Five Freedoms in the Montessori Primary

Here at CMS we educate children for life. We follow the child and guide their social, emotional, and academic development with the goal of raising adaptable individuals who know how to learn and how to be responsible community members. This requires that we offer your child freedoms that do not exist in traditional pre-school, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school programs.

The following freedoms guide the classrooms at CMS. When these freedoms are present, they offer the opportunity to become spontaneously engaged in activity. This spontaneous engagement is absolutely essential to the growth of the child because only here will independence, self-discipline, self-confidence, self-mastery, and responsibility emerge.

1. Freedom of choice of activity: This is the most significant freedom in the classroom. Each child chooses his/her own work at any given moment in time. This freedom allows the child to confirm and follow his/her own interest, which creates a deeper understanding and absorption of the knowledge built into the work.

2. Freedom of movement: Children are able to move about the classroom as they deem necessary to their work. Some may choose to work at a desk or a rug while others may be working in the outside environment. A child may choose to work independently or may find friends to work with or near. Current neuroscience research demonstrates the connection between physical movement and cognition.

3. Freedom to interact socially:
Children are free to socialize. This spontaneous interaction, not directed by an adult, is essential to social development.

4. Freedom to work for as long as they choose: This freedom allows the spontaneous engagement in an activity to continue for as long as the child is engaged.

5. Freedom to reflect upon their learning: A child does not require that work be in front of them at all times for learning to take place. Deeper understanding of work frequently happens during reflective periods at the end of a work cycle.

Respect for the other individuals in the classroom and respect for the materials in the environment limit these freedoms with healthy boundaries. Children are guided by “grace and courtesy lessons”, which teach them what respect for the others looks like. As freedoms are given, so are great responsibilities: to demonstrate care for self, others, and the environment.

Come see freedom and responsibility in action in our Primary community: contact our Admissions office to schedule a visit!

Caroline Duffy
Admissions Director