Academics at AIMS

A Montessori education focuses on preparing the whole child (cognitive, physical, social, and emotional needs) for life with an emphasis on knowledge, problem-solving, and creative thinking.  Globally, those who have benefitted from a Montessori education can be found excelling in many fields, especially those calling for creativity and inventiveness, such as the founders of Google, Amazon, and Wikipedia.

"The former Montessori students here are shining is a breath of fresh air to get these students because they are well-developed socially, academically and emotionally." 

 -Lisa Crowley, Guidance Counselor, Fernandina Beach Middle School

Toddler (18 MO - 3 YRS)

Toddlers absorb an immense amount of knowledge from their environment and have a need for love, understanding and empathy. Students of this age require information, logical limits, flexibility and support. The focus is upon physical and human needs that respond to the rapid and conflicting changes of this age, rather than curriculum or materials. Toilet learning is part of the classroom curriculum. 


Teachers support students' abilities, choice of work, development of practical life skills and satisfaction in growing independence. The teacher must prepare and maintain a controlled, stimulating and need-fulfilling environment based on sensitive periods and order. Both verbal and non-verbal cues of the child are observed in order to assist, rather than hinder, the child's progress.


Toddler Program Goals:

• Help the child through parent separation;

• Assist in developing a positive self-image;

• Develop large and small motor control;

• Develop age-appropriate social skills;

• Assist parents in gaining insight into their child's physical, emotional and intellectual development.

The Toddler curriculum is based on 6 integrated developmental areas: sensory and perceptual, cognitive, physical, gross and fine motor, self-help skills, and social/emotional development. The learning environment fosters freedom of movement, integrates daily routines, and provides experiences that develop a child’s growth and independence.

Primary (3 - 6 YEARS)

Maria Montessori discovered that every child goes through periods of great sensitivity in particular areas during which he or she learns more easily than any other time in his or her life. The Primary Program is designed to make the most of these periods of sensitivity. Learning experiences are brought to life as the child discovers concepts and puts them to practical use. The joy of learning is the natural result and the child is eager to explore and learn more. Children are offered a challenging academic program utilizing individual, small group lessons, along with an education of the heart, which nurtures self-confidence and personal creativity.


Primary Program Goals:

• Guide each child in the use of manipulatives that are designed to give the child a new experience and to develop a specific concept;  

• Aid each child in developing initiative, self-awareness, communication skills and a sense of community;

• Help each child develop within an excellent foundation for creative learning;

• Assist each child in building a habit of concentration.

The Early Childhood curriculum integrates the core areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, Peace and Cosmic Education, and Cultural Subjects. The learning environment is student-centered and self-directed. It promotes the development of order, coordination, concentration, and independence.

Elementary programs

The Elementary Program is split into two groups: Lower Elementary, which serves children ages 6-9 and Upper Elementary, which serves children ages 9-12. The Elementary curriculum integrates the core subjects of Mathematics (including geometry and algebra), Biological and Physical Sciences, Technology, Language Arts and Literature, History, Physical and Political World Geography, Civics, Economics, Anthropology, Peace and Cosmic Education, Art, Music, Additional/World Language (Spanish), and Physical Education. Individually-paced academic progress allows students to explore their interests and acquire the mastery of basic skills and knowledge. The learning environment is student-centered and designed to promote the development of organizational and time management skills, conflict resolution skills, concentration, independence, cooperations, and collaboration. 

Elementary Goals:

• Develop self-confident, independent thinkers who are interested in the world and enthusiastic about life;

• Help students pace themselves and take on greater levels of personal responsibility;

• Awaken the child's spirit and imagination which encourages the natural desire for independence and a high sense of self-esteem;

• Help the child learn how to observe, question and explore the relationships of life and develop a sense of stewardship and community.

Lower Elementary (6 - 9 YEARS)

The basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic from the Montessori perspective are only the stepping stones at the heart of the Lower Elementary curriculum of science, history, geography, literature, music, art, physical education and practical life activities. The goal in Lower Elementary is to nurture the foundation created in early childhood and to also ignite the fragile sparks of curiosity, creativity and intelligence in each child. Students begin to demonstrate a growing capacity for problem-solving, reasoning, socializing and harnessing imagination.

Upper Elementary (9 - 12 YEARS)

The Upper Elementary student demonstrates an intense desire to secure strong relationships with peers. Curriculum is based on individualized instruction; however, collaboration and cooperation are key components that strengthen these needs for peer connection. At this developmental time, students develop a strong sense of justice and experience what it means to be a part of a classroom community. Students take on an increased responsibility for their own moral conduct. Our Upper Elementary program provides stimulating learning materials and real-world experiences to sharpen the multi-dimensional skills necessary for today’s world, the ability to communicate and to work collaboratively, and the ability to think creatively throughout disciplines.