The children seem to choose their own work in Montessori classes. Do you provide any curriculum to ensure they still progress in all subject areas?

Montessori schools differ in how much guidance they provide in the elementary grades. At COMS we believe in freedom within limits: our teachers have a clearly defined curriculum that each child is expected to master over the three years in lower elementary, and they offer children a lot of choices in the particular way they master this curriculum. For example, every week the child agrees to a “work contract” with her teacher, which outlines the works she needs to complete over the course of the week. This required work typically can be done in four days, leaving the equivalent of one day a week for the child to dive deeper in areas she is most interested in. It also leaves the child much freedom of choice: she can decide when she wants to do which work. One week she can spend a whole day on math or writing; the next week she can decide to do a few hours on each subject every day for variety.