Lincoln's first Montessori elementary school offers unique education to students
Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News
Picture an elementary school.
You’ll see happy kids, learning new things and playing outside.
At Bluestem Montessori Elementary school you'll find all of those things.
But it's different than the traditional elementary schools in Lincoln; it’s a Montessori school.
"Its child motivated and child led. We follow their interest on things and work at their own pace, so it's really individualized so we can really work on the best way to work with each child,” Laura Erickson, who started the school, said.
Bluestem is located at 70th and A streets.
It enrolls kindergarten through third grade students, but they plan to grow up to sixth grade.
All grades work together in one classroom on individual plans, based on state standards, but catered to each child's needs.
"Kids who were in a more traditional setting who were really bored or struggling are doing amazing here,” Erickson said.
One of those students is Elenor Erickson. She’s Laura Erickson’s daughter who went to traditional school before Bluestem.
“I was really ahead so even though the teachers and kids were really nice a lot of kids were behind and I was really bored a lot because the teachers had to catch the other kids up a lot,” Elenor Erickson, Bluestem third grader said.
But at Bluestem, Elenor said she can advance as far as she wants.
"I can do really high numbers in math because I go here,” Elenor said.
On the other side of that are kids who needed a little more time than others, like Bluestem second grader Xander.
"He does not do well in traditional classes that are as fast paced as public schools,” Sena Bollman, Xander’s mom said. “He was getting to the point where he'd have to stay in for recess every day because he wasn't getting his work done in the manner that he wanted to and he really just hated going to school."
Now, Bollman said Xander is thriving and even asks to go to school on the weekends.
The parents say if you're unsure about Montessori, all it takes is a visit.
Come check it out, it's relaxed, the kids love to learn,” Kassie Ehler, Bluestem parent said. “I'm always surprised that as self guided as it is they are always working on a task, getting a lesson.”
Right now Bluestem has nine students and three teachers, but are hoping to grow.