The Montessori Guide

Montessori discovered that young children go through several "sensitive periods” during which they display an all-encompassing interest in a particular facet of the environment. This interest produces in the child an immense amount of intellectually-directed activity. The activity brings about the acquisition of that particular knowledge or skill which the child then masters with ease. For example, when the child reaches his second year, he begins to become very interested in the order of things in the world around him. The child expects familiar objects to be in their own specific place and craves consistency in the way every routine is carried out. If anything is disorderly or out of the ordinary, the child will probably protest or correct the change.

In the Montessori classroom, the trained adult acts as a guide for your child. With knowledge of the sensitive periods in mind, the guide is able to gently lead the child to the activities which will serve his needs to the fullest.


Ridgemont, which has served the McLean area since 1965, follows the philosophy and principles of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). AMI was founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori. In addition to their Bachelor’s degrees, all of Ridgemont’s teachers hold the AMI Primary diploma, having completed their year of study at an AMI teacher training center. Several of our teachers also hold a Master of Education degree.