CMS educates students by following the Montessori Method. This method was created by Maria Montessori, the first female physician in Italy, in the early 1900s. Montessori observed that young children learn most efficiently through concrete experiences with the world around them. She noticed that they passed through “sensitive periods” during which they learned almost effortlessly. The Montessori Method capitalizes on these sensitive periods by presenting children with individualized learning experiences that both intrigue and challenge them. Children become extremely well-rounded in this environment and gain an important confidence about their ability to learn, which truly changes them for the rest of their lives.
In a Montessori classroom, children of mixed ages learn together. In our school, Montessori education is based on a three-year developmental cycle. With each successive year, the investment is enhanced and offers a maximum return during the Kindergarten year. Many parents ask why they should send their child to Kindergarten at Montessori instead of in the public school system. The traditional school answer is that our Kindergarten graduates perform well above their peers in the traditional school model in math, reading, and other subjects. Many of our students end the Kindergarten year with the ability to do complex math problems and read books that are 1, 2, or 3 levels above their “grade.” The Montessori answer is that the Kindergarten year is a key year that really solidifies for them everything that they have learned, meaning that they depart the Kindergarten year with a solid understanding of concepts that prepares them well to learn going forward. For an excellent article on this topic, click here.
With the Montessori method there is no “limit” to curriculum for a certain grade or age, as there is in a traditional classroom. That means the Montessori method is tailored perfectly to the child and his or her ability, which allows them to reach their absolute potential. It is inappropriate to talk about a Montessori child’s understanding all of the concepts taught “at the Kindergarten level,” because the child will likely be working with concepts well beyond a traditional Kindergarten curriculum. The Montessori teacher is there to help them reach beyond any set “goal” to continue learning!
For some excellent videos on what Montessori is about, visit this page on the American Montessori Society website.