Montessori Pre-School in Monroeville Helps Children to Naturally Acquire Learning Skills

By Sandra Durkin, Mars, PA

Editor’s Note: Ms. Sandra Durkin is a 28-year veteran consultant in early childhood education. Her background has been in psychology (LaRoche University) and American Montessori Society’s Early Childhood Teaching (Carlow University). With Pennsylvania Teaching Certification and active participation in several leadership programs, Sandra owned and ran the state-licensed Garden Montessori School in Cranberry Township from 1999-2020 with 65 children, offering extended care, enrichment camps, Spanish, and summer camps.

Keystone Montessori School in Plum Boro has been offering multi-age Montessori programs in the Monroeville area for over fifteen years, serving children from ages twenty months through kindergarten. Three age groupings in the school enable each child to stay with the same teacher, with the academic year running from September through May, and half-day camps continuing through the summer. The school is located at 3245 Old Frankstown Road, Plum, close to Business 22 and the PA Turnpike.

Owner-Administrator Linda Franke has designed the Montessori program with adequate resources at her school to meet the needs of the children, as well as the needs of families. Her lifelong work and commitment to Montessori education is summed up by her favorite quote: “Teach children to learn to do it by themselves.”

When children begin this unique experience at twenty months, they are eager for independence, and the PROCESS of learning gets instilled in a natural learning environment. They seek more challenges, observing and learning from older children.

Keystone classrooms offer several carefully selected hands-on activities for each child to build a foundation for concrete learning. Dr. Montessori’s famous quote “The hand is the teacher of the mind” is an all-encompassing summary of the core of the philosophy at Linda’s school. Montessori believed that the most important period of learning occurs from birth to age six through the “Absorbent Mind,” what people often refer to as children being like “sponges.”

The environment at the Keystone School utilizes activities in practical life, sensorial experiences, language, phonics, math, and geography, with certified Montessori teachers designing the enticing activities, increasing in difficulty with each step. The children actively engage in worldwide cultural experiences through participation of multicultural families of the children in the school.

Children progress individually at their own pace, based on their natural instincts, and skills they develop and master in the class room. The older children can teach, lead, and serve as role models, which increases their self-esteem and confidence.

The Keystone Montessori School offers Peace Education and conflict resolution in its curriculum, incorporating the “Peace Rose” and daily practice of the virtues of good behavior. The children demonstrate their understanding polite interactions with their peers in the class.
Feel free to contact Linda Franke at Keystone Montessori School for more information and enrollment opportunities at:

The Keystone Montessori School
3245 Old Frankstown Rd., Plum, PA Landline: 724-733-1015


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