Southern NH Montessori Academy

The Montessori Way

Education for Life
The Montessori experience at SNHMA sets the stage for self-motivated, life-long learning. Skills such as thinking critically, working collaboratively, and acting boldly, now recognized as “21st century skills,” have always been at the core of Maria Montessori’s child centered approach to education. At SNHMA curiosity, exploration, discovery, collaboration, and independence are fostered alongside academic skills in a warm, thoughtfully designed learning environment.

The Montessori Classroom
The Montessori classroom provides an opportunity for the child to reach their maximum potential through experiential learning. Under the guidance and encouragement of our Montessori trained teachers, children can choose to work at tables or on the floor and materials are designed to be explored and repeated, cultivating a child’s natural curiosity.

The Three-Year Cycle
One of the hallmarks of the Montessori Method is the multi-aged grouping of students, allowing for interaction and reinforcement between experienced and younger children. Younger children can learn from their older peers who act as mentors and role models while reinforcing their own learning by teaching. This three-year cycle mirrors the real world and fosters a sense of responsibility and social care.

Freedom Within Limits
In a Montessori classroom, children become active participants in choosing what the focus of their learning will be within the parameters set by their teachers. Long periods of uninterrupted work time allow students to engage in meaningful, interesting, self-directed work and learn at their own pace in an environment that balances developmentally appropriate freedom with responsibility.

Montessori Today
Remarkably, Maria Montessori’s visionary ideas and concepts remain viable and have profoundly influenced the entire educational landscape. Today Dr. Montessori’s visionary ideas flourish as the cornerstone of a thriving educational practice. There are thousands of Montessori schools throughout the U.S.

“We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”

– Maria Montessori

Montessori philosophical principles

The Montessori philosophy is a holistic view of children that builds on natural curiosity and develops a love of learning by creating environments which foster the fulfillment of children’s highest potential.
Deep respect for children as individuals.
Multiage classes allow teachers to develop close and long-term relationships with their students and to know each child’s learning style well. The multiage structure encourages older students to become role models, mentors, and leaders to younger students.
Integrated curriculum is carefully structured and connects subjects within programs (e.g. history and cultural arts) to maximize the opportunity for learning. It builds from program to program to support children’s progress from concrete to abstract learning.
Independence is nurtured and leads children toward becoming purposeful, motivated, and confident in their own abilities.
Peace and conflict resolution are taught daily and children learn to be part of a warm, respectful, and supportive community.
Through experiences, interactions, and environments, in a very real sense each child creates the adult that is to be. 
Character development is a central focus of Montessori curriculum.
Hands-on learning is central to the curriculum in all programs and leads to children being engaged rather than passive with their work.
The environments are responsibly and carefully prepared with multisensory, sequential, and self-correcting materials to support self-directed learning.
Teachers and children and teachers and parents work together as a warm and supportive community.
Self-expression is nurtured in all children. Children experience art, music, poetry, theater, writing, and other forms of creative arts with confidence and passion.

Benefits of a Montessori Education

  • Emphasis on cognitive structures & social development
  • Teacher’s role is unobtrusive; child actively participates in learning
  • Environment & method encourage internal self-discipline
  • Individual & group instruction adapts to each student’s learning style
  • Mixed age grouping
  • Children encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other
  • Child chooses own work based upon own interests and abilities
  • Child formulates concepts from self-teaching materials
  • Child works as long as s/he wants on chosen project
  • Child sets own learning pace to internalize information
  • Child spots own errors through feedback from material
  • Learning is reinforced internally through child’s own repetition of activity and internal feelings of success
  • Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration & development
  • Organized program for learning care of self and environment
  • Child can work where s/he is comfortable, moves & talks at will (yet doesn’t disturb others); group work is voluntary & negotiable.
  • Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy & participate in the learning process

Copyright American Montessori Society. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.