What is Montessori Anyway?

Demystifying the Montessori Educational Philosophy

Are you one of many that hears the term “Montessori” and nod your head to convey that you are knowledgeable about the educational philosophy, but really do not really know what Montessori is? Well, you are not alone. In fact, sadly, in addition to those that know little or nothing, many have profound misconceptions.

Simply defined, the Montessori educational philosophy can be described as a “kinesthetic,” or a hands-on and experiential learning approach. The premise is that by engaging as many of the senses – sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell – the learning experience is enhanced. This is particularly important as the student matures and evolves from concrete learning to more abstract learning. It gives the learned material something to stick to and a basis for recall in the future.

Children in Montessori educational environments are guided through individualized learning plans, providing each child the opportunity to learn as much as they are capable of across the curriculum and without limitations. Their teaching guides are responsible for monitoring what type of assignments they prefer and those that they avoid as a means to enhance their interests and hone in on any rationale for avoidance.

Montessori educators charter themselves with helping to groom the adults that their students will become. Students are empowered to select their work assignments each day and are held accountable for completing them. Skills they learn in a Montessori environment include, but are not limited to: time management, self-direction, and self-advocacy. In fact, when interviewed by Barbara Walters, Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, attributed that “it was part of that [Montessori] training of not following rules and orders, and being self motivated, questioning what’s going on in the world and doing things a little bit differently” in Montessori education that allowed them to learn to think for themselves and gave them freedom to pursue their own interests.

Montessori schools do not end at Kindergarten. They include elementary, middle, and high school level instruction. Taught in three-year age groups: Infant/Toddler (Birth to 3 years old), Early Childhood (3-6 years old), Lower Elementary (grades 1-3), Upper Elementary (grades 4-6), Middle School (grades 7-9), and High School (grades 10-12), the Montessori classroom provides an environment in which children have peers across each dimension of the student (intellectual, physical, emotional, social and creative).

At Southern NH Education Center, we offers an academically focused education to children ages 3 months to grade 8 through an integrated curriculum. The robust enrichment programs include Spanish, Latin, Creative Arts, Technology and daily Physical Education, all of which compliment the strong academic core. The spacious, modern, and fully equipped classrooms include a library/media room, science/discovery lab, as well as a kitchen/laundry teaching room.

Southern NH Education Center (SNHEC) is the home of Southern NH Montessori Academy (ages 3 months to grade 6) and NH School of Applied Learning (grades 6-8). SNHEC has a rolling admission and conducts tours daily.