Peninsula Montessori Schools

  • Locations

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

  • Phone


  • Website 

  • Photographed by

    Tameka Jacobs

  • Special Section

    All About Kids

Founded in 1978, Peninsula Montessori Schools educate the whole child and allow freedom of movement, unlike traditional classrooms. The school has two campuses: Rancho Palos Verdes serves 250 students ages 18 months to 12 years, and Redondo Beach serves 80 students ages 18 months to 6 years. In addition to academics, the school offers gymnastics, karate, dance, yoga, tennis, soccer, chess, music, art, computer and physical education.

What are your school’s goals? 

Our goal is to nurture a child’s natural inclination to learn in a safe and stimulating environment. In addition, we strive to promote appreciation and respect for self and others, and foster independence and enthusiasm for learning.

What are a few of the highlights of your academic program? 

The Montessori curriculum is highly individualized. Students in our school can explore activities and concepts at their own pace. This naturally encourages them to delve into more challenging areas, which accelerates their educational experience. Learning occurs at a comfortable pace for each student rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all approach. Montessori students learn how to learn. They are accustomed to research and to tackling new subjects. They learn that risk-taking is vital for achieving success. Without adult-imposed competition in the classroom, children help one another problem-solve collaboratively.

What types of support do you offer students beyond academics? 

Our children learn to be mindful, which is essential in today’s 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. Our children take an active part in classroom management and have daily meetings to discuss any issues that arise. They learn how to cope and manage situations, making conscious choices to work with others peacefully. With less stress, they are happier and healthier, blooming into their own unique potential.

Share your thoughts on the importance of homework. 

Homework in a Montessori setting is an extremely hot topic. Our main concern is helping our students find a balance of freedom with responsibility. Knowing that our students move into middle school once they have completed our program, it is important that they learn how to focus their thoughts for a specific amount of time on homework, which will certainly be a requirement in later years. We also recognize that family time and extracurricular activities are very valuable. For that reason, the children’s homework is assigned once a week and may be completed as they see fit. It is always adjusted to each child’s level of development and abilities.

What do students love most about your school? 

Our students know they are respected and cherished. They feel safe and find that their voice is heard. The children are comforted in knowing there is remarkably close adult supervision and guidance, both in class and on the playground. All forms of attempted bullying are immediately extinguished, and our children are offered alternate methods of communicating their needs and feelings.

What does your school offer that is unique? 

Peninsula Montessori School is the only authentic Montessori school with fully accredited teachers in Palos Verdes and Redondo Beach that extends through fifth grade. We emphasize learning through all five senses, not just through listening, passive observation or reading. Our students learn through the use of beautifully crafted materials designed to transport the child step-by-step from the most concrete to the most abstract exercises. With multiage grouping, communities are formed in which the older children share their knowledge with the younger ones and develop effective communication skills. They leave our program with confidence, ready to enter the next phase of their educational journey.

What steps do you take to encourage inclusivity? 

Preschool children are inquisitive by nature. They constantly observe, analyze and try to make sense of what they see and hear. They readily identify all types of differences. What children learn and witness from family members and others in their communities plays a major role in how they view people who are different from them.

At Peninsula Montessori School, we celebrate all cultures through historic and geographic research, song, dance, arts, cuisine and other studies. Our annual International Festival takes place in March. Each classroom selects a country to explore, and the children create a “museum” displaying artifacts of the people whose culture they are studying. The entire school goes on a walking tour of each country, sampling international foods and sharing the excitement of their explorations with one another.

We welcome parental involvement and encourage our parents to talk to their children about their heritage and share precious anecdotes that have been handed down to them from generations past. We culminate our studies with three days of song and dance performances, giving our students a memorable experience they will long remember.