What is Montessori?

What is Montessori?

“The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self.  Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow and to create the adult he or she will become.  Such experience is not just play…it is work the child must do in order to grow up.”   –Maria Montessori

Our role as a Montessori School is to provide each child with the tools they need to explore and learn.  Our classroom is carefully designed with specially prepared materials to maximize independent learning.  Young children need to touch, feel, see, sense, and move through their world to gain understanding and experience.  The Montessori method allows the child to do this and is designed for the child to learn at his/her own pace.

The goals of the Montessori education are

  • to nurture a positive attitude toward learning
  • to develop self-confidence
  • to develop concentration
  • to foster natural curiosity
  • to develop initiative and persistence
  • to foster inner security and a sense of order
  • to develop sensory-motor skills
  • to encourage creative thinking



St. Mark’s Early Learners is a preschool that is dedicated to providing a high-quality Montessori education.  An environment has been created so all children feel like the school is a home away from home.  We feel each and every child has the right to a safe and healthy environment, to individual attention, to respect, and love and to a stimulating and enjoyable learning experience.

Based on this philosophy, children who attend develop a sense of self-respect and a love of learning, which will endure for the rest of their lives.

The program at St. Mark’s Early Learners is a child-centered rather than adult-directed program.  The planning of the daily schedule is based on both the children’s development and their individual needs.  An effective program for each child requires joint cooperation between parents and teachers.  We also consider communication to be one of the most important aspects of the relationship.


  • Sam

    My husband told me about Montessori this morning, and I’m really intrigued by this concept. This site says that the students lead their own education and the teacher is mostly there for observing and not much intervention, is that right? How does that turn into learning algebra and geometry and physics as the kids get closer to graduation?

    • marcusjcarlson

      Thank you for your question about Montessori. Let me further explain how things work in a Montessori classroom. Montessori preschool students (ages 3 to 6 yrs.) enjoy a classroom and curriculum designed around their specific needs and abilities that allows them to explore and learn at their own pace. This naturally encourages children to try more challenging areas, which accelerates their learning experience. Learning occurs at a comfortable pace for each student, rather than inflicting the same rate on every student in the classroom. In a Montessori classroom the teacher is referred to as a “guide” there to facilitate the learning experience. We do give lessons and we do observe children as they work. We try not to interrupt the children when they are in the middle of a work cycle, because we don’t want to disturb their concentration. The emphasis in the primary classroom is on concrete, rather than abstract learning, as children work on activities that teach language, math, geography, culture, science and practical life skills.

      Let me give you a brief example of the areas in a primary classroom. Our Practical Life are lessons are designed for the children to gain concentration, coordination, order, and independence. These outcomes will help the child as they move through the other areas in the classroom. Another is Sensorial, where the child learns visual and auditory discrimination. In Language they learn listening and speaking skills, handwriting, pre-reading (visual and auditory discrimination) phonics and sight words. Our Math area teaches numeration, decimal system, linear counting, fractions, and advanced math. Geography/Culture is where children learn about the world around them with maps and the study of other cultures. Science is another area where children study the natural world; living/non living and animals/plants. The materials in a primary classroom prepare the children for more advanced lessons (algebra, geometry, and physics) that they will be learning as they move onto lower and upper elementary classrooms.

      I encourage you to call and set-up a tour so that you can see what a day looks like in a Montessori primary classroom, and explore the materials yourself.

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