every 4-6 weeks, so kids have new things to choose and learn from regularly - Small family feel, and very welcoming to parents - important esp. for kids who start at only age 3 - Very nice backyard playground - so kids can work off physical energy, just play and then be able to focus on their 'Montessori work' - Good parent education seminars. The school offers very informative evening seminars for parents, so we can really understand what our kids are learning, and support it consistently at home. Overall, a great school!