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District Montessori Program

Renfrew Montessori District program is committed to providing a rich learning environment for all its students based both on Montessori principles and on fulfilling the expectations of the Ministry of Education for all schools. Teachers collaborate to ensure that the Montessori philosophy underlies all educational decisions at Renfrew.

Please view VSB website for registration information: 


Background on Montessori Philosophy

Montessori schools have been in existence for over 100 years in both private and public school settings in countries around the world.

Montessori education was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori and was based on her scientific observations of the behaviour of young children. It was her observation that young children learn best in a nurturing environment, filled with developmentally appropriate materials that provide experiences contributing to the growth of self-motivated, independent learners.

Montessori philosophy and methodology has influenced much of what is considered “best practice” in our elementary schools today. This includes a focus on child-centered, developmentally appropriate, authentic “hands-on” learning experiences. Montessori education fosters the development of an inquiring mind and an appreciation for one’s place in the physical environment, and one’s responsibility as a citizen of the world.

Continuing Montessori at Home

Encouraging order, independence and self-motivation are fundamental basics to the Montessori philosophy. Classrooms are carefully designed and set up to allow children to develop their abilitities in caring for themselves and their surroundings. Children are always very proud when they can say "I did it myself." Their confidence increases and so does their desire to take on new challenges and learn from their activiities.

Parents also have a role in their child's Montesorri education. Continuing the Montessori principles in your home helps to reinforce the principles learned in the classroom. Here are some ways that you can help your child:

Create an ordered environment

Have a place for everything, at a level accessible to the child - children will know where to find things and where to put them away when they are done

  • put their clothing in shelves or drawers that they can reach on their own - use hooks or rods installed at lower levels in the closet
  • put snacks and food on a lower shelf in the pantry or the fridge so they can get it themselves
  • put drinks into small, manageable pitchers or containers so the child can pour his/her own drink. Have the glasses within their reach and provide a cloth for them to clean up spills.
  • keep small stools available in kitchen and bathroom so they can reach the sink - this also allows them to assist with meal preparation
  • rather than having one large toy box, arrange toys and games into trays or baskets on accessible shelving. Be sure to categorize similar items

Teach them real life skils

In the classroom this is known as practical life. This allows the child to be independent and build confidence but it also teaches the skills that everyone needs in real life. Some chores that you your child should be encouraged to perform are:

  • wash the table
  • setting the table and clearing the table
  • washing or drying dishes
  • preparing their own school lunches and assisting with family meal preparation
  • helping to put groceries away
  • helping to sort laundry
  • putting their own laundry in the hamper
  • folding clothes
  • sweeping the floor, dusting furniture, other light housekeeping
  • making their own beds
  • taking out the garbage

These are just some of the things that children can help with. Every home is
different and there may be other chores that your child can perform in your own
home. Remember to teach them how to perform the task and give them the time to
do it. Repeat the lessons if necessary. Each task your child masters will add to
his/her confidence and self esteem.

Encourage reading

  • Read to your child.
  • Point at words as your saying them.
  • Ask your child questions about the book after you've finished.
  • Have your child read the simpler words.


  • ask your child to help prepare the shopping list
  • have them write greeting cards
    • write out the greeting on a piece of paper and have them transfer to the card
  • encourage family members to exchange letters with the child - they love getting mail , which helps with reading
  • have them write "stories" to go along with a photograph or a picture they drew
  • play games that encourage writing such as Boggle, hangman, crosswords


  • play board games - this is not only fun for the whole family but the children learn to count moving spaces, count the dots on the dice etc. Bonus - it also teaches fair play and sportsmanship. 
  • have them count out items while they are setting the table, making grocery lists etc
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