Peninsula Montessori Schools

  • Locations

    31100 Hawthorne Blvd.,
    Rancho Palos Verdes
    907 Knob Hill Ave., Redondo Beach

  • Phones

    310-544-3099  |  310-540-9742

  • Website 

  • Photographed by

    Fabien & Laura Castro

  • Special Section

    All About Kids

Peninsula Montessori Schools utilize a hands-on-discovery approach and offer students the freedom of movement in a multi-age group setting, unlike traditional classrooms. Claudia Krikorian, a Palos Verdes Estates native, founded Peninsula Montessori in 1978. The Rancho Palos Verdes campus serves 250 students ages 18 months to 12 years, and the Redondo Beach location serves 80 children ages 18 months to 6 years. In addition to academics, Peninsula Montessori offers gymnastics, karate, yoga, dance, soccer, tennis, chess, music, art, Spanish, physical education, STEM and computer classes. 

How do your schoolS involve parents in their child’s education?

Peninsula Montessori Schools enjoy an active Montessori Parents’ Association. Parents are involved by volunteering as reading coaches, assisting teachers with art projects, accompanying children on field trips, helping in the school library, and supporting our annual Harvest Festival, Snow Day and International Festival.

Do you incorporate innovative teaching methods to enhance the learning experience? 

We emphasize learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching or reading. Our students learn at their own pace with beautifully crafted materials designed to transport the child step-by-step from the most concrete to the most abstract. For example, in the pre-primary program, the children are introduced to the “trinomial cube,” which is comprised of 27 wooden prisms that fit together to form the cube of (a+b+c). The youngest children match the pieces by color and size to form the cube. As they advance, they learn to identify and label each prism and, gradually, to factor the equation: (a+b+c)3.

In what ways do your schoolS nurture students’ creativity?

Since our aim in the Montessori classroom is to foster independence and joyful discovery, the emphasis is on children actively learning rather than teachers passively imparting knowledge. Lessons are designed to engage the particular interests of each student at his or her own pace. The emphasis is placed on supporting and encouraging independence and keeping each child’s natural curiosity aroused. In this way, our students develop into confident individuals who can think for themselves. 

Do you offer programs that empower students to take on leadership roles?

With multi-aged grouping, communities are formed in which the older children share their knowledge with the younger ones and develop good communication skills. They leave our program with a strong sense of self and a love of learning. In addition, the upper elementary students have the opportunity each week to mentor the children in the younger grades. 

How do you connect classroom learning with the outside world? 

Our students actively take part in community service, both inside and outside school. They volunteer with various charitable organizations and demonstrate an interest in the welfare of all living things. This year the upper elementary students volunteered their time and raised money for the Marine Mammal Care Center.

Do Peninsula Montessori Schools foster a holistic approach to education?

In a Montessori classroom, there is not a rigid, one-size-fits-all lesson plan for each day like there is in a traditional school setting. Montessori teachers meet the particular needs of each student through individualized assessments and daily work plans. There are hundreds of developmentally appropriate learning materials, presenting abstract ideas in concrete form. This naturally leads to greater understanding and retention of information.

Describe some ways your schoolS promote teamwork among students.

Our Montessori environment radiates harmony and respect. Children develop grace and courtesy skills beginning in the toddler classroom. They work together as stewards of their environment, doing their part to maintain order and to treat each other with kindness. They learn to think constructively and creatively in a community while developing a strong sense of self.

Do Peninsula Montessori Schools offer a mindfulness program?

Our students learn to be mindful, which is essential in today’s modern world. Technological advances, while offering many great opportunities, also put us at risk of losing connection with ourselves and others. We are becoming increasingly hurried and distracted. Our mindfulness program gives our students the skills they will need to go through life with awareness, compassion and clarity. They take an active part in classroom management and have daily meetings to discuss any issues that arise without casting judgment. Our students learn how to cope and manage situations, making conscious choices to work with others in a peaceful manner. With less stress, they are happier and healthier, blooming into their own unique potential!