(734) 459-1550 msmith@dhmontessori.org

Our Early Childhood Communities

Ages 3 to 6

Montessori encourages children to learn from each other. The early childhood classroom, also known as the Children’s House, is comprised of up to 30 children aged three to six. The multi-age environment gives children the opportunity to learn from others. Children are given lessons individually or in small groups and encouraged to explore carefully selected and sequenced materials and activities to cultivate independence and concentration. The classroom and school communities tend to be rather stable, with just the oldest third moving on to the next level each year. With children growing together over many years, close relationships develop among the children and adults.


The Montessori Guide

The Children’s House is organized, arranged, and managed by trained Montessori educators. They are trained observers, carefully presenting activities to develop language, reading, math, music, art, practical life, and science skills when the child is developmentally ready.

It may take a moment to spot the teachers within the environment. They will normally be found working with one or two children at a time, advising, presenting a new lesson, or quietly observing the class at work. 


montessori - guide

The Prepared Environment

We refer to our Montessori classrooms as a “prepared environment.” This name reflects the care and attention given to creating a learning environment that reinforces the children’s independence, creativity, imagination, and intellectual development. The children tend to become so involved in their work that visitors are immediately struck by the peaceful atmosphere, frequently remarking on how the classrooms feel comfortable, safe, and calm.

Montessori classrooms tend to fascinate children and their families. They are bright, warm, and inviting, filled with plants, animals, art, music, and books. They are equipped with intriguing learning materials, mathematical models, maps, charts, artifacts, scientific materials, a natural science center, music, and art. Food preparation and flower arranging invite collaboration. 

In her book, The Montessori Method, Dr. Montessori describes the transformation that took place during the first few months of school, as the children evolved into a “family.” They prepared and served the daily meals, washed the pots and dishes, helped the younger children bathe and change their clothes, swept, cleaned, and worked in the garden. These very young children developed a sense of maturity and connectedness that helped them realize a much higher level of their potential as human beings. 

boy addition
boy smiling
washing dish

The Children’s House

This is the children’s community. They move freely within it, selecting work that captures their interest rather than participating in all-day lessons and projects selected by the teachers. In a genuine sense, even young children are responsible for the care of their own child-sized environments. When they are hungry, they prepare their own snack and drink. They go to the bathroom without assistance. When something spills, they help each other carefully clean things up. 

Since the first Children’s House opened in 1907, parents have been amazed to see small children in Montessori classrooms cut raw fruits and vegetables, sweep and dust, carry pitchers of water, and pour liquids with barely a drop spilled.

The children normally go about their work so calmly and purposely that it is clear to even the casual observer that they are the masters in this environment: a “Children’s House.” It is here, in the Children’s House, that children develop good work habits and a sense of responsibility for their work and the environment. The goal is for children to learn how to take care of themselves, others, and the world around them.

girl reading

“We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.” ~Maria Montessori