In 1906, Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, educator, and women’s rights activist was invited to create a school for young children in San Lorenzo, a poor, inner-city district of Rome. There, she worked with some of the area’s most disadvantaged children.
She opened the Casa dei Bambini—Italian for “Children’s House on January 6, 1907. Dr. Montessori was determined to make the Casa a quality educational environment for these children, whom many had thought were unable to learn.
Through her engaging, hands-on learning experiences, Dr. Montessori observed that the children exhibited calm, peaceful behavior, periods of deep concentration, and a sense of order. She saw that the children absorbed knowledge from their surroundings, essentially teaching themselves. Using scientific observation, Dr. Montessori designed learning materials specifically for her method. These materials used multiple senses to understand concepts and sparked the children’s interest in learning.
Fast forward to 2023, in the U.S. alone, approximately 5,000 Montessori schools, including private, public, and faith-based schools, now serve over one million children, from infancy through adolescence. Thousands more Montessori schools exist worldwide.
Here at Crescent Ridge Academy, we have been working with children and families since 1967. Currently offering programs for children ages 2 through 6th grade as well as Montessori Teacher Education Program.
We strive to offer an unparalleled Montessori experience for families and educators alike, just like Dr. Montessori did over a century ago. Students learn through experiencing the excitement of learning by their own choice, rather than being forced; and students sharpen their own tools for learning that they will carry forward throughout their lives.
Our classrooms are designed to meet the needs of our students–with child sized materials, sinks, shelves, and furniture. Wall art is hung at the child’s eye level, and the classroom is truly theirs. There is no teacher’s desk and no focal point because the learning comes from the total environment. The space is flexible giving students the option to work on the floor, low tables, or in chairs.
Our faculty and staff are dedicated to an authentic Montessori experience for all. Faculty follow the lead of the child, observing their individual needs and interests, and demonstrating the correct use of materials as they are individually chosen by each student. A student’s achievements are only compared to their previous work and not compared to the achievements of their peers. Dr. Montessori wrote, “Never let a child risk failure until he has a reasonable chance of success.” A student’s internal satisfaction drives their curiosity and interest and results in joyous learning that is sustainable over a lifetime.
We are confident that when students advance on from CRA they take with them the skills and love of lifelong learning. “It is true we cannot make a genius; we can only give each individual the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities to become an independent, secure, and balanced human being,” Dr. Montessori wrote.