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The Montessori Curriculum

2½ to 6 years old

MCA small leaf icon This program is offered at our Chatham, Morristown, and Short Hills Campuses

Every aspect of the rich curriculum at The Montessori Children’s Academy is designed to be faithful to Dr. Montessori’s principles of early childhood education; principles that have been validated by current scientific and educational research. Dr. Montessori believed that learning is a natural process and that children learn best by doing. MCA’s shelves offer the most beautiful, well-designed and integrated Montessori materials available to stimulate children to follow their natural interests and to hone their skills. The elements of the traditional Montessori curriculum include:

Practical Life

Through exercises such as washing, lacing, pouring, and preparing food, children learn to care for themselves and their environment. At the same time, they build essential fine motor skills and interpersonal communication skills as they work cooperatively with their peers. Learning to concentrate, complete tasks, and build confidence pave the way for later academic success.


Students explore number concepts, geometry, money, time, weights, and measurements by using concrete, hands-on materials. The Golden Beads, Hundred Board, Stamp Game, and Spindle Boxes extend students’ knowledge and move them further toward more abstract concepts at a pace that is right for each child.

Language Arts

Phonics-based materials lead children through a natural and enjoyable acquisition of reading and writing skills. Using the extensive array of Montessori language materials in carefully sequenced order, children move seamlessly toward reading and the rules of grammar and punctuation. Sandpaper Letters, the Moveable Alphabet, Metal Insets, and the Montessori Farm are but some of the language materials available to students.


Long before learning styles were formally described, Dr. Montessori understood the advantages of teaching children how to acquire knowledge and information by utilizing all their senses. By using materials such as the Pink Tower, the Montessori Bells, and the Geometric Cabinet, children learn how to gain access to other cues that aid learning. Children also begin to appreciate their world from a multi-sensory perspective.

Science and Culture

Children’s natural curiosity about their world is fully unleashed as they experiment with magnets, simple machines, and properties of matter and as they explore the seasons, plant and animal life, and how things work. Culturally, children are introduced to the wide diversity of geography and national customs that make up our world, as well as the history of the universe through the use of Puzzle Maps and countless artifacts and models from local museums.


Dr. Montessori saw children as the guides – and our hope – to a more peaceful world. Every activity in the classroom is governed by the principles of respect, responsibility, and positive, meaningful interaction between children and adults. Children learn about peace through the use of stories and by example, settling differences through conflict resolution, and by practicing self-control throughout their classroom experiences. Of timeless importance, peace is a fundamental and important aspect of the curriculum and one that MCA values and supports.

“These words reveal the child’s inner needs: Help me to do it alone.”
Maria Montessori