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Montessori is Moving

Humans were meant to move, exercise, explore. In Montessori this never stops. We allow our children to move, to discover, to think and learn on their feet. Lessons are short, sitting around is minimal. Walking around the classroom is encouraged, this is where spontaneous encounters occur, with a new friend, an interesting lesson, an opportunity, an obstacle.

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Montessori is Manipulatives

The connections between our hands and our brains are crucial in strong early childhood development. Here, we learn through our hands using Montessori materials, we build our knowledge and our experience through touch. There are no screens, no handouts no lectures. The Montessori Method relies on a classroom that we interact with constantly by moving through it, touching it, and manipulating it. Maria Montessori said, "​What the hand does, the mind remembers." If a child is able to use their hands to discover, their discoveries become more meaningful to them. The concepts they learn are much more rooted than any rote memorization could be, because in using their hands, they experience their learning. They are an active participant.

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Montessori is Choice

Children like coming to school in the morning because they know the day is theirs. The choices that they make and the work that they explore is entirely up to them. Adults are there to guide. A relationship to learning and empowerment is developed from the very first day of school. Maria Montessori understood that all children, indeed all people, have different strengths and interests. The Montessori Method offers children the “freedom of choice” in order to maximize the learning process through these individual differences. Some people misunderstand “freedom of choice” to mean that children just do whatever they please and/or there is no such thing as discipline in a Montessori classroom. This is actually far from accurate. Through careful observation of the child, teachers (and parents) can provide the right activities and create the prepared environment ideal for the child’s development

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Montessori is a Sequential Curriculum

Montessori classrooms hand over real agency to children by delivering a curriculum available to them through the prepared environment. While children follow their own path and can advance through the curriculum at their own pace their experiences are backed by a scaffolded and mastery-based closed system.

Math, Language, Sensorial, Practical Life, Cultural Geography and Sciences. All sequential, all available, so that the promise and power of an individualized curriculum owned by children is delivered each morning in the prepared classroom environment.


Montessori Education is both a philosophy of child development and a rationale for quality in that development. The special method, named for the Italian physician Maria Montessori, stresses the importance of the development of a healthy self-concept. Education, she believed, is a preparation for life, not merely a search for intellectual skills. The child has one intuitive aim – their self development. They desperately want to develop their inner resources and ability to cope with a strange, complex world. The child who accomplishes this moves in harmony with their world and becomes a full person.

The Montessori method pursues the fact that the mind of the very young child is absorbent and thus the environment should be prepared carefully to train their senses, to stimulate their curiosity, to satisfy their need to know and to protect them from unnecessary failure. Montessori’s philosophy and psychological principles led her to devise carefully graded series of self-teaching devices that are now commonly accepted and supported by current research. Each school typifies Montessori education through its concern for the environment, the child and the teacher.

The Environment

Each Montessori school provides a precisely prepared Montessori environment which fosters satisfaction in learning by discovery and a joy in achievement. The climate and selected activities are prepared to interest and motivate the child and to protect him from unnecessary failure. The Montessori materials develop basic problem solving and observational techniques. The child begins in the concrete and manipulative materials and gradually works toward the abstract.

Montessori’s recognition of the importance of a stimulating environment as a means of “freeing the child’s potential” is now supported by a multitude of studies in early learning. The classroom is equiped with specially designed and sequenced materials which Dr. Montessori devised. These materials, together with highly trained guides and administrators, provide a classroom where the child is stimulated and challenged, but never pressured. In such a climate the child learns to feel good about themself. Their right to dignity and worth are protected.

The Child

The very young child is in the process of forming their first impressions of their own nature and ability; of other people; and of life in general – impressions that can last a lifetime. To reach the highest potential possible, the child must develop a healthy self-concept; wholesome attitudes and values; desirable skills and habits; independence and self-reliance; the ability to adjust and to think reflectively; as well as a sensitivity in human relationships and a curiosity and appreciation of nature and the world that surrounds them.

The Teacher

The role of the Montessori guide differs considerably from that of a traditional teacher. They observe and assists the child according to the child’s individual needs and interests. They are trained to recognize periods of readiness and to demonstrate the correct use of the material to the children. They reinforce in a positive manner. At times they may encourage a hesitant child. At other times, they may divert a child who chooses material beyond their ability. They protect the child’s integrity and allows the child to have the freedom of choice to make decisions. The child’s decisions are expected to reflect a sense of responsibility. They are helped by the Guide’s manner, which is firm and consistent, yet patient and gentle.

Montessori Versus Daycare and Traditional Pre-School

  1. The prepared environment. – Montessori classrooms are prepared in advance based on observations of the students’ individual needs. At C'E Montessori they are prepared also with automatic feedback from our accountability systems. They include student-centered lessons and activities. Traditional classrooms and daycares are based on teacher-centered lessons or activities.
  2. We Learn on our Feet. – Active Exploring. Montessori lessons are hands-on and active. Montessori three part lessons slowly transfer the onus onto the student after a brief explanation of the Montessori Material. Students discover information for themselves. Traditional school lessons are often orated to students who listen passively, memorize, and complete worksheets.
  3. We Learn through Failure, through trying, through time. – In the Montessori classroom, children work on lessons as long as need be, and interruptions are avoided whenever possible. Time limitations are mandated by arbitrary schedules and by the pace of other students in traditional classrooms.
  4. Our Teachers are Guides. – Montessori teachers act as guides and consultants to students on a one-on-one basis. They assist each child along his or her own learning path. Traditionally, in daycare centers and other preschools the pace and order of each lesson is predetermined. The teacher must deliver the same lesson, at the same pace, in the same order, for all of the students.
  5. Different Ages Learning Together. – In Montessori schools, “grade-levels” are flexible and determined by the child’s developmental range, i.e., 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, 12-15, and 15-18 years of age. In traditional schools, grade levels are not flexible and strictly defined by chronological age within an arbitrary twelve-month period. Imagine for a minute what it means, for children as young as 3 to be grouped academically with students up to 11 months older than them and expected to do the same work. Imagine inversely, students 11 months older than others having to stop their progress to re-learn a lesson they were ready for almost a year ago.
  6. We Follow the Student, our Curriculum adapts to them. – Montessori curricula expand in response to the students’ needs. As students progress in the C'E Montessori preschool curriculum they are allowed to discover more and more material. Traditional curricula are predetermined and often state mandated without regard to student needs.
  7. Our children move at their own pace. – The individual child’s work pace is honored and encouraged in the Montessori classroom. Traditional classrooms and Daycares expect all children to work at the same pace.
  8. Our children get to decide when they are successful. – Montessorians understand that the child’s self-esteem comes from an internal sense of pride in his or her own accomplishments. The ‘big’ work that is accomplished in our Montessori school is to allow that self-esteem and curiosity to grow unstifled. In traditional classrooms, self-esteem is thought to come from external judgment and validation. Rewards are given by teachers, by stars, by grades and students learn to slowly transfer their self-esteem to be dependent on those external factors.
  9. For the love of learning – Impressionistic Lessons. The Montessori preschool curriculum is intended to appeal to the child’s innate hunger for knowledge. Impressionistic Lessons are presented from the onset to continue to support and encourage creativity and curiosity. Children learn to love learning and to continue being curious. Traditional curricula focus on standardized test performance and grades. Children learn because it is mandatory. Even from an early age this kind of performance is triggered and championed in daycare centers and traditional classrooms.
  10. Change is Good. – The Montessori Method was created by Maria Montessori and is based on a lifetime of study and observation with regard to the way children really learn. Here at C'E Montessori we respect the lessons of the prepared environment, the value of Montessori Materials and whole child development while pushing the boundaries of accountability and parent communications through technology. Traditional education is based on…well…tradition.