If you want to see how education "should" be, take a tour of Oak Meadow. You will find happy teachers, happy students and happy parents. After our first tour of Oak Meadow, I knew this was how I wanted my child educated. Just watching how engaged and self directed the students were told me they were doing something "different". It's not often you walk into a classroom of 14 students and not one looks up because they are so engaged in their lessons, but what impressed me the most was speaking to the kind, compassionate and intellectually curious students. Nothing sells a school like successful graduates and Oak Meadow students are not only prepared for the rigors of academia, but for the rigors of LIFE.
This school is based on the Montessori principles that have been tested and proven effective around the world. Peace education, a love of humanity and respect of the natural world are at its core. Students develop honesty, integrity and fairness throughout their interactions with others and in their work.
I trust the teachers and they have good judgment in selecting lessons, and activities that are engaging for children at all class levels. The work they bring home, and the subjects we talk about in our family show the hard work of these skilled teachers.
There is a lot of homework in middle school. Students have to develop good time management skills. Homework appears to be interesting and not terribly tedious. In elementary school, they could have more homework but it does give time for families to do enrichment activities like music, or sports.
My children love school! We have experienced every grade so I feel confident in saying that any child who attends Oak Meadow will receive the highest quality education and their family will be part of an amazing community of people. Academic standards are high AND! learning is often hands-on...and fun. There is nothing like seeing a proud, happy child learning math with a 6' bead chain down the hallway, or writing their first book in 1st grade, or creating detailed world maps so early in life or confidently presenting an architectural project in Spanish. The 'follow the child' philosophy though means that kids are not pushed to learn at a rigid timeline. Those that are 'advanced' and those that need a little more time have appropriate levels of work. Teachers are very skilled, caring, and guide children through their learning. Consequently my kids love to read, enjoy math, have a great understanding of the world and are confident learners. The 'mixed classroom' is another great feature for building confidence, strengthening learning and practicing how to be in the world. Lead teachers as well as 'Specials', all are great: art, music, Spanish, drama, phys ed and outdoor education. As I reflect to write this very strong recommendation, so many wonderful memories flow (classroom lessons, after school activities, community events, etc) because of this great school. People outside of the OMS community often ask me 'where do your kids go to school?' and I proudly say Oak Meadow in Littleton.
Our daughter attended in 7th and 8th grade after attending pubic school. Small classes and attentive teachers made all the difference. Students were kind and supportive--she escaped the social bullying that characterized the junior high school in our home town. She transitioned nicely to a private high school and performed very well. It was a wonderful experience for her.
My child attended Oak Meadow and now attends a prep school. I cannot recommend this school - they constantly lose staff and while a few of the teachers are wonderful, some of the staff are rude, demeaning and don't seem to have any idea how to resolve issues in a compassionate and caring manner. I was told that my child needed to attend a " special high school" because of her issues because " that is where she belongs". Today my daughter is well adjusted and on the dean's list. If you are expecting a professional and compassionate middle school experience, please consider another academic environment, Looking back, we had such a poor experience that I am still incredulous of some of the conversations I had with the head of school and learning specialist. It is so sad when your child is made to feel inferior instead of valued and accepted.
This is our second year at school in Children's House, and we couldn't be happier with the individual attention and guidance our daughter receives at the school. The teachers really know about her interests and abilities, and are very approachable if I have questions or ideas. There are amazing weekly enrichment classes included during the day that are unmatched in this region, with special classes in music, Spanish, library, art, physical education, and now STEM and work with an environmentalist (new this year). We also have been able to participate in creative and fun festivals and events for the whole family, including an amazing Cultural Heritage Festival. Visit the school for yourself and observe the engaging, reflective, vibrant, and caring community at Oak Meadow!
My two boys, currently in 4th and 7th grade, began at Oak Meadow at age 3. In preschool they were free to explore and grow guided by the warm teachers. They were able to work at their own pace. The older, early reader was encouraged to read beyond suggested reading levels and the younger, who had an early love of numbers and math, was working with hands on Montessori manipulatives that gave him a real understanding of math concepts traditionally taught at the elementary level and higher! Even though we live in a town with very highly rated schools (Acton, Ma) we decided that the individual approach to learning at Oak Meadow was more suited to our sons than one that teaches to the test and promotes little more than rote fact memorization to be forgotten as soon as the test is over. We have definitely made the right decision to stay at OMS. My kids have learned how to learn, have been allowed to fail, and have become resilient and self motivated. My seventh grader is challenged by a very rigorous curriculum and is being thoroughly prepared for his high school years and beyond. My fourth grader is engaged, sprinted and creative. The best thing is, though, that they both love school.
Oak Meadow provides students with an engaging educational journey beginning as a preschooler and continuing through grade 8. The guided, interactive instruction, promoting curiosity and critical thinking in a collaborative learning environment, is a testament to the timelessness of the Montessori philosophy and how "following the child" is exemplary for adolescent development. The faculty, staff and administration at OMS are nurturing and dedicated professionals. The school community-at-large is warm and welcoming. Oak Meadow is one of the best investment decisions my husband and I have made for our daughters! They are happy, confident, compassionate, life-long learners with a strong knowledge base to appropriately support them in future endeavors into their adulthood.