“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening
to words but by experiences in the environment.” – Maria Montessori
Our guides give our 3-6 year olds responsive, individualized attention to help them build their skills in these five important areas:
- Practical Life:
The exercises of Practical Life act as a natural bridge between the home and the school for children entering the primary environment. By participating in activities that they have seen at home many times over, children cultivate feelings of responsibility and love for themselves, others, and their environment. In addition, children develop greater coordination and motor skills, while the ability to concentrate naturally grows. There are four groups of Practical Life exercises: care of self, care of environment, grace and courtesy, and exercises of movement.
The sensorial area aids children in understanding, organizing, and categorizing the multitudes of sensorial stimulation they receive every day. Scientifically designed materials nourish the development of the child’s intellect in the way of reasoning, focusing attention, and stabilizing the mind. This self-motivated process of training the senses results in joy and delight, as well as, the growth of the consciousness. The Sensorial Area is like a passage from concrete thinking to abstraction. This does not come about through mathematical analysis or teaching, but through active manipulation, exploration, and repetition which leads to knowledge about an object. Through hands-on, sensory motor involvement, the child grows in the ability to understand ideas of concepts without a physical representation.
Language development begins as soon as the child enters the Montessori environment. Through exercises of spoken language, children are given the keys to self-expression. In addition, they begin learning the phonetic sounds of the alphabet and building muscle memory to be able to write those sounds. Written expression of thought is experienced, often before a child is actually able to control a writing instrument, through use of the Movable Alphabet. This involves physical manipulation of letters into words, phrases, and sentences. The children’s natural, enthusiastic interest in their language is nourished through writing and reading exercises that provide the opportunity for movement and hands-on stimulation. As they are ready, older children in the environment will have the opportunity to experience a more in-depth study of language in the way of word function, grammar, sentence diagramming, and reading purely for the joy of it.Math:
Maria Montessori studied the child’s natural propensity for mathematical concepts, and created materials specifically designed for building upon this innate ability. Children in a Montessori environment have the opportunity to experience mathematical ideas through a series of concrete, hands-on lessons which progress into more abstract ideas. Children begin counting quantities and recognizing numbers, and gradually progress into work with the Golden Beads. With this material, children experience addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division through a process of combining, taking away, and sharing beads. In time, with use of appropriate materials, their work with the four operations becomes more and more symbolic, and they begin recording that work on paper. Children also gain experience squaring and cubing using concrete representations. By nurturing the child’s natural mathematical mind, the Montessori Method inspires interest, joyful learning, and a deep understanding of mathematical concepts.
- Cultural Study:
Cultural study in a Montessori Environment is integrated throughout each day. Children are excited to extensively learn the names and locations of continents, countries, and states by using puzzle maps. In addition, through art, music, portfolios, and cultural celebrations, children form an awareness and appreciation of the diverse world in which they live.