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  • What is Montessori?
    Montessori is a method and philosophy for teaching children, based on the work of pioneering educator Maria Montessori. In our school, we have children from ages 3 through 12 years old. We offer two programs for these children, one is for preschool (3 to 4 years old), and the other is for older children (5 to 12 years old) which does include the “kindergarten” year. Montessori is designed to be an individualized program and is unique for each child. Montessori offers a Prepared Environment that fosters each child’s independence, as well as helps him develop socially and academically. Children are free to explore and discover on their own, however, there are very clear boundaries and ground rules that must be adhered to and are monitored by the teacher. The teacher is the first and very important part of the Prepared Environment. Montessori classrooms are thought of more as communities than classrooms. They must be cooperative for the method to work.
  • Who is Maria Montessori?
    Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator, and innovator, acclaimed for her educational method that builds on the way children naturally learn. She opened the first Montessori school—the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House—in Rome on January 6, 1907. Subsequently, she traveled the world and wrote extensively about her approach to education.
  • What special training do Montessori teachers receive?
    Montessori teacher training is a specific course including child development principles, philosophy and psychology of the Montessori Method, and instruction in every exercise in the Prepared Environment. Typically, the courses are one- to two-year training at a Montessori teacher training institution. In addition to Montessori certification our K-6 teachers are required to have NC teaching certification.
  • What is the main benefit of a Montessori education?
    Montessori education is a preparation for life. Independence, confidence, and an inquiring mind are the results of this education, achieved through a sense of order and respect. Montessori is a sensorial education and the children are effortlessly able to classify and categorize their world through the work in the Prepared Environment of the Montessori classroom. The work is sequential in order and moves from concrete sensorial experiences to abstract understanding of the world. Montessori prepares the child to be a socially engaged and respectful member of society through these experiences.
  • Do Montessori teachers follow a curriculum?
    Montessori is a very specific curriculum with activities in the areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, Science, Art, Geography, and Cultural Studies. Teachers work with the children on sequential presentations of exercises in all areas.
  • How many students are typically in a Montessori classroom?
    Montessori classrooms are filled with the number of children approved in the state childcare licensing regulations and limited to the physical size of the room. Most of our Pre-K and primary classrooms vary from 20 to 26 students, depending on the particular state ratios.
  • Why do Montessori classrooms group different age levels together?
    Mixed-age classrooms encourage the social cohesion of the group. Younger children look to their older classmates as mentors and role models. Older children are leaders of the classroom and help the younger children. Within a three-year period, the children get to experience the complete cycle of social living within the group.
  • How can teachers teach so many different ages?
    Montessori is an individual learning method. Each child learns at their own pace. Teachers are trained to observe and assess (informally) each child to see where the child is developmentally. Based on these observations, an individual lesson is created for each child. Further, as the Montessori classroom is run as a community, older children are there to be role models and to show younger children how to do what they (the older children) already know—making them part of the teaching process. Younger children look up to the older ones and want to be like them which creates a sense of motivation to learn new things. Children, even those that are the same age, all learn at a different level and pace; the Montessori Method allows for this freedom. There is no competition or expectation for children to learn the same things as everyone else their age at the same time. Teachers then find it easier to teach multiple ages than to try to teach the same concept to a large group of children at the same time. Montessori teachers are experienced at multi-tasking. Also, with mixed-age groups, children stay with the same teacher for all three years they are in Montessori enabling a close bond to be formed.
  • What does development of the whole child mean?
    Rather than focusing on the narrow academic life of young children traditionally learning colors, letters numbers, etc., Montessori focuses on the whole child for experiences and development in all areas of human experience. A Montessori education results in an independent, inquisitive, respectful, socialized, and educated whole child.
  • Is there a daily schedule my child will follow?
    Schools open early for before-school care at 7:00 a.m. All classrooms follow a similar academic day routine with an extended Montessori work time of two to three hours comprised of both individual and small group work, an outdoor recess time (weather permitting). Late afternoon child care is available after the academic day until 6:00p.m.
  • What is the 3- hour work cycle?
    This is a three-hour chunk of time in the morning in which the children receive presentations, choose materials, have snack, and work at their own pace on activities that interest them. As the work cycle begins, a child may wander around the room. They might socialize with classmates or look for work that he or she finds engaging. A teacher might give a lesson or guide a child to choose a specific material during this time.
  • If children are free to choose their own work, how do you ensure they receive a well-rounded education?"
    Montessori teachers, through our meticulous organization of NC State Standards and pacing will keep extensive records on all children’s work introduced, practiced, and mastered in the curriculum. Although the child has freedom to choose work, that choice is one within limits. The teacher will subtly step in with suggestions to move the child on through the entire curriculum, constantly reviewing the child’s work life.
  • Is there technology in the classroom?
    Montessori curriculum has no electronic technology as a part of the educational experience. The developmental period from 0 to 6 years is a sensorial time and information is gathered through hands-on experiences. The young child’s world is one of sensation and concrete experiences. Maria Montessori designed her Method with the philosophy that the hand is the teacher of the young child. Computers are a tool of the second developmental period of childhood from 6 to 9 years old, where the child moves to the world of abstraction. Our primary age students will have access to tablets and Smart Boards as teaching aids.
  • How does Woodmeadows Montessori report student progress?
    There are two formal parent/teacher conferences offered during the school year for a personal discussion of the children’s work. Informal teacher conferences are welcome anytime the parent requests. In the Pre-K environments more frequent daily and/or weekly notes are sent home regarding children’s daily activities and care. Parents are encouraged to come in and observe thier child at least once during the school year. This way you can enjoy watching your child enjoy thier "work"
  • How do children transition from Montessori to traditional school and will Woodmeadows Montessori prepare my child for public school?
    Children who complete the three-year cycle in a Montessori primary environment are developmentally ready to transition into the public or other private school setting. Maria Montessori discusses planes of development in her writings and has broken them down into three ages spans, birth to age 3, ages 3 to 6, ages 6 to 9, and so on. As a 6-year-old, the child is now ready to be part of a larger peer group and ready for a different level of learning. Ultimately, the goal of Woodmeadows Montessori program is to get your child ready for public school, and to prepare the child for life through the experiences in the Montessori environment.
  • How does the school communicate with parents?
    Most of our schools use email as the main communication with parents. School newsletters, classroom newsletters, teacher notes, and email blasts are utilized throughout the group but may differ by classroom need. Our schools offer monthly or quarterly Parent Education opportunities as a means of communicating the method and philosophy with parents.

Reference: “Frequently Asked Questions.” Montessori Unlimited, 26 Mar. 2021,

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