Frequently Asked Questions About The Montessori Method

What does a Montessori education do for the child?

Observers of Montessori children have described them as having developed self-discipline, self-knowledge, and independence, as well as enthusiasm for learning, and an organized approach to problem-solving and academics. Children learn to respect themselves and each other and to communicate their needs and wants. They also work with and learn from each other through natural situations.

How did Montessori begin?

The Montessori “Method” was developed nearly one hundred years ago in Rome, Italy by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician-educator. Dr. Montessori worked with underprivileged children in Rome in the early 1900s. She discovered that young children become absorbed in a serious interaction when working with specialized manipulative materials. Through this interaction and personal experience in a prepared environment, the children developed an extraordinarily high level of intellectual and social ability at a very young age.


Is a Montessori Program more expensive than other programs?

The cost of establishing a Montessori classroom is probably higher than it is for a traditional classroom because of the precision and quality demanded in the manufacture of Montessori materials. In addition, specialized training on a graduate level is required to teach in a Montessori school. That said, many Montessori schools are very affordable and are often competitively priced.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Montessori Classroom


How does Montessori preschool differ from day care and nursery school?

§  Day care centers are generally for the purpose of caring for children on an all-day basis.

§  Nursery schools are generally experiences in socialization and play.

§  Preschools are oriented toward educational experiences combined with socialization and play.

§  Montessori is education…not a nursery school. Before the age of six years, much of a child’s intelligence and social characteristics are formed. It has been said that 50% of the child’s mental development occurs before 4 years of age. In a Montessori school, your child will learn to think in logical patterns and to deal with reality. Children with a Montessori background become better prepared to cope with the complex challenges of our world.

What is a typical day in a Montessori classroom?

Children come into the school, greet the teachers, and begin their days. They move about the classroom from activity to activity, unrolling a small rug for work on the floor or sitting at a table, talking or working with a friend or choosing to work alone. Each child manipulates materials of interest to him and receives lessons from the teacher on new material. The materials in the classroom are grouped into the areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language Arts, and Geography. At some point in the morning the children have outside play, weather permitting.

Why are there mixed-aged groups in the Montessori classroom?

The Montessori classroom typically has a balance of boys and girls as well as three ages, such as with the “Primary” age or Preschool (3, 4 and 5 year olds). Usually, a student remains in the same class for all three years of the cycle. This careful mix allows for social balance and a balanced class atmosphere. As a result, one will find older students teaching the younger ones and helping them to adapt. By keeping a child in the same class, she/he learns from this cycle of growing up, learning from others, teaching others and leading.

Why do you recommend a five-day Montessori experience?

A child who attends school for five consecutive days each week will have the greatest opportunity for smooth spontaneous learning. A child taken in and out of school frequently does not have the same opportunity and consistency to pursue his unfolding interests.

What happens when children go from a Montessori class to a traditional class?

Whether the child attends another private school or goes on to public school, Montessori education provides an excellent background for traditional education. Studies show that Montessori children adjust well and are generally among the better students. They spend their time more productively because of their self-direction and positive attitudes toward learning.

Most children appear to adjust readily to new classroom situations. In all likelihood, this is because they have developed a high degree of self-discipline and independence in the Montessori environment, and because of the adaptability of young children in general. If there is an adjustment period, it is usually short and the child adapts quickly.

Does Montessori push children too far, too fast?

Central to the Montessori philosophy is the idea of allowing each child to develop at his or her own, individual pace. The “miracle” stories of Montessori children far ahead of traditional expectations for their age level reflect not artificial acceleration but the possibilities open when children are allowed to learn at their own pace in a scientifically prepared environment.

What is the role of the Montessori teacher?

The Montessori teacher known as the directress facilitates classroom activity. She carefully plans the environment in the interests of the children, and she helps children progress from one activity to the next. She is trained to deal with each child individually, allowing him to choose from many activities within his range of ability. She stands back while the child is working and allows him the satisfaction of his own discovery.

If my child is left to choose his own projects, won’t he do the same thing day in and day out, or do nothing at all?

Teachers are trained to observe children as they work. When a child has mastered a skill, the teacher will give the child a lesson that is more challenging, giving special attentions to the age and interest of each child. And because the environment is so stimulating and exciting, children seldom “do nothing.” There are hundreds of prepared lessons for the child to choose from every day.

With all the freedom, isn’t there confusion?

The concept of freedom in the classroom is a freedom within limits. A child is allowed to work freely so long as he does not disturb others. Actually, the children having the freedom to follow their interests are generally happy and busily involved in their work.

The child is free to move about the classroom at will, to talk to other children, to work with any equipment she/he understands, or to ask the teacher to introduce new material to her/him. The child is not free to disturb other children at work or to abuse the equipment that is so important to the child’s development.

I’ve heard Montessori referred to as a fringe element in the education environment. Is this true?

Montessori is part of the educational mainstream, as evidenced by growing numbers of graduate-level programs in Montessori education and the increasing popularity of Montessori in the traditional schools.

Montessori is too individualized and does not allow socialization. Is this true?

While it is true that many of the activities are individualized, this is important so that children can work at their own pace without feeling competitive or frustrated about their own progress. However, there are several activities that do involve group participation. Also, during the day, children participate in circle time together, eat lunch together and play outside together. One of the principles of the Montessori program is to help your child develop socially so that she can achieve a respect of others and work well together within a group environment.

Socialization is very much a part of the Montessori Method. In the classroom you’ll notice children interacting continuously, choosing to work on projects together, and older children helping younger ones.

The basis for socialization in a Montessori classroom is respect for each other and respect for the environment. If a child chooses to observe another child’s activity, she must do so quietly so as not to disturb the work being done. If a child wishes to join in an activity, he must ask permission of the other child. Children have the right to complete their activity by themselves.

Parent Nights

Our goal is to help parents understand the Montessori Method therefore we host Parent Education Nights every other month. We focus on different areas of the classroom and invite you to bring neighbors or grandparents that may be curious about what Montessori is all about. Since children attend the event with the parents its a time for them to show off what they are learning.

Infant Community

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Toddler Community

Toddler Community 1 ½  -  3yrs                  Our Montessori Toddler environment is carefully prepared to aid t
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Early Childhood Program

Early Childhood Program
Children House 3yrs cycle(3-6)             The Children House Curriculum In the Montessori Preschool, five distinct areas constitute the prepared
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