Help me do it myself... Never help a child with a task
at which he feels he can succeed.
at which he feels he can succeed.
- Maria Montessori -
Authentic Montessori at Our Center
In Montessori philosophy, five areas of education are given specific focus: Practical life, Language, Sensorial, Mathematics and Culture.
Practical Life Activities
Practical life is the foundation that provides your child with the skills necessary to be confident, independent and successful. Through the material, children will acquire hand eye coordination, independence, sequencing, fine motor skills, and refined muscle movement.
Activities in Practical Life include care for self and others, care for environment, grace and curtsey. There is only one of everything in the classroom, so they learn to care for the work of others, and come to truly understand how their decisions affect themselves and others in their environment.
Practical Life is a precursor to language as activities are done from left to right and are simultaneously in the hand. As such, practical life prepares the child for success in writing and reading later on. It is also a precursor to all other avenues, as it helps instil a sense of order in the child. As they build their control, concentration and focus, they will reveal an inner discipline, which promises them success in future academic ventures.
The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy. — Maria Montessori
Language in the Montessori classroom is broken down into many steps, and organized in a way that every child learns at their own pace without any pressure or competition. Through this free environment, the child is able to become better communicators with their peers and teachers. As a result, the child reveals a true love and enthusiasm for learning vocabulary, reading writing and grammar.
Vocabulary — The goal of vocabulary is to enhance the quantity of words through nomenclature cards, images, books and a range of other mediums.
Reading — A child’s journey into reading starts with sound. The child becomes sensitive to sound and learns the sound of each letter. Afterwards, he is able to build short, then long phonetic words, which prepares him for success in reading and spelling.
Writing — Several indirect preparation for writing are key to the child’s success in this particular avenue of language. For example, through indirect preparations in practical life, the child acquires the strength and control in his hand necessary to use a pencil and write his first words.
Grammar — The child learns the function of words through deconstructing and constructing sentences. Through activities working with verbs, nouns, adverbs, and pronouns, the child learns the function of all words and how to organize them to convey certain ideas in a sentence.
A child is an explorer in their environment, always making new discoveries, and learning through the senses. A child needs to bring order to all of the impressions received. Furthermore, he needs to classify and organize his impressions to understand himself and his place in the world. Sensorial material includes activities in sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound. They help the child to distinguish, categorize, grade dimensions, and relate new information to what he already knows.
Furthermore, as we work from concrete ideas, to more abstract ones, the child strengthens their power of observation and perception. As a result of interacting with a rich and prepared environment, the child will find internal order and develop intellectually. All sensorial materials are a direct preparation for math, algebra, logic, and other intellectual activities, including language, and culture.
There is nothing in the intellect that does not first exist with the senses. The senses being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge. — Maria Montessori
A child is introduced to numbers and Mathematical concepts the moment he is born. For example, he hears the time of day, date, his age etc. The Montessori Method helps the child to understand the meaning of numbers in a concrete way. More specifically, first the child is introduced to a quantity, and only after is it given a name, and then the symbol is introduced. When the symbol is introduced, the child is able to make the necessary association to its quantity independently. As a result, the Montessori child is teaching himself, and is always discovering new relationships in the classroom, sparking within him a love for learning and numbers!
The Montessori environment uses concrete materials, known as ‘golden beads’ or ‘the bank’ to introduce and understand the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. However, it is important to note that inner discipline, control, focus and order developed through the practical life and sensorial avenues allow the child to reason and succeed in understanding these abstract concepts. Math is not just the learning of numbers; it also helps to build logic and reason within. Math becomes a precursor to the field of science and culture, where the child will then be more able to understand geography, botany, zoology, and history.
Children display a universal love of mathematics, which is par excellence the science of precision, order, and intelligence. — Maria Montessori
Cultural studies in the Montessori classroom starts from the beginning and is never ending in its possibilities. Cultural studies is made up of various elements such as history, geography, botany, zoology and science. Here, children learn about all different kinds of life on earth. Subjects include the solar system, maps, flags, land formations, timelines, lifecycles, parts of a tree/flower/leaf, specific cultures and their ways of life, etc.
The goal of culture is for the children to gain a better understanding and acceptance of others and themselves, and to understand diversity in humans as well as the wonders of the natural world. As such, they are able to develop their own unique personalities and interests, and become keen observers of the world around them. Some cultural subjects: History, geography, botany, zoology and science.
Maria Montessori believed that children were the way to world peace, and that it is the job of education to give children the tools they need to be the independent, loving and understanding and strong leaders of tomorrow impacting the world positively.
The child who has felt a strong love for his surroundings and for all living creatures, who has discovered a joy and enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope that humanity can develop in a new direction. — Maria Montessori