Why Now?

The basic principle in the Montessori philosophy of education is that children carry within themselves to forms of genetic code with the qualities of the person they can or will become. Part of the code is physical—the color of their hair or eyes, their height, etc. But part of the plan, Dr. Montessori proposed, is a psychical plan—certain times when children develop a compulsion for a need or interest that they seek to discover in their environment. She called these times sensitive periods.

It is during these times that children will acquire skills more readily and thoroughly than at any other time in their lives. However, children are not consciously aware of, and therefore not capable of communicating, these needs. They are transitory, can never be regained and once realized, they disappear. Some of the sensitive periods found in three to six year olds include:

Order: a desire for consistency and repetition, routines and carefully established ground rules. Children can be deeply disturbed by disorder and express their displeasure through tantrums. (usually ages 2-4)


Refinement of the senses: Children learn to observe and make increasingly refined discriminations in their experiences with sound, touch, weight, smell and taste (ages 2-6)


Writing: Children attempt to reproduce letters and numbers on paper, even before they can read them (ages 3-4)


Reading: Spontaneous interest in the sounds of each letter and in formation of words (ages 3-5)


Spatial relationships: the ability to work complex puzzles, find one’s way around the neighborhood, or otherwise form impressions about relationships in space (ages 4-6)


Expressive language: the use of words to communicate (birth-age 6)


Small objects: a fixation on tiny details and small objects that leads to fine muscle control (ages 1-4)


Music: the development of melody, pitch and rhythm (ages 2-6)


Math: the formation of the concepts of quantity and operations through the use of concrete, manipulative materials (birth-age 6)


Grace and Courtesy: the internalization of polite and considerate behavior through imitation of others (ages 2-6)


Montessori believed that children will accomplish a more concrete development of their unique capabilities if they meet three conditions:

    • the adult’s knowledge of child development and the sensitive periods;
    • observation by the trained adult to determine which sensitive period the child has entered, and
    • a prepared classroom environment that satisfies each sensitive period.

Montessori also believed that if a child’s environment does not contain what the child’s seeks, the child’s full potential would not be reached, and the child’s personality would be permanently be stunted.

Recently, research on optimal learning conditions has verified Dr. Montessori’s insights into the sensitive periods. When the classroom and teacher are child-centered, children will learn more, and with greater comprehension. When children are allowed to make choices, move about the classroom, and explore objects that demonstrate relationships, they will learn with deeper understanding.

Children at Midwest Montessori enjoy optimal learning conditions because of our beautifully prepared classroom environments and our knowledgeable teaching staff that are well trained in child development. When they recognize through observation that children are entering a sensitive period, they are able to guide them to the perfect activities to meet their inner needs.


Full Day

7:30 - 5:30*

School Day

8:30 - 3:00

Half Day and Lunch

8:30 - 1:00

Half Day

8:30 - 11:30

*optional care until 6pm available.

Give your 3 to 6 year old a nurturing foundation for a lifetime of joyful learning!

Our Montessori programs are designed to help your child reach his or her fullest potential.