5 Characteristics of Montessori Elementary Curriculum

Enrolling your child in the right elementary school is an important decision! The kind of experiences your children have when they are young map patterns of how they act when they grow older. In your search for the right elementary school, you’ve no doubt come across the Montessori schools. However, not many people truly know what a Montessori elementary curriculum is like.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five major characteristics that make up the Montessori elementary curriculum. Keep reading to see how Montessori schools go above and beyond the learning curve, making it one of the best options for your child!

What Makes Montessori Elementary Curriculum Different?

1. Independence is Encouraged

In Montessori, schools encourage children to perform tasks without too much help. For example, there are often low-hanging shelves so kids can reach everything they need without a teacher’s help. Additionally, many classrooms have dull knives so students can cut their own snacks. This promotes a mature sense of independence in children, even when they are preschool-aged.

Moreover, most Montessori classrooms allow children to choose the activities they want to do. Whether it be a particular lesson, a game, or craft, the curriculum encourages kids to learn in a way they enjoy. Montessori schools recognize that every child is unique and will learn in a way that is particular to him or her. 

2. More Than Memorization

In the Montessori elementary curriculum, teachers don’t encourage memorization of information. Rather, they believe that simply memorizing information does not encourage a child’s individual skills and abilities and actually inhibits them. Montessori schools thus teach children in unique ways, often in a hands-on approach that focuses on a child’s ability to learn, rather than just teaching.  

3. Cultural Approach

Montessori elementary curriculum emphasizes a cultural approach in its instruction. Teachers interweave cultural lessons into every lesson so children can learn how to treat others in a respectful manner. Children learn that sometimes, they can be wrong and that it’s good to listen to others and appreciate their opinions. These are valuable life lessons that Montessori schools cultivate in children when they are young. 

4. Children Direct the Learning Process

In a traditional classroom curriculum, teachers focus on children learning the same thing in the same way and at the same time. However, the Montessori curriculum differs in that it emphasizes “learning as a process that cannot be determined by a child’s age.” Rather, children only move on to learning new skills once they have acquired the one before it, regardless of their age. Therefore, most Montessori schools will have a mix of students of varying ages in a single classroom, which is determined by developmental abilities. 

Moreover, teachers are observers and facilitators that do not interfere with a child’s ability to direct his or her learning. 

5. Emphasis on Early Childhood Development

Based on child developmental research, children’s most formative years occur before the age of six. Their minds are the most adaptable at this time, so Montessori schools place a unique emphasis on learning during this period in a child’s life.

Find a Montessori School Near You!

There are more than 4,000 Montessori schools in the United States. However, only about 25% of them actually incorporate the Montessori curriculum! Therefore, it’s important that you find an accredited Montessori school

One of the leading Montessori schools in Houston, TX is Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy. This school incorporates the true Montessori curriculum through advanced learning techniques, as well as fun and play. Contact them today for more information!