Why Montessori?

Student learning sewing technique
Student learning how to grind coffee

Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophies developed around the belief that children are self-motivated and have the desire within themselves to learn and become functionally independent.

An orderly environment is prepared for the children allowing them the freedom of choice within limits and freedom of movement.

The Montessori guide (lead teacher) observes the children and presents individual and small group lessons, allowing each child to develop spiritually, emotionally, socially and intellectually at their own pa

Care for the environment: Student cleaning a work underlay

Children show patterns of concentration and the need for repetition in order to refine and master a particular skill. In a Montessori classroom, children may work with a material
they choose for as long as they wish, which allows the children the opportunity to develop attention to detail and increased concentration each year the child is in the environment.

Grace and courtesy is the Montessori way of guiding a child into having respect for the materials, environment and for being sensitive, caring and kind to others. These values are necessary for moral and spiritual development and contribute to helping the child acquire a positive self-image.

The Curriculum

The curriculum is divided into four core areas of study: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, and Mathematics. The studies of art, music, geography, history, botany, and science are interwoven into the four areas:

Practical Life: This provides for refinement and coordination of movement, order, repetition, and small muscle control. In addition, the children learn to care for themselves and their environment. This area also includes lessons in Grace & Courtesy.

Sensorial: The sensorial area offers sensory education of all the senses for reality based classification of the child’s impressions of the world. The language lessons in the sensorial area are given to aid in secure concepts and to give language to the child’s experience.

Student using a cylinder block

Student using a trinomial cube

Student building a pink tower

“Our son has shown such wonderful growth in his love of reading, and his ability to solve complex problems has grown each year he has been at Good Shepherd Montessori.”

3. Language: Language in the Montessori classroom incorporates the spoken and written language with the learning of sounds and alphabet. Creative language is explored while learning reading and cursive writing.

Student reading

Student using metal insets, preparing the hand for writing

Movable Alphabet

4. Mathematics: The mathematics area explores the base 10 system, linear counting, and exploration of all four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; along with the basics of the decimal system, clock and fractions. Beginning with concrete work with manipulatives, progress is made towards abstract concepts.

Student using the 10s board

Students learning decimal system

Learning numerals

Student learning addition

Children work with lessons in all of these areas at their own pace, moving on after mastering the materials of each level. Through active involvement, children develop independence, self-confidence, and critical problem solving skills.