Dana Point Montessori
33501 Del Obispo Street
By Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times
Dana Point Montessori may be under new leadership with a potential new look, but Lena Swinson says she’ll continue to uphold the core methods of Maria Montessori.
Swinson is the new owner of Dana Point Montessori and the director as of March. She believes that a child can develop confidence and independence when an instructor behaves as an observer. According to the Montessori method, children develop at their own pace as they learn through activities that involve exploration, manipulations, order, repetition, abstraction and communication.
“We set everything up so that it is a calm, quiet environment for the child. We want everything to be as natural as possible,” Swinson said. “We maintain that consistency and calmness so that the child develops that confidence and independence.”
Swinson formerly served as director for the Mission Viejo Montessori before going on maternity leave for her son, who is now 6 months old.
“An opportunity presented itself to take over ownership of Dana Point Montessori, and my husband and I decided to go forward,” Swinson said. “And now with the new infant program we’re rolling out, my son will be able to grow and develop here, too.”
Swinson says many times when potential Montessori parents tour the facility, they don’t believe their child will adapt well to the calm, quiet environment.
“Parents are often surprised. Most children are given a sense of calmness and can adapt. The environment becomes a norm for them,” Swinson said. “The children are able to work freely in our classroom or in our outside area and find their place here.”
Swinson says that in the age range between 3 and 5, children learn to interact with each other. Older kids look out for younger kids, and younger kids learn to communicate with someone older, Swinson said.
Dana Point Montessori offers care for children ages 6 months to 6 years old. While academic hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m., the school is open from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. with daycare services. There will be two sessions held for the school’s summer program. Session 1 will be held July 1-31, with water play days, tropical smoothies, sailboat races, music class, outdoor sports day and wacky dress-up days. Session 2 will be held August 1-27 and offer scavenger hunts, water play days, fort building, camp games and more silly dress-up days.
Dana Point Montessori is now enrolling students. For more information, call 949.443.4213 or visit danapointmontessoripreschool.com.