Smart Start Montessori School (SSMS), Forney’s only Montessori school, is all about preparing children to succeed in a Montessori-focused environment.  “Montessori is different from other childcare,” says Smart Start owner Catherine Mathis. Montessori prepares the children for life in and outside of          the classroom, while introducing the traditional core curriculums (Reading, Writing, and Math) found in both public and private schools. Mrs. Blench, the school’s director and teacher of one of two Primary classrooms, explains, “It is not a sit-down classroom. It’s academic, but it is done in a fun way… Whatever they are learning, the children are drawing it, and coloring it, and exploring it in the environment.”



SSMS follows the traditional Montessori philosophy and Mrs. Blench is Montessori certified and brings eighteen years of Montessori experience (twelve as a teacher and six as a director).   She also has a Master’s degree in Teaching and additional training in art, yoga, and working with gifted and special needs children. Mrs. Mathis, the school’s owner and lead teacher of the other Primary classroom, is also Montessori trained and certified, and has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education.  All SSMS lead teachers are either Montessori certified or moving towards becoming certified, and the school is in the process of attaining the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) recognition—a more rigorous Montessori accreditation.


Classrooms are set up to encourage exploration, with five areas of learning—Practical Life (teaches independence, coordination, self-help skills; such as: dressing themselves, personal care, setting a table, slicing a banana, etc.), Sensorial, Language, Math, Geography, and Cultural.  Students graduating from the program are well-equipped for Kindergarten, and have “lots and lots of confidence,”  according to Blench. Confidence is a by-product of the Montessori environment, which is child-led, with the freedom for children to work according to their interests and abilities.


The children play outside twice a day and participate in music and movement to develop large motor skills and art to refine fine motor skills. They also have the opportunity to participate in yoga, dance, Spanish, and Amazing Athletes.  An on-site chef prepares a hot, healthy lunch each day, and a morning and afternoon snack are also provided.



SSMS offers a Nido classroom for infants 6 weeks to 18 months, with plenty of floor time for movement and language development; two Pre-Primary  classrooms (18 months to 3 years old), and two Primary classrooms for ages 3-6. The school keeps student/teacher ratios low for optimal learning.  They offer 2, 3, and 5-day programs to cater to parents’ needs and provide a wholesome learning experience in a creative and aesthetically pleasing environment. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.


The Summer program will include traditional Montessori curriculum, as well as activities including: bounce houses, water play, a petting zoo, a magician, a puppeteer, and a special segment on community workers, with special visits by firefighters, police, dentists, etc. to talk to the children about their work.



Smart Start Montessori School is currently enrolling new students for both the summer and 2018-19 school year and invites parents and prospective students to call to schedule a tour and see for themselves the difference Smart Start can make; allowing all facets of a child’s personality to evolve.


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Located at 10674 FM 1641, Forney,TX.