Tender Years vs. Montessori

Tender Years Programs

Traditional Montessori Programs

The classroom is “prepared" for children to be self-directed at many different and developmentally appropriate activities.

The classroom is a "prepared environment" where children freely choose activities.

Tender Years incorporates multi-sensory instruction (visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, smell and taste) into its daily curriculum to facilitate children’s ability to learn and recall information.

Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading.

Tender Years’ goal is that in partnership with parents, many opportunities will be provided for children to develop a love for life-long learning.

Montessori Learning is an exciting process of discovery, which leads to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.

Tender Years recognizes that growth is a sequential and orderly process of developmental stages and strives to foster the growth of each child to his/her highest potential for learning is a journey, not a race.

Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace.

Cultural Studies (Native American, Inuit, China, Mexico, France)

Cultural Studies

Practical life activities are incorporated each day (care of self {dressing oneself – zipping and buttoning} and belongings, self help, building independence, and self reliance, manners, walking in line etc.)

Practical life activities include lessons in polite manners, such as folding hands, sitting in a chair, walking in line

All learning styles are valued, fostered and accommodated for following the multiple intelligences theory of Dr. Howard Gardner.

All kinds of intelligences and styles of learning are nurtured.

Extensive assessment is completed formally as well as by student portfolio, teacher's observation and record keeping. An extensive final narrative is written and prepared for kindergarten entrance.

Assessment is by portfolio and the teacher's observation and record keeping.

Parent / teacher conferences multiple times per year.

These options and services vary depending on the Montessori program.

Parent involvement is welcomed and encouraged in the classroom, on fieldtrips and on parent advisory board.


Experiential learning opportunities thru local field trips.


School community building functions such as Holiday Pot Luck Dinner, Ice Cream Socials, Mom’s and Dad’s Nights, Pancake Breakfast, Formal pre-k graduation celebration, year-end keepsake DVD


Awareness of those in need through sponsorship of a Safe Passage 4 yr old classroom in Guatemala City, Guatemala