The Montessori curriculum offers opportunities for children to learn at their own pace: hungry learners
are never held back by peers. Students begin with an introductory lesson from the guide, but then even
abstract concepts are learned first through their hands, using the specially prepared Montessori
materials. Unlike traditional schooling under Common Core, abstract concepts are not hurled at young
elementary students via dictation and trudging through worksheet after worksheet. Rather, Montessori
students absorb ideas through hands-on exploration and experiential learning.

In Language Arts, for example, children receive a phonics lesson and then get to explore it by
manipulating a range of items to cement the concept, from wooden letters that can form words or
matching figurines and pictures to words. Building great writing happens later by piecing together
the wooden sentence analysis symbols and asking, “What pieces (words) can we add to make this sentence
better?” In math, solving problems using a variety of math and geometry materials illuminates concepts
differently so each learner will be successful. The study of arts and sciences often takes the form of
projects that provide learners the chance to research and demonstrate what they learned by writing
about it, drawing it, or building it. Frequently, they teach peers about their topic, creating practiced
public speakers. The study of culture is often collaborative since Montessori works with their
burgeoning social nature: there is no ‘cheating’ in our classrooms but instead we help one another
learn.  Students are offered opportunities, but it is always their choice to grow and learn, or not.