Montessori Work comprises 5 essential areas:
- English Language
- Cultural Understanding
- Sensorial Exercises
- Practical Life Skills
The Montessori exercises are age and child-readiness dependent. The focus areas for Nursery Class (two and three-years old) are Practical Life Skills, Sense Training and Cultural Understanding. During this time, it is important that the child develops the abilities of concentration, coordination, independence and a sense of order, which are critical success factors that influence later learning of mathematic concepts and linguistic capability.
As the child matures and experiences sensitive periods for writing (3.5 to 5 years old) and reading (4.5 to 6 years old), the school program will provide for this development at appropriate times. For example, a child at 4+ years old would progress to using an individual writing book.
The Montessori Practical Life exercises are seen as the cornerstone of the Montessori method. The exercise provide the opportunity for purposeful work and they assist children in their development; physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally.
The practical life exercises are usually divided into four categories.
- Care of the environment
- Development of motor skills
- Care of self
- Social Grace and Courtesy
A child is an active learner who is attracted by the things in this world. He learns everything without knowing he is learning it and in doing so he passes little by little from the unconscious to the conscious mind.
The period of life between the ages of three and six years covers a period of rapid physical development. It is the time for the formation of the sense activities as related ti the intellect. The child in this age develops his senses. His attention is further attracted to the environment under the form of passive curiosity. Dr. Maria Montessori set out to produce abstract ideas in concrete form. She took each main abstract idea necessary for the understanding of the curriculum and made a piece of sensorial material to help children understand.
Montessori materials with its wide variety allow children to become familiar with numbers at an early age.
The idea of quantity was inherent in all the materials for the education of the senses, shorter, longer. The concept of identity and of difference, formed part of the actual technique of the education of senses; which begins with the recognition of identical objects and continued with the arrangement in graduation of similar objects.
The child is able, through repeated work with the materials; sand paper numerals, number rods, spindle box, cards and counters and etc to learn the names of numbers before grasping the abstract conceptions.
According to Maria Montessori, “Language is an instrument of collective taught”.
She recognised that writing precedes reading in young children and developed her methods of instruction accordingly.
Young children are able, often before they learn to read, to compose words letter by letter according to the way the words sound. Children as young as three or four years old who know a few letters of the alphabet are in a position to figure out how to represent a word.
Dr. Montessori recognised that the ability to compose words according to their sounds develops in children earlier than their ability to recognise words. She developed her methods for reading instructions accordingly.
Among Montessori’s aims in education were the following – to help the child to develop his personality, adapt to his own culture and become an independent, useful member of his society.
It is therefore, important that the child learns as early as possible about the real world, i.e. the natural environment and the man-made environment. The child should be able to distinguish between them. Cultural materials provide individual activities, which helps the child to acquire more detailed knowledge in the areas of botany, zoology, history and science.
During Montessori Work, the child is free to explore the materials. The teacher coaches the child in his/her chosen activity to reinforce a particular skill set. For example, a 4-year-old may explore ‘Addition > 10’ if he is ready and wants to learn, while his classmate may choose to revise numeral recognition. The session allows for individual attention and activity that is paced at the child’s level of knowledge and readiness.
As the children attain a good level of maturity and basic skills, they will join our Kindergarten class. They will continue their learning and development in the 5 essential areas of Montessori Work, but with added emphasis on Language (Writing & Reading), Science, and Mathematics. Each child will have his/her individual BestCare Workbook, and experience more challenging Creative Arts activities and experiments.
By the end of their K2 year, they will be independent, confident, articulate and creative thinkers, who are appreciative of the world and equipped with the requisite life skills and attitudes for school readiness and success.