What is Montessori?

Montessori is a proven education method that seeks to engage the whole child, nurturing independence, and cultivating confidence with respect. Lessons are presented to the children in a carefully prepared environment that creates interest and fosters concentration. Children are guided through the curriculum as they master various skills and progress at their own pace.

Maria Montessori once said that children do not need to learn how to use their imaginations, but they do need to learn how to work, and how to care for their environment. The method is based on these principles and the manipulatives that she developed.

Toddler Classroom

The Toddler Classroom, for children ages 2-3, is a joyful space where teachers begin to introduce the Montessori concepts, but still prioritize gross motor play, fun, and curiosity. They follow their own schedule as needed. The day consists of a shorter lesson time of 1-1.5 hours with group time for songs and stories, crafts, socialization, and snacks. There is an extra outdoor activity in the morning, weather permitting. This classroom is currently operating on a waitlist.

Student AgeEnrollment Options
2-32, 3 or 5 days a week, 8:30am – 1:00pm

Preschool Classroom

The Primary level, for children ages 3 – 6, encourages preschoolers to explore and discover, to collaborate with classmates, and become confident lifelong learners. The Montessori curriculum is designed to provide foundational building blocks for literacy, math, and science while fostering an environment of independence and creativity. Children must be 3 years old and fully potty trained prior to joining this class.

Student AgeEnrollment Options
3-42, 3 or 5 days a week, 8:30am – 1pm
4-52, 3 or 5 days a week, 8:30am – 1pm


Kindergarten completes the 3-year primary cycle in a Montessori classroom. They become the leaders of the classroom and serve as role models for younger students. They reinforce their knowledge by teaching concepts they have mastered to their peers. In their Kindergarten year, they express confidence, develop self-esteem and self-sufficiency, and show responsibility. They learn in a gentle environment shaped to their individual needs.

Kindergarten PathsEnrollment Options
Part-time kindergarten homeschool tutorial*Monday – Friday 8:30am – 1:00pm
Full-time kindergarten (includes aftercare)Monday – Friday 8:30am-3:00pm

*Kindergarten requirements vary by state. ELM’s part-time homeschool tutorial fulfills Tennessee’s requirement for a homeschool tutorial (180 days, four hours per day.)

Extended Care

ELM offers Extended Care on full school days for ages 3-5 years old. Extended Care is based on availability and must be reserved in advance.

BEFORE CARE8:00am – 8:30am
AFTER CARE1:00pm – 3:00pm