School of the Woods offers classes in early childhood through high school.
Woods Lower School
Early Childhood/Kindergarten (2 1/2 to 6 years)
Children in this multi-age group learn more easily and efficiently than at any other
time of life. Our teachers design each child’s curriculum to foster optimal
growth and development. These experiences are presented in accordance with each
child’s skills and interest levels.
The children learn about order and organization, movement coordination, and fine
and gross motor skills, gaining self-confidence and independence. These
experiences lay the groundwork for future learning throughout their lives. The
holistic, hands-on activities include vocabulary development, sensorial
awareness, math, language arts, handwriting, sciences, geography, history, art,
Every child receives personalized instruction in learning opportunities that promotes
individual decision making, critical thinking, and cognitive growth.
Lower Elementary (6 to 9 years; Grades 1-3)
Students widen their horizons through an expanding curriculum. Abundant materials foster
optimum development of reading, spelling and writing skills. Math operations
emphasize the understanding of process as well as accuracy in computations.
Acquired basic skills are then applied in interdisciplinary themes. In science,
students research, classify, observe and conduct experiments. Work in cultural
subjects includes the study of needs of people around the world and throughout
Elementary children at School of the Woods are assessed continuously through teacher
observations. They advance through a system known as mastery learning. This
means that students must demonstrate mastery of the concept to be learned
before they proceed to the next level. Students explore art history and
expression as well as music theory, history and expression in separate
three-hour blocks each week.
This interactive learner-centered environment provides small and whole group
cooperative activities in addition to individualized instruction.
Upper Elementary (9 to 12 years; Grades 4-6)
Children of the upper elementary level cross the bridge between learning by hands-on
experiences and the abstract understanding of concepts. New thinking brings a
growing sense of membership in society.
Work on group projects, use of community resources (such as libraries and museums) and
an expansion in field study become important new elements in the curriculum.
Children go on fossil digs, study lifestyles of ancient peoples in cultural
anthropology experiences and tour early American historical sites. Music and art
classes occur weekly with enough time to complete projects and research.
The introduction of homework teaches social skills in monitoring work, meeting
dead lines responsibly and using textbooks efficiently. Mastery learning
assumes a new dimension in the upper elementary class with 95% accuracy
required in math testing before students can progress.
Upper elementary students provide service to others by aiding younger children in
their lessons, and sharing research results with other classes.
Woods Middle School (12 to 14 years; Grades 7-8)
Seventh and eighth grade students are emerging into adolescence, a time of rapid
personal growth and change. To guide our students through this critical period,
School of the Woods has created a unique program, so successful that it is now
a model for similar programs in other Montessori and public schools systems
Our adolescent program emphasizes and encourages individual personal responsibility
and collaborative learning. It designates large blocks of time to allow
in-depth individual work and small group seminars. To help develop personal
responsibility, Middle School students prepare periodic progress reports for
their parents and are required to plan and lead these parent-teacher-student
Service Learning activities and cross-age teaching also continue to build the
collaborative skills of students at this level. All Middle School students take
part in hands-on service learning and build real life skills by working
off-campus as interns – one week with younger children and one working in local
businesses. They also take part in student government committees, and present
science and history lessons to fellow students. Every year, a student group
travels to New York to participate in the Montes- sori Model United Nations
along with students from all over the world.
Woods High School (14 to 18 years; Grades 9-12)
The Woods High School courses of study reflect an integration of the Texas
requirements of essential elements, the newest research about the developmental
needs of adolescents, the Montessori philosophy, current learning theory, and
the predictions of the skills needed for a productive life in the twenty-first
The curriculum and instruction are designed as a four-year program in which classes meet the rigorous criteria of honors distinction. Unique to our Montessori
secondary program, Self-Construction courses focus on cultivating the whole
student to realize her/his full potential. Senior Thesis is the culmination of
this course work. The goal of Senior Thesis is to afford students the
opportunity to pursue a topic about which they are passionate. They complete
lasting, meaningful work that applies interdisciplinary knowledge and original
research. Students complete a final thesis paper and present their work to the
High School community.Our students graduate prepared for academic success in college and with a vision for their personal future.