Montessori faqs

I haven't heard of Montessori before is it a new system?

Montessori schools have been in existence for over a hundred years. The first Montessori school was established in Italy in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori.

Why do children have to start Children's House at three years of age?

HRIMS is committed to preserving the integrity and authenticity of all of our programs. Because the Children's House Program is a three year program, a child entering at age four or later will have already missed a significant part of what they program has to offer.

Montessori classrooms look so different from traditional classrooms; there are no student or teacher desks and lots of movement in the room.  Why?

The Montessori classroom is a child-centered environment. The teacher is not the focal point of the class but rather circulates about the room, giving lessons, guidance or assistance as needed.  Children are free to work at tables or on floor mats where they can spread out their materials and engage or collaborate with other students on their work. This facilitates the child's need for movement and independence.

Are children allowed to do whatever they want in the classroom?

Montessori children are free to choose within limits and have only as much freedom as they can handle with appropriate responsibility. Choice is built into the curriculum at all levels, but children do follow a curriculum in all academic areas.

How do the teachers ensure that students don't focus on one preferred subject or classroom area if there are so many choices?

The teachers ensure that children are given lessons, practice and are progressing at their own appropriate pace in all subject areas. 

How do Montessori schools compare academically to traditional schools?

Montessori classrooms encourage deep learning of the concepts behind academic skills rather than rote practice and memorization of abstract techniques. Students are prepared to become confident, self-reliant critical thinkers with good study habits. One of the many things that set Montessori apart from traditional education is that we focus on teaching for understanding not merely for the acquisition of facts.  The benefits of this open-ended and richly varied curriculum are not often fully recognized nor appreciated until later years. Many former students come back year after year, relating stories of how advanced math and geometry classes are now so easy for them. They can always “visualize” the Montessori materials and make the connections between the abstract ideas and the very concrete materials that they remembered from their early years. 

What is the advantage of the mixed age groups in each program?

The diversity of ages affords the children the opportunity to learn from each other and because of each other. The child learns to cooperate with children of different ages, to respect and celebrate each other's efforts, to take care of themselves, others and their environment.  The classroom becomes a thriving community where children are treated with respect and dignity and where they learn, in turn, to treat others with respect and dignity.

How do the teachers assess student performance, especially at the elementary level, if there is no standardized testing?

Parents of children at all levels at HRIMS meet at least twice a year in conference with their children's teachers to learn more about classroom work and social development. The Montessori teachers keep extensive records of lessons given and work practiced, along with individualized observations of the child's work in the classroom.
Students at the Upper Elementary level are given the opportunity to take a standardized test during their final year and are taught time management and test-taking skills to prepare them for middle school.

Why is there no homework?

Rather than assigning traditional workbook type homework, we encourage parents to provide a rich learning environment at home where the child can build on the work they initiated at school. This approach supports the Montessori philosophy that when the school day is structured differently, work is completed during school hours so that the children can spend the latter part of the day in activities with family and friends. Elementary students often choose to take work home with them or to work on long-term projects in conjunction with the teacher.

Will my child benefit if he is unable to complete the entire Children's House program?

The Montessori Children's House program is very carefully and specifically designed to be a three-year program. The curriculum is based on this cycle, each year building solidly on the previous year. The third and final year is the culmination and integration of all that has taken place during the first two years and is usually when the Montessori child truly “blossoms”.

Will my child benefit if he is unable to complete the entire Elementary program?

The Montessori Elementary Program is a six-year program and although a child will benefit from any amount of time spent in a Montessori classroom, neither the experience nor the outcomes are fully realized if a child leaves before completing the program.

What happens after Montessori?

Elementary graduates have gone on a variety of settings including public, private and Montessori school settings. Feedback from our graduates indicates that they successfully transition to the next level and consciously build on their Montessori experience, finding it has given them a solid academic base along with a diverse set of interpersonal skills. The Montessori approach focuses on educating the whole child, and because of this our graduates are well-rounded young people.

Hrims faqs

How long has HRIMS been in operation?

HRIMS was founded in 1992.

Is HRIMS affiliated with any religion?

No, HRIMS is an independent private school that follows the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori.

What type of training is required of teachers?

All of our Montessori teachers (called guides) must be Montessori trained by an accredited Montessori training program such as AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) or AMS (American Montessori Society). Montessori training is generally done at a graduate level and many of our teachers hold Master's Degrees.

How many students currently attend HRIMS?

HRIMS currently serves over 100 students ranging in ages from 16 months to 12 years.

Do you offer summer programs?

We offer eight weeks of Summer Programs for both the Children’s House and Toddler Students.

How may parents participate in the school community?

HRIMS has an active Parent Association who facilities and coordinates events and opportunities for families to participate in and contribute to the school. Additionally, the teachers provide occasions for parents to be involved in the classrooms.

Can my child attend less than five days a week?

No, we only offer five day programs at all levels.

Is lunch included for Full Day students?

No, students bring a packed lunch and drink. 

For additional information about the Montessori method, as well as the world's leading Montessori organizations, click the Resources button below: