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What is Montessori?


This question is asked of us multiple times a week! When you look up, “What is Montessori?”, it will tell you that a Montessori education is focused on nurturing each child's potential by providing learning experiences that support their intellectual, physical, emotional and social development (Montessori Academy). What does that mean?

A Montessori classroom is a student led environment that follows each child on their unique educational path. SJMCC houses children from the age of 3 to 6 years of age. During this time, some 3-year-olds are very interested in math and will be adding by the age of 4. Other 3-year-olds are very interested in our cultural area and will know the states and their capitals by the age of 5. Our kindergarten age children may be interested in reading and by the end of their 3rd year with us, can read on a 4th grade level and comprehend what they are reading!


Children are given freedom with limits on what they want to work on in the classroom. These limits are clear expectations that are given from day one. Children may pick any work they want if they have had a lesson on this material. Montessori teachers spend a great deal of time giving lessons on new materials and sometimes, giving lessons on materials that have been out for a while, just as a refresher. Children are also taught that they must respect the work that is on the shelves and to treat each item in a careful and appropriate manner.

We not only teach children academic lessons but we also focus on social skills. We call this Grace and Courtesy. The children learn how to interact with each other, how to say please and thank you, how to treat everyone and everything with respect, how to solve a disagreement, and the list could go on and on! This is another area that these children will take with them for the rest of their lives!


Nurturing independence is also a big deal in our classrooms. Independence is an ongoing process throughout a child’s Montessori education. As a child learns to pour water, tie their shoes, recognize sounds in the Language area, and clean up their own messes, their independence soars! We help them to help themselves. These are lessons that will go with them throughout life!


While these aren’t all the concepts of a Montessori classroom, in SJMCC’s opinion, these are a few of the most important!




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