New Horizon Montessori School
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History of Montessori
Montessori Principles
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The Montessori curriculum is rich in academics and cultural studies. Character development is equally important.

Click HERE to visit the Montessori blog about the classrooms at New Horizon

New Horizon offers a full complement of Montessori materials along with teachers who are fully prepared in the Montessori method of education. The classrooms are vibrant centers of student-directed learning where the adults facilitate academic and social development.  


~Learning to care for oneself and one's environment through lessons in: grooming, dressing, pouring liquids and solids, using sponges and scrub brushes, mopping, dish washing, food preparation, washing clothes, and other activities. 

These are real activities, not make-believe. The children find real joy and self-esteem in doing productive work.

~Special teaching materials for developing the senses and academic skills including:  color, texture, weight, dimension, sound, music, taste, smell, temperature, stereognostics and geometry.  

These activities refine the children's sense of perception, which will increase their ability to differentiate and catalog all later learning.

~Sound games for developing the children's ears lead into analysis of the sounds found in short phonetic words.  Writing ability is developed through pencil exercises using special apparatus.  The sounds of letters are taught through various "games" and lessons.  The shapes and "feel" of letters, as well as the phonetic sounds of letters, are taught by tracing sandpaper letters with two fingers.  This helps children learn  all of the skills for reading and writing as simple independent lessons.  When skills are mastered, a spontaneous synthesis of knowledge and coordination  occurs. This results in reading and writing of phonetic words.  After children can synthesize increasingly longer phonetic words, they learn non-phonetic elements one at a time.

~Beginning with concrete materials  children learn the quantities to ten.  Simultaneously, they learn the symbols for the quantities.  Finally, they learn to combine the symbols with the quantities for a true understanding of numbers. The same approach is used with fractions and the decimal system.  As the children gain confidence they learn how to manipulate the concrete materials to perform the basic math operations using thousands, hundreds, tens, units.  They also duplicate the procedure with the abstract number cards.  Eventually, they no longer need the concrete materials to perform the operations.  As a result of this method the children have a firm conceptual grasp of abstract mathematical operations.

~Classification cards and lessons in learning the  parts of animals and plants are the first introductions to science and nature study.  Intuitively, with the help of the materials, the children learn how to differentiate the classifications in the animal and plant kingdoms.  Simple science experiments are also available for the children to use in  the discovery of natural laws.

~Children begin learning history with time lines.  These show the development of life, presidents, a person, etc. by using pictures to show change.  The children place the pictures on the time lines in the proper sequence.

Some examples of lessons are briefly described here.  Land and water trays which depict basic forms (such as island, peninsula, isthmus, etc.) show the land forms three dimensionally so  when the children pour water in the trays an island becomes an island in a miniature sea.  A land and water globe (showing no political divisions) provides a picture of the world in its true form, a sphere with oceans and land.  Later a continent globe is introduced which shows each continent in a different color.  These colors correspond to picture packets of the continents and a color coded puzzle-map.  Other puzzle-maps show each continent divided into countries and the United States into states.  The knobs on the puzzle-maps locate the capitol of each country or state.

ELEMENTARY (through 6th grade)

The Montessori elementary class is designed to allow  children to take advantage of the foundation they have built in the early childhood class. At the elementary level the work becomes more abstract and detailed as the students are able to integrate the concepts they absorbed earlier  Many of the materials found in the early childhood classroom are duplicated for use in the elementary so that the children may make further discoveries with them.  There is an overall integration of the subjects. The children begin with the large view and progress toward greater and greater detail.

The approach to learning changes somewhat in the elementary since the children are developmentally different at this age. The peer group becomes more important to the elementary children.  They work best when they can work together with other children and help each other with difficult tasks.

There are some major differences between Montessori and traditional classroom situations.   Competition is minimal since all the children are encouraged to develop respect and understanding of the needs and differences of others in the group.  Each child progresses according to individual needs, which also reduces competition.  A related difference is that the children do not receive grades in Montessori school.  They work for their own satisfaction.  The teachers evaluate each student's progress and introduce new challenges as needed.  Written progress reports are sent home every nine weeks and parent/teacher conferences are encouraged throughout the year.

Different personalities and learning styles are recognized and addressed. Some children learn better through reading, while others prefer something more concrete.  Some students like to cover several different subjects every day, but others prefer to concentrate on one subject until they have completely satisfied their curiosity.  

Since the students have the freedom of choice, they usually choose the method of learning which best suits their needs.  Every child is different, and these differences are encouraged and respected.  Children are free to choose work as it interests them and progress as their ability allows.  Children are monitored closely by the teachers and are encouraged to work in those areas of study which are not eventually chosen, but they are not forced to study areas at any particular time or in only one way. 

This natural approach to leaarning normally results in students who are highly motivated. They also develop organizational skills that serve them well in later years. Probably the most important characteristic that Montessori children acquire is an abiding love of learning. 

The Montessori Blog

For a better idea of the atmosphere at New Horizon Montessori, visit the web log of teacher, Aleta Ledendecker. Although this is primarily for parents of enrolled children, all visitors are welcome.

Click here to visit the Montessori Blog

New Horizon Montessori School
913 East Cumberland Drive
Louisville, TN 37777

(865) 970-4322

New Horizon Montessori
Inspiring Children to Reach Their Human Potential since 1978!