What is the Montessori Method?

Based on the understanding that every child is a lover of work and play, the Montessori method recognizes the child’s desire and need to learn by doing. The Montessori method, respectful of the child as an individual, allows the child a measure of liberty, not license. Each child is guided by the Montessori teacher toward activities suitable to the individual child’s developmental needs. Allowed choice without competition and coercion, the child is freed from the feelings of inferiority often present in a competitive environment.

How is Montessori different from traditional pre-schools?

The Montessori method clearly values the advantage of interaction between the younger and older child allowing for the development of cooperative social and academic skills. In comparison to a traditional pre-school, Montessori focuses on development of a variety of skills that will be of great value throughout the child’s life. Exposing the children to practical life play, multi-sensory activities and cognitive development, Montessori fosters a well-rounded and self-confident child.

Why do children go 5 days a week instead of 2 or 3 like at other “Montessori” schools?

Some schools offer modified or abbreviated Montessori teaching methods. The Phoenix School adheres fully to the principles developed by Dr. Maria Montessori and utilizes Montessori-approved materials to support all aspects of a true Montessori learning and growth experience for your child. It is our belief that children not only benefit but flourish when offered the continuity of a 5-day school week.

Doesn’t Montessori pressure children too much when they should be playing?

The activities most pre-schools offer – from drawing & painting and art & crafts to singing and having books read to them – are similar to the activities most children can do at home with their families or friends.

The Montessori method offers individual and group activities designed to develop self-confidence and inner motivation. We emphasize learning to read, write and develop beginning math skills while interacting peacefully and cooperatively with others. Children have a lot of fun while they are learning. Teachers are trained to spot a child’s developmental level and would never pressure a child to learn something that is beyond his or her capability.

Aren’t the social skills traditional pre-schools emphasize more important to a child’s development?

The Montessori classroom with its mixed age levels emphasizes cooperation and respect of a child’s peers. While children often work individually they also interact with children below and above their age and developmental level. They learn patience, cooperation and peaceful coexistence – skills that are essential to a child’s well being. Because of this background, Montessori children are typically better adjusted when they move to a traditional classroom.

How do Montessori children adjust to traditional classrooms when they go on to first grade?

Children educated in the Montessori method have an advantage when they move into a traditional classroom. Their self esteem and academic skills are typically superior to that of other children of their age. They will make a better adjustment accepting and conforming to the rules and structure of the classroom than other children because they have had a positive experience with a structured classroom environment.

When do I need to sign up?

In a word, now. Contracts are signed beginning in January each year for the following Fall. Returning students and their siblings are given first priority. Children whose names are on our waiting list are given the next opportunity to enroll. To secure your place in line we encourage you to get your child on the waiting list as soon as possible.

What is the difference between the half day and extended day programs?

The half day program is open to all students. The younger children ( 2 1/2 – 4 years) participate in the half day program only, which ends each day before lunch. The extended day program is reserved for children 4 years and older and they bring their lunch. After lunch and a rest period the students have more of an opportunity to focus on reading, math and cultural activities.

How old does a child need to be to start Montessori?

The basic requirement is that the child must be at least 2 1/2 years old and potty trained. The practical life and sensorial materials of the Montessori method are perfect for a 2 1/2 year old child. A 2 year old loves to pour, wash, polish, take apart, put together, touch, feel and hear the world around him. These activities promote confidence, self esteem and set the stage for the reading and math activities that come later.

Where is The Phoenix Montessori School located?

The Phoenix Montessori School is conveniently located just West of State Line Road between 103rd Street and I-435 at 2013 West 104th Street in Leawood, Kansas. View it on a map.

Additional Resources

For more information on Montessori, please visit: