Exercises that are developed with the goal to aid the adaptation of the child to his environment and growth of his independence. This goal is accomplished through the development of coordination and controlled movement, by which the child will be enabled to care for both him and his surrounding, thus establishing him in his society through courteous relations with others. For this purpose, the child is provided with special materials scaled to his size and with which he enjoys such tasks as sweeping, dusting, polishing, washing, tying and buttoning. These exercises provide the child with a clear relationship between the “prepared environment” and what he has seen his own family do, thereby allowing him to contribute to the life he sees around him.
A child is brought by nature to the task of classifying those materials that surround him. The Sensorial Materials of the Montessori Classroom are designed to aid the process of classification of the environment which has already begun, thus enabling the child to arrive at a conscious level of discrimination rather that an abstract one. These materials are designed to develop the senses of hearing, vision, touch, taste, smell and perception, as well as the ability to discriminate between shapes and sizes.
Language is the essence of the development of the child because it enables him to communicate with others and understand when they communicate. Within the Montessori Classroom, your child’s vocabulary is enriched by storytelling, conversation and poetry. The Montessori child begins reading when he is ready and proceeds at his own pace. Sandpaper letters provide a phonetic basis for reading. The child hears by sounds, sees the shape, and prepares his muscles for writing by the light tracing of the letter with the fingertips. Many other exercises for both reading and writing are found in the environment. Geography, biology, botany, zoology, art, music and drama are presented as extensions of the sensorial and language activities.
The mathematical mind is ability inherent to all men. Therefore, it is essential to make a child’s natural mathematical tendencies by coupling these with this innate urge for exploration, repetition and exactness. The materials for mathematics introduce the concept of concrete quantity before the abstract. The quantity is introduced by a series of rods that the child can count and compare. Beads and symbol cards familiarize the child with the decimal system. These exercises provide a deep understanding of the function of numbers and concepts that will help the child in later abstractions.
Maria Montessori designed the curriculum of the cultural subjects as an interdisciplinary study of the life of man on earth throughout time and in all geographic regions. It includes the study of geography, history, music, art, botany and zoology. It encompasses all cultural subjects as part of a meaningful whole.
Maria Montessori’s primary goal was for education to help the child become a fully developed individual adapted to his time, place and culture: To be a citizen of tomorrow; a participant in a harmoniously functioning society. The cultural subjects give the child an understanding of unity. The child gains an understanding on unity, or variety, and of the inter-relatedness of all things……both living and nonliving.
Throughout the year, the children will have an opportunity to learn, appreciate, and honor people from around the world through the exploration of food, clothing, music, and a celebration of holidays and cultural traditions.
By giving children a strong sense of history and geography, they are better able to develop a global perspective, a genuine respect and an understanding of other cultures, a sense of themselves and a loving respect for our world. Dr. Montessori firmly believed this was the best way to ensure peace in the world.
“Free the child’s potential and you will transform him into the world…..”
Dr. Maria Montessori