Kids love us, but parents love us more!

Prior to attending Ava Wanas, both of my boys attended home daycare. After one daycare closed and a string of others that didn't provide what I was looking for, I started looking for preschools. The minute I walked in the door and met Marie, I knew my boys would thrive there. It was just weeks before I noted a huge improvement in both of my boys. They are genuinely proud of their work. Everyday, they can't wait to get to school. From the field trips, to hands on learning, to the teachers that love the children as their own. Ava Wanas has helped my kids develop both emotionally and academically. It is such a relief for me to know how much they love to go there!

Our family loves Ava Wanas. This was our boys' first pre-school experience, so I was nervous about how they would adjust. When I picked them up on their first day, they didn't want to leave and have been having fun ever since. The teachers are very loving and the environment is so warm that it feels like a second family for our children. They've learned so much there in just 6 months--academics, life skills, social skills, and independence. Our oldest, who didn't know how to write letters when he started, is now writing full words and is very interested in reading. Our youngest, who has a speech delay, is now talking up a storm and has so much more self-confidence. They both come home talking about their new pals, singing new songs, showing off their craft projects, exhibiting new-found manners, and doing all sorts of things I didn't even realize they could do for themselves.

When we toured a few other full-day pre-schools, their environments felt a bit cold--6 ft tall solid vinyl fences enclosing play areas with little grass, tile-floored rooms where kids of the same age stayed much of the day, and staff that attended to the children's needs but didn't seem super-warm. At Ava Wanas, the kids spend a lot of time outside running around amongst the chickens, tending to the garden, getting dirty, and making "soup" out of twigs and leaves on a large, grassy play yard. The mixed-age classes engage in a variety of self-chosen independent "work" as well as group lessons and team activities like baking banana bread, where they take turns grinding fresh nutmeg, mashing the bananas, and cleaning up in the school's kitchen. The older kids take the younger ones under their wing, for example holding their hands and leading them into the next classroom, or offering to help them with something. And when the teachers cuddle, carry, hug, and comfort the kids, you can tell they are caring for them as if they were their own.

Our daughter started attending Ava Wanas Montessori School when she turned 2.  Since she began attending Montessori School it has been so much fun to watch her develop and grow, everyday when she comes home she impresses us with new things that she has learned.  We have noticed significant improvement in both her speech and tactile motor skills since she has been attending Montessori School and we couldn't be happier with the education that she is receiving.  All of the staff at Ava Wanas is incredibly caring and compassionate and treats our daughter as if she was one of their own children.  We have been incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful school for our children to attend and look forward to watching them blossom at Ava Wanas for the years to come!

We love sending our daughter to Ava Wanas Montessori School! Lilly has grown so much in the short time she has been there and we look forward to watching her develop over the next few years. She absolutely loves going to school and the entire staff is amazing!

Our number 1 priority when we moved to Sykesville was finding the best place to care for our child while we worked.  Without having family close by, it was important to find somewhere that our son loved going to as well as somewhere he could grow both socially and intellectually. We were so happy to be referred by a friend to Ava Wanas. We have found the nurturing environment we needed and best of all our son loves going!! The Montessori method has our son learning even when he thinks he is playing.  He spends lots of time outside exploring the garden, watching the chickens and playing in the dirt too!! School is definitely his home away from home.

We moved here from out-of-state and Ava Wanas not only gave our daughter a friendly and safe place to learn and socialize, they gave us all a sense of community. We feel very lucky to be a part of it

My son has attended the Ava Wanas Montessori for over 2 years since he was 2 1/2 years old for 3 days a week. Every day he gets up and asks "Do I go to school today?" He loves going and has learned so much. He loves the focus on nature, the chickens, the garden, and all of the outdoor time. When I interviewed there, I was so impressed with all the kids that were reading so early, and sure enough he will be reading very soon, much sooner than either of his older two siblings. Their methods really work!

Both of our sons attend Ava Wanas Montessori. Our oldest started when he was just 2 and a half. He's now four, and over the last year and a half, we've seen his independence and confidence grow exponentially. He's eager to succeed with everything he tries; more importantly, though, he's eager to discover and learn. We're now seeing him work hard on the early steps toward reading--how exciting! We very much value learning for the joy of it, and this truly seems to be the guiding principle at Ava Wanas. Our youngest son also just enrolled just before he turned two and a half as well. At home, we've seen the benefits of the Montessori curriculum in action; indeed, our oldest son actively teaches his younger brother and supports him. It's tremendously comforting to know that they're in the best possible care possible. Our kids benefit from the thoughtful routines and the independence they are afforded. The staff is wonderful; we've accompanied the class on a number of field trips, and I'm continually impressed by the caliber and care shown by all staff. You won't visit the school without seeing children freely receiving hugs and affection from all staff. The school understands the need for healthy food, adequate rest, and physical and intellectual stimulation -- all provided with love and respect. We love, too, the amount of outdoor free play the children get -- the school itself is situatated on a beautiful piece of land, and the children are free to run, discover their world, and be themselves. This is truly a gem in Sykesville, and we are so happy to have found it.

I'm a parent of a boy that attended Ava Wanas for approximately three years and was part of the first graduating class at Ava Wanas. The morning I dropped off my son for his last day at Ava Wanas was very bittersweet. I saw all the children getting ready for their day and reflected on the time my son has spent at the school. Ava Wanas is a truly special place and has benefitted my son enormously. My son routinely impresses me with his reading and math skills as well as his maturity and kindness. I attribute many of these strengths to the unique environment that exists at Ava Wanas. I hope that the school continues to flourish.