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Montessori in a Minute: Grace and Courtesy

One beautiful facet of the Montessori curriculum is the way its focus extends beyond a students’ academic successes. Our teachers carefully craft lessons to foster each child’s social and personal development. The Grace and Courtesy part of the Montessori curriculum is used to teach children to use and understand manners, politeness, and other unspoken social norms.


Common Grace and Courtesy lessons include:

  • Solving disagreements

  • Welcoming visitors and guests

  • Using quiet or “inside” voices

  • Standing and waiting in a line

  • Exercising manners like “please” and “thank you”


The Value of Grace and Courtesy

Teachers model basic Grace and Courtesy each day by remaining calm, polite, and respectful to students and each other. They explicitly talk their way through conflict resolution and emotional regulation scenarios so students can witness adults they trust use the principles they teach in class.


Even after children have basic knowledge of Grace and Courtesy, as they grow and develop, their relationship with these skills evolves with them. While a Primary student is just beginning to learn about and practice conflict management, a student at the Upper Elementary level begins forming and refining their individual sense of humor. They start to understand and imitate irony and sarcasm. At the same time, students begin to develop their first lasting friendships based on deeper emotional connections and shared interests. They are capable of understanding and valuing these relationships but often still need direction from their teachers and parents.


For example, teachers model for students what is acceptable to joke about and the impact of their words and actions. They learn what it looks like to use humor to uplift, rather than tear down. Their teachers help them to understand boundary-setting, more complex conflict resolution skills, and more.


The ultimate goal of the Grace and Courtesy elements of the curriculum is to create well-rounded, emotionally healthy students at each age level—now and for later in life.


The Montessori in a Minute Series

Montessori schools have at least five key areas of learning in the Montessori environment: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and Culture. And, many Montessori schools like Hudson Montessori School include Grace and Courtesy as another key area.

This Montessori In A Minute series regularly explores the unique benefits of Montessori philosophy, its fundamental materials, and areas of the classroom. For all parents at Hudson Montessori School (Jersey City, New Jersey), the school hosts monthly Parent Education Nights to learn all about the Montessori method and how the students learn curriculum components using a Montessori framework.


To learn more about Hudson Montessori School’s interdisciplinary, theme-based learning approach to education, the Montessori philosophy and methodology, or how the school fosters the love of learning for children age 2 to sixth grade, sign up for an open house tour.


A child who becomes a master of his acts through repeated exercises of grace and courtesy, and who has been encouraged by the pleasant and interesting activities in which he has been engaged, is a child filled with health and joy.” – Maria Montessori




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