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Kids R Kids Philosophy Compared to the Montessori Method

Who were Piaget and Montessori?


A Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget, identified different stages of mental growth of children. A child’s main concern in the early years was learning about physical objects and gaining motor control. As he grows, the child becomes more intrigued by communication--verbal skills, words, writing, and learning to read. As time goes on, abstract concepts such as relationships and logical reasoning are introduced and dealt with by the child.  Piaget’s method is most often called “hands on”, “theme based” or “center based” learning.

An Italian woman, Marie Montessori, developed a successful teaching method for working with mentally handicapped children who had very short attention spans. Her method today focuses on giving children a great deal of freedom and requiring only a brief attention span. When interested, a child may choose an activity to participate in and is free to leave the activity when interest decreases. Montessori believes a child can learn from self-discovery alone and without direction from a teacher.

Montessori’s and Piaget’s methods are very similar for children under the age of three. Emphasizing the development of motor skills using manipulative or "hands on" activities and lessons, both methods give children the freedom of choice and movement and are appropriate for a child’s short attention span. The methods differ in Piaget’s (Kids 'R' Kids) use of a scheduled naptime where all children lay down for a quiet time whereas Montessori’s method allows children to determine for themselves whether or not they need a nap. Piaget does not have older children in the toddler’s classrooms whereas Montessori often groups two-year-olds through five-year-olds together in the same classroom.


The differences in the teaching philosophies of Montessori and Piaget become apparent at preschool age. The child chooses what he wants to do and for how long in the “child-directed” activities of a Montessori classroom.

Kids 'R' Kids Piaget classrooms have advanced academic materials, teacher-directed lessons and incorporates “child-directed” activities as well. Routine is established to acknowledge there is a "time" to teach math, a "time" to do music, etc.  "Finishing your work" is a life skill concept developed. It is believed that routine helps children develop an inner self-discipline, though flexibility strongly remains in this method. The Piaget philosophy of learning better prepares children for the rigorous and high expectations of education from primary school through the college years and beyond.



Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academies (Piaget)

  • Uses manipulative or “hands on” activities to emphasize motor and verbal skill development. Lessons give children relative freedom of movement.
  • Both child-directed and teacher-directed.  Playtime, teaching time and naps occur on a schedule.
  • Follows the “Love and Logic” method of Redirection as a discipline tool.
  • Children are grouped by age.



  • Child-directed.  No scheduled learning times. When and how long to learn, play and nap is determined by child.
  • Uses manipulative or “hands on” activities to emphasize motor and verbal skill development.
  • Lessons allow relative freedom of movement for children.
  • Grouped in mixed ages: children from 2 years through 5 years are together.
  • No specific discipline tool, self-education experienced through self-correcting.



Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academies (Piaget)

  • Both child-directed and teacher-directed
  • Age-specific Curriculum and Classrooms
  • Role-play and realistic social experiences encouraged
  • Research-Based, hands-on method of teaching is adapted to each individual child's needs
  • Follows the “Love and Logic” method of Redirection as a tool for discipline
  • Freedom to speak (without disturbing others) as he pleases
  • Freedom to explore and move about the classroom while also having scheduled circle times



  • Child-directed only
  • Children of various ages in the same classroom
  • Less social experiences allowed, more individualized learning
  • Unstructured and flexible method of teaching
  • No specific discipline tool, self-education experienced through self-correcting
  • Silence is encouraged even at times of snack and lunch
  • No scheduled learning time




Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academies                           Montessori


Motto: Hug First, then Teach Motto: Respect of the Child
Nurturing prepared environment with center-based activities Nurturing prepared environment similar to home-living set up
Balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated activities during a typical day following a predictable schedule Predominantly child directed choices of activities available referred to as "child's work" without specific scheduled routines
Accredited curriculum by AdvancED based on developmental milestones of motor and verbal skills achievement by age Holistic curriculum dealing with all aspects of young child's acquisition of knowledge
Standards-based curriculum linked to national and state Pre-K Requirement standards Skill acquisition is based on sensitive periods of learning by individual child
Children grouped by age in six months increments Mixed age groups
Each day has specific teaching plans and scheduled routines Each day is driven by self interest of child with minimal interruptions
Large and small group planned activities to engage children Children urged to follow own interest and move at own pace
Staff of teachers exceed annual state training requirements AMI, AMS Certification preferred
Achievement assessment by specific learning goal with progress tracking in addition to anecdotal and portfolio evidence Assessment by anecdotal observations and portfolio evidence
Use of assessment tools for first grade readiness Children need to make transition into more traditional setting when leaving program


Kids 'R' Kids encourages parents to ask about any school's accreditation before enrolling. Checking an accreditation will provide assurance that a Montessori school is following the philosophy the name implies. Many different styles of Montessori are being practiced in the United States. Kids ‘R’ Kids is proud that our curriculum meets the standards for NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

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