Ashley’s Mom Monday: Hilltop Montessori School

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Hilltop Montessori School in Mount Laurel is often thought of as a classroom without boundaries, but it is actually quite different. It is a structured environment, specially tailored to each child.

“It is highly individualized and specialized,” Michele Wilensky, Head of School at Hilltop Montessori, said. “We meet each child’s academic needs and we also work on their social and emotional wellness.”

“What I love about Montessori is that it gives the children a lot of independence,” Hilltop mother Cherie Stine said. “It sort of puts the responsibility on them and I think it creates a love for learning for them.”

Every week, each child gets their specific learning events and they have the freedom to choose the order of when and how they complete their work for that week.

“I really like it at this school, where you can just take one lesson and do the whole job by yourself,” Hilltop student Sienna Stine said. “I just like all the flexibility and just like the fun parts of it.

You won’t find a lot of desks here either. Most assignments are completed on the floor.

“What I see with my daughter Sienna is that she is more active,” Cherie Stine said. “It’s the responsibility about learning and discovering and she’s active. She’s up and moving around her classroom and she’s finding references and finding information and asking questions and I appreciate that.”

“What we find is that this really formats their education for the future and really exposes them to a lot more than they would get in traditional moms-day-out or just a regular preschool,” Wilensky said. “Believe it or not, our toddlers as young as 18 months study science, geography and history.”

Hilltop Montessori accepts children as young as 18 months and education continues through 8th grade. Hilltop is proud to have some alumni with high honors, too. They have had six National Merit Scholars and one Fulbright Scholar.

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