The Montessori Method is a system for the education of children from birth through age 18. It is based upon
principles developed by Dr. Maria Montessori throughout her life early in the last century. The focus
of this system is the development of self-direction & self-discipline using scientifically developed
manipulative materials, educational techniques, and observations which support the natural development
of children. Children are encouraged to ‘learn how to learn,’ thus gaining independence and self-confidence.
Because the method is based upon developmentally appropriate activities, the child often learns through
process of discovery - by doing.
The Montessori school is designed to accommodate various stages of development in children, which occur in roughly 3-year
periods. From birth to 3 years of age, the child is absorbing information directly from the environment,
like a sponge. It is during this phase that many language and motor skills are acquired without formal
instruction. During the second phase (from 3 to 6 years of age) the child reaches a different plane of
development in which repetition and manipulation of materials in the environment are critical to the
development of concentration, refinement of the senses, coordination, independence, and a sense of order.
In this environment, the child learns skills for everyday living, sorting, grading, classifying - all
of which lead to the development of writing, reading, and a mathematical mind.
When the child reaches the next plane of development (ages 6 - 9) the imagination of the child is the key
to learning. At this age there is an increasing awareness of the world and an interest in its wonders.
The curriculum now excites the child by using his imagination to explore the universe. During this phase,
the child is presented with ‘the BIG picture,’ an overview of the interrelatedness of things. Concepts
are introduced through hands-on concrete materials which help the child to arrive at an understanding
of abstract concepts. The student’s hands-on activities broaden in scope and include practical applications
outside the classroom. Projects become more involved and diverse in nature.
Because the child goes through these various stages, the Montessori classroom area is organized into three-year
multi-age groups. This allows a greater flexibility in meeting each child’s individual needs. The teacher
allows the child to explore the carefully prepared environment to exercise his independence and self-direction.
Through repetition using the Montessori classroom materials, the teacher allows the child to discover
and draw his own conclusions.