Children’s House was founded in 1971 as an independent private Montessori school by Phyllis Boardman, and has operated continuously from that time until the present. The name, “Children’s House,” was chosen, as it has been by many Montessori schools worldwide, following the name of the first school founded by Dr. Maria Montessori in Rome in 1907, her “Casa dei Bambini.” When Children’s House Montessori School began, the original teachers, Phyllis Boardman and Karen Kerr, were certified Montessori teachers.
Children’s House became a full affiliate of the American Montessori Society in 1975. Then, in 1981, Children’s House became a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and has remained so to the present. Children’s House has been active in the Montessori community here in Oklahoma throughout its existence. The school has actively participated in Montessori teacher training and internships. In addition, teachers at Children’s House have served as observers and examiners in the teacher training program. Some of our past lead teachers have published professional articles in the American Montessori Society, as well as contributed to books published for teachers of young children.
Children’s House is a secular private school and does not offer religious education, but welcomes families of all cultures. As an authentic Montessori school, we are able to offer the community a valuable and unique educational alternative.
Oct 1925 – Dec 2014
Founder of Children’s House Montessori of Norman, Phyllis Prigmore Boardman was born to John and Laura Prigmore in Oklahoma City in 1925. President of her Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, she graduated from The University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in education. Later she earned her master’s degree in early childhood education from Oklahoma City University. Phyllis married John Edwin Boardman in Paris, France, in 1949. They raised their three sons, splitting their time between Oklahoma and the family ranch at Torrey Lake, near Dubois. They enjoyed entertaining friends and traveling, whether roughing it in the Wind River backcountry or touring the world in style. In her retirement, she divided her time between the ranch and Green Valley, AZ. She was most proud of the Montessori school she started in Norman, OK. Her school touched and enriched the lives of thousands. Children’s House is still thriving today, more than 45 years later.
(From the Norman Transcript)
August 1870 – May 1952
Founder of Casa dei Bambini, the first Montessori school. Maria Montessori began her education at age 13, entering an all-boys technical institute to prepare for a career in engineering, subsequently transferring to medical school and becoming one of Italy’s first female physicians. She focused on psychiatry and educational theory, and in 1900, she became co-director of a new training institute for special education. Her methods were proclaimed a success, and she was asked to open a childcare center in a poor inner-city district of Rome. She designed learning materials and a classroom environment that fostered the children’s natural desire to learn. News of the school’s success soon spread through Italy and by 1910 Montessori schools were internationally acclaimed. She lectured widely, wrote articles and books, and developed a program to prepare teachers in the Montessori Method. Through her efforts and the work of her followers, Montessori education was adopted worldwide. As a public figure, Maria also campaigned vigorously on behalf of women’s rights. She wrote and spoke frequently on the need for greater opportunities for women, and was recognized in Italy and beyond as a leading feminist voice.
(From the American Montessori Society)