The Montessori Method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely the intellectual faculties but also powers of deliberation, initiative and independent choice. By living as a free member of a real social community, the child becomes trained in fundamental social qualities which form the basis of good citizenship.
Montessori education is a unique cycle of learning designed to take advantage of the child’s sensitive years, when the child absorbs information from an enriched environment. A child who acquires the basic skills of reading and mathematics in this way, has an advantage of beginning his/her education with mastery, not drudgery. Students gain an early enthusiasm for learning when introduced to lessons in the carefully prepared classroom environment that incorporates structure with freedom of choice.
The goal of the primary class is to help each child develop within himself or herself the foundational habits, attitudes, skills, appreciations and ideas which are essential for a lifetime of creative learning. The programmed activities involve handling, manipulating and working with materials designed around these goals and prove to be intensely fascinating and effective for the young child.
Amazing video of a 3 hour Montessori ‘Work Cycle’ condensed into four minutes.
Beginning exercises are based on activities in Practical Life, which all children enjoy. Materials used at ages 3 and 4 help the child to develop concentration, co-ordination, fine motor skill development, and working habits necessary for the more advanced activities which the child will perform later on. The entire learning program is purposefully structured.
The practical life area encourages children to refine their fine and gross motor skills while developing concentration, good work habits and sense of order. Children working in this area gain independence for all areas of the classroom and at home.
The sensorial area helps the child explore the world through the five senses. Sensorial materials isolate a single quality, such as color, weight, shape, texture, size, sound, smell, etc. and emphasize this one particular quality by eliminating or minimizing other differences. This allows children to experience relationships and sequences in order to distinguish, categorize, and relate new information to what they already know.
The materials in the math area provide concrete experiences in: counting, recognition of numbers, ordering numerals and counting quantities, the decimal system, and the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Use of these concrete materials leads to better understanding of mathematical concepts and later to abstraction.
The language area focuses on: vocabulary enrichment, listening skills, oral expression through conversation and sound games. Individual presentations of the language materials help the child connect phonetic sounds with their letter symbols leading to the blending of sounds that results in reading.
The cultural area of the classroom is divided into: geography, zoology, botany and physical and earth sciences. Exploration in this area allows the child to define his/her place in the world in relation to themselves and to others as well as learn about different areas of science.