A Day in the Life
The children come to school at 8:30 a.m. Each child is greeted by the teacher at the door with a hand shake and a friendly "Good Morning". The young child is free to choose her/his activity, which Maria Montessori referred to as work. The Montessori classroom offers the children a three hour work cycle. During Montessori's observations of children, she noticed that:
"Left to themselves, the children work ceaselessly; they do not worry about the clock....after long and continuous activity the children's capacity for work does not appear to diminish, but to improve."
From 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. the child is afforded a three hour work cycle, which is interrupted only by an individual or group lessons by the teacher. The work cycle at CMS begins when the children enter the classroom at 8:30 a.m. The first half hour is mostly a restful time. At around 9:00 a.m. the child "will gravitate toward easy work that he already knows well. 9:30 a.m. is likely to bring restlessness and signs of false fatigue. But left to his own devices, the child will quickly settle down and become absorbed in new and more difficult occupations. So from about 9:30 - 11:00 or 11:30, the child must be allowed to stay focused on work of choice; when s/he has mastered the task at hand, s/he will emerge from the work cycle calm, refreshed, and accomplished."
The child is free to sit down at the snack table once during the morning. The outdoor environment is an important aspect of the child's education and each of the classrooms has an adjoining garden into which the child is free to go when s/he wishes.
The younger children leave school at 11:30 a.m. while children aged four and a half and older have the option of staying for the afternoon program.
After lunch and recess the children return to class. During the afternoon the teachers will spend much of the time giving more in-depth lessons to the older children.
Classes end at 3:00 p.m. when most children are picked up by their parents. For those families who need it, after school care is offered until 5:30 p.m.