Montessori

Montessori education assists children in becoming caring, self-motivated and fulfilled individuals, able to create a sustainable and peaceful future for humanity.

Dr. Montessori believed that by offering children a stimulating, specially prepared environment, their natural curiosity would help them become self-motivated learners. She stressed following the interests of the child with a focus on self-discovery. Education is ‘preparation for life’, not merely a search for intellectual skills or preparation for school.

Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori classes place children in three-year age groups forming communities in which the children care and collaborate with each other.

Dr Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was, in many ways ahead of her time. Born in 1870 she became the first female physician in Italy. In her medical practice, her clinical observations led her to analyse how children learn. In 1906, she accepted the challenge to work with a group of 60 children of working parents in Rome.

Montessori
Montessori

It was here she founded the first Montessori school, and developed her method of education. Montessori observed children's almost effortless ability to absorb knowledge from their surroundings, as well as their tireless interest in manipulating materials. Every piece of equipment, every exercise, every method Montessori developed was based on what she observed children 'do naturally', by themselves, unassisted by adults. Children teach themselves.

This simple but profound truth inspired Montessori's lifelong pursuist of educational reform, methodology, psychology, teaching, and teacher training - all based on her dedication to furthering the self-creating process of the child.

Prepared Environment

The Montessori prepared environment is comprised of the following broad areas.

1
Mathematics

Mathematics

Mathematics Materials help establish a solid basis for understanding the decimal system, the role of zero within it, and the hierarchy of numbers to the millions. Children gain a foundation in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They build a strong base of geometry through their sensorial exploration of the geometric materials. They also gain knowledge of skip counting with the bead chains and are introduced to the concept of fractions.

2
Sensorial

SENSORIAL

Sensorial Materials aid the child in the refinement of his/her senses. Each of the sensorial materials isolates one quality such as color, weight, shape, texture, size, sound smell. The child is involved in pairing, grading and sequencing these materials. He/she will use cubes, prisms and long rods to build and help develop his/her powers of discrimination. Many of the sensorial exercises are an important preparation for later learning.

When the child grasps the knobs of the cylinder blocks, he/she does so using the same fingers for holding a pencil so preparing his/her hand for success in writing. When the child works with the pink tower he/she carries each cube to the mat making the journey ten times. Where possible the sensorial materials contain sets of ten objects giving the child indirect exposure to the basis of our decimal system.

3
Culture

CULTURE

Cultural Materials enrich the child’s mind and vocabulary with basic information about the world around him/her. Children of age 3 – 6 are very interested in facts and cultural work caters for this. Depending on the child’s interest he/she can effortlessly learn the names of animals, flags of the world or the continents of the world. The cultural work also includes an ecological, peaceful and environmental outlook on the planet that we live on.

4
Practical Life

PRACTICAL LIFE

Practical Life Activities involve-

Preliminary skills – carrying a tray, unrolling a mat.
Care of the classroom – sweeping, dusting, polishing, flower arranging.
Care of the person – tying laces, washing hands.
Social relations – greeting, offering, and accepting an invitation, social language for developing friendship and conflict resolution.

Practical life assists the child in gaining concentration by engaging him/her in purposeful activities involving coordinated movement to lead the child to independence through mastery of skills. They also lead the child to independence through his/her mastery of the skills.

5
Language

LANGUAGE

The Montessori language materials offer the children keys to reading and writing. They include phonetic and phonemic awareness. Often they feel that they have taught themselves to write and read.

When the child can blend sounds together to decipher words they are then introduced to the names of those letters. Grammar is introduced to the children role modelling, drama and word games.

4
Grace and Courtesy Groups

Grace and Courtesy Groups

During the day, small groups are spontaneously gathered whereby ways to move gracefully and speak courteously are introduced. For example, we show ‘how to carry a chair’ safely or ‘how to greet a visitor’ in a polite way. By never assuming that children know how to carry out the social niceties of life, we model these and other examples of moving safely and communicating respectfully with others which ultimately help the functioning of the community.

1
Music, Songs, Stories & Poems

Music, Songs, Stories & Poems

Young children are fascinated to learn the names of all of the objects in their surroundings, at a time when they are constructing their own unique personality. Montessori environment for young children is one where real, expressive, descriptive language is used throughout the day. This may take the form of children ‘sharing news’ or enjoying stories, songs, poems, and dramatic play – as a regular occurrence each day.

4
Peace

Peace

Peace is an important concept in the Montessori Curriculum. We celebrate Peace Day each year. We are keen to hear the children's working theories about what peace means to them.

We collated some of their artwork and their thoughts on peace into a book, which allows them to revisit the concept and continue to provoke discussions about peace.