One of the biggest challenges facing parents who have enrolled their children in a Montessori education is deciding where to go next. Although Montessori programs do exist for all ages, it is rare to find a school for children past 3rd grade, leaving parents with a difficult decision regarding their children’s education through the elementary and middle schools.


So, why not simply enroll your child in the local public school and pick up his or her education wherever he or she has left off?

Local Public Schools Aren’t Always The Best Option For Your Child

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Although this is an option, most children who transfer from a Montessori school into a traditional public or even private school face some challenges in the classroom, both academically and socially, because they are more accustomed to a cooperative environment that allows them to take responsibility for their own learning and much more.

What’s The Big Difference?

The primary difference comes down to the fundamental ways in which Montessori and traditional classrooms are run. Traditional schools typically have very specific rules that manage children’s movements, ranging from the times they can leave their desks and classrooms for bathroom breaks down to when they can sharpen their pencils.

There are strict rules in Montessori schools as well, but such schools operate under the belief that, as long as children don’t abuse their privileges, they can move around in whichever ways will help them complete their work most effectively.

Montessori Students Flourish At Cedar Hill Prep

However, for Central New Jersey Montessori parents who find themselves at a crossroads, there is an answer! Many such parents, when deciding between moving near a Montessori elementary school or presenting their children with the difficult transition into a public school, have found Cedar Hill Preparatory School is the ideal solution.

Common Core Values

Although Cedar Hill Prep is not a Montessori school, our core values cater to many of the same needs a Montessori child has:

  1. Respect – Give It To Get It.
  2. Responsibility – You Can Do What We Must Do.
  3. Trustworthiness – If You Want To Be Trusted You Have To Be Trustworthy.
  4. Tolerance – Many People, One World.
  5. Caring – Makes You A Better Person and The World A Better Place.
  6. Diligence – Never, Never Give Up.
  7. Citizenship – Do Your Share.
  8. Fairness – Winning Fairly Is The Only Way To Win.
  9. Courage – Conquers All.
  10. Honesty – The Truth Is The Right Answer.

By integrating these core values into each of our classrooms and beyond, we have successfully created a safe and caring environment in which all students feel welcome and valued and have a sense of ownership of their school.

Social Commonalities

Another disparity between traditional and Montessori education involves the social aspect of school.

Montessori students are used to helping their peers, working together and using the conflict resolution skills they've learned to work through their problems.

Moving from this environment into a classroom where teachers and administration are managing classroom conflicts can be difficult for children who are used to working out their own solutions.

At Cedar Hill Prep, we believe it is important for students to understand that the same leadership values they live by will not only inspire their peers but will help to establish an environment of continuous improvement in their lives and the lives of their classmates.

To enforce this, we have adopted a House System — as in Harry Potter. House Systems are a traditional feature of British schools. In this program, the word “House” refers to a group of students. Since we don’t have a sorting hat, each student is randomly assigned to a house where they will have many meaningful and beneficial experiences that will promote a positive school culture and school spirit, as well as celebrate academic and social success.

Student-Centered Curriculum

The last fundamental difference between Montessori and traditional schools is the structure of the curriculum.  The way we teach at Cedar Hill Prep certainly isn’t traditional.

We continually examine and expand our curriculum and teaching strategies to best serve the needs of our students — which is also one of the core principles of Montessori schools. By using Singapore Math, introducing World Languages early on, putting an emphasis on fine motor skill development, highlighting global awareness and civic literacy, teaching study skills, and doing so much more, it’s clear that our curriculum truly puts the child’s entire education first.

Why Cedar Hill Prep Makes Sense for Montessori Students

We believe that a school’s primary responsibility to its students reaches far beyond academics alone. By standing together with parents, we can strengthen our communities and shape the school of today and the fabric of our society tomorrow by molding students into citizens who will have a positive influence in the world.

There’s a good reason that some of our top students have come to us from Apple Montessori, Little Flowers Montessori and, most recently, from the Sundance School.

Although we are not a Montessori school, we are anything but traditional. By nurturing curiosity, a love for knowledge, and the will to engage socially, we are proud to say that each of our students leaves with a sense of identity and purpose in life.