Our Christian Montessori Curriculum
We are an authentic Christian Montessori academy that is devoted to using the materials along with the pedagogy developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900s. Our curriculum has five main components:
CORE – Faith, Mathematics (including Sensorial/Geometry), and Language
CULTURAL – History, Geography and Science along with STEM
CLASSICAL – Latin (Elementary); French and Logic (Junior HIgH)
CREATIVE – Music & Movement, Visual Art, Physical Education
COMMUNITY – Practical Life, Grace & Courtesy (Peace Ed), Occupations (Junior HIgH)
The History of Our Curriculum
Dr. Maria Montessori was one of the first female doctors in Italy. Although misunderstood by her contemporaries and some today, she was a pioneer in her thoughts and actions toward children. She did not work with the elite, as many people think, but the disadvantaged, the mentally and physically challenged, and the poor. She brought her theories of sensorial learning to life and began to give children tools that would expedite and facilitate their love for learning. She was the first to create child-sized everything; instead of mini-adults, she respected children as children. She coined the phrase “a place for everything and everything in its place” as she recognized the child’s need for organization.
Dr. Maria Montessori
She further observed that children are different from each other and need to learn at their own pace and time of readiness. The first six years are the most sensitive and critical period of the child’s life. The child has the unique ability (one that is lost in adulthood) to absorb everything in their environment in an intuitive way. Dr, Montessori developed what she called the “prepared environment,” which has a certain order and allows children to develop at their own pace, according to their own capabilities, in a noncompetitive atmosphere. She said, “never let a child risk failure until he has a reasonable chance of success.” She also observed that children have an innate love and need for purposeful activities. The child receives pleasure in the “doing,” not just in the profit and completion of the task, as adults do. Specially trained adults referred to as “guides” inspire “learners” to become respectful, responsible and resourceful.
The Montessori philosophy of education is that every child carries within themselves the person that they will become. To develop their physical, intellectual, emotional, linguistical and social and spiritual capacity that must have freedom—a freedom that is achieved through order and self-discipline, a freedom not to do what you want but to do what is right. A child’s world is full of sights and sounds that appear chaotic, and in this chaos they must create order, thus learning to master themselves in the world in which they live.
Dr. Maria Montessori in school setting.
In each of our special prepared environments designed for three-year age spans, there are materials on the shelves grouped by subjects or key curriculum components. The shelves “read” from left to right, top to bottom, so children would be aware of a progression from easiest to most difficult. Children can only touch a material if they have been shown the “lesson” as a measure of control and order in the classroom. More than that, children desire repetition and become familiar with the work. Learners need to demonstrate a 90% competency before advancing to the next materials. There are special materials designed to teach all aspects of faith, math, sensorial/geometry, language, science, history, geography, practical life, , grace and courtesy, and peace education. There are special areas for our materials of faith called “The Atrium.”
Dr. Montessori used the term “Atrium,” derived from the gathering place for worship in the early Christian church, to describe the spiritual environment that is carefully set up and prepared for the children to proclaim the message of Jesus, teach the lessons Jesus taught, and focus on the Word and worship. Each of our three classrooms houses an altar, religious work, and biblical lessons through which the children can express their faith in Christ.
“The Montessori Method was furnished with a long-sought opportunity of penetrating deeper in the life of the child’s soul, and of thus fulfilling it’s true educational mission.”—E.M. Standing