Maria Montessori believed that education was more than just an acquiring of knowledge or skills. She believed that it was, in its truest sense, an “aid to life”. The real meaning of the word education – from the Latin verb educare – means “to bring forth” or “to draw out”.

With that meaning in mind, a Montessori education strives to encourage and support the development of each individual so that every child can discover and reach his/her potential.

Maria Montessori - Italy 1952

Maria Montessori – Italy 1952

“What is required is a new world, full of miracles”

-Maria Montessori

The Montessori method was created by Maria Montessori in the early 1900’s. Dr. Montessori discovered that children teach themselves and each other. Her research led her to design a “prepared environment” where children choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities.

Montessori emphasizes doing, rather than just sitting and listening. Children learn at their own pace, making learning an exciting process of discovery, and leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline and a love of learning itself. Children are free to move about the room to pick different activities, in any subject–math, language, science, history, geography, art, music, etc.

Teachers are versed in all subjects, and trained to direct and oversee all the kids doing different activities at once. A Montessori teacher recognizes a child’s readiness to learn, and is a guide to him or her as the student pursues in interest or passion. The teacher uses individual or small-group lessons and a prepared environment to fuel the students’ learning.

The program puts children in broader age brackets, according to learning styles and interests. Children ages 3-6 are focused on the concrete ideas of the world right in front of them, so they learn well together.

Around age 6, a child will start thinking about more abstract ideas (like “how did someone figure out that the sun is 93,000,000 miles away…?”). We watch for this jump in thinking, and then move them into the age 6-9 group. Children 9-12 also match up well for their learning style. For every student, our teachers are attentive to each child, facilitating her or his interests and learning needs.

Discovery Academy is a fully-accredited private elementary school. We comply with all requirements set by the federal, state and local governments for elementary education.

Does it work…? Not only are our students typically happy and well-behaved, they often read, write and calculate beyond what conventional wisdom says would even be interesting to them.


    Montessori    Traditional
Based on the development of the child Based on the transfer of a national curriculum
Children follow their own interests and learn at their own pace Children learn from a set curriculum according to a preset time frame
Children teach themselves using specially prepared materials Children are taught by the teacher
Children develop their ability to discover for themselves Learning is based on subjects and based on what is given
Learning based on physical exploration of environment Children sit at desks and learn from worksheets and white boards
Teacher works with children Class is teacher led
Intrinsic Motivation Motivation through rewards and punishments
Uninterrupted work flow Block time, period lessons
Multi-age Classrooms Single-graded Classrooms