The Post Oak Difference

A Primary student working with the trinomial cube

When you choose Post Oak, you’re enrolling your child in one of Houston’s best private schools, and you’re joining one of the most vibrant communities in the city. But there’s something more: families that choose Post Oak have decided on an educational path that’s fundamentally different from the one offered by other schools. The Montessori method and its core principles are unique. And their results are being validated by research as well as the extraordinary lives of graduates.

Math material
The Montessori Method

Once considered an educational experiment, Montessori is increasingly becoming the blueprint for a new approach to learning—one that’s demonstrating long-term success in both private and public U.S. schools. Montessori’s core tenets, that effective learning is self-directed and that education calls for the development of the “whole person,” are shaping a generation uniquely prepared for the demands of the 21st century.

Montessori is not an adaptation of traditional methods, it’s a completely different way of teaching and learning. It’s an approach that acknowledges it is how—and not just what—we learn that most shapes the developing personality. While independent studies show that Montessori students perform academically as well or better than more traditionally educated peers, we believe it’s their demonstrably better life skills that best prepare our young people for a complex and fast-changing world.

A Primary student works on math
Curated Learning Environments

Traditional education is designed more like a factory. Students are told what to do and when to do it. A Post Oak classroom is more entrepreneurial and professional. Children are given choices. They are encouraged to pursue individual interests above and beyond basic requirements. They are given a great deal of freedom to structure their time and their work—as long as they act with responsibility.

Our teachers tell students that it’s okay to be wrong, to make mistakes. In fact, if you aren’t making mistakes, you’re not taking risks. And if you aren’t taking risks, you aren’t stretching beyond what you already know how to do. The ideal learning environment is one where it is safe to take risks; an environment which encourages experimentation; one which acknowledges mistakes as an expected part of the learning process.

Physically, our classrooms and learning spaces are brimming with materials for curious minds and creative hands. There are robust curricula at every level and students can dive deeply into subject matter that captivates them. The classroom is not dominated by the presence of the adult. It is a mature and sophisticated work environment, one based on respect for the student and dependent for its successful functioning on the self-discipline of all.

Elementary students work together
Collaboration & Cooperation

In Montessori classrooms children first learn to receive help, and then to give it. Such help begins with practical life needs. It is amazing to watch one two-year-old help another put on his jacket. Soon help extends into more academic learning. A six-year-old may help a four-year-old spell a word with the moveable alphabet. Or sixth graders may help each other with ideas about writing in iambic pentameter.

What is cooperative learning? Look in our Elementary classrooms; it is the norm: students work in groups on a common project, help one another, bounce ideas off each other, consider alternative solutions, negotiate who will do what, learn how to work with someone they find difficult, learn how to confront a friend who has let them down. It is no wonder that Post Oak students develop high levels of social and emotional intelligence. And when students cooperate on projects, they push each other to higher levels of achievement while supporting and encouraging one another. Our students are motivated by “personal best” rather than simply winning.

A High School student at her internship
International Baccalaureate Diploma Program

The Post Oak School is authorized as an IB World School to offer the IB Diploma Program for grades 11 and 12. IB schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that we believe is important for our students.

Our goal is to enable students to achieve the skills necessary for life as independent adults and the sense of purpose necessary to make a meaningful contribution to world peace. To achieve this, students need to be given the opportunity to test out their own ability to be independent, and they need to be given a wide range of experiences in the real world so that they can discover the things they love to do and start to develop those passions as talents.

Challenge the Norm

“Could I be a student here?” Every year we hear parents ask that question. Too few of us attended schools that felt right. Many of us would love the opportunity to do school again. Instead you are giving your children an extraordinary opportunity by choosing Post Oak.

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