We all want our children to be happy in school and excited about learning. We also hope that our children learn how to learn and think, vital skills
they will need throughout their lives.
The world is changing rapidly and they will be entering a world doing jobs that don’t even exist yet. As Tom Friedman wrote in the New York Times, the job market “will require our kids not so much to find their next job as to invent their next job.”
While cultures and technologies change, the way humans come into this world and grow up in predictable stages remains constant. Montessori education specializes in guiding children through these stages of growth and helping them learn in interactive and integrative ways that unleash each child’s greatest potential.
Children find learning in a Montessori environment comfortable, enjoyable and engaging. The materials are designed to be motivating and compatible with how the brain works at each age. Children are naturally curious and inclined toward self-management: these characteristics are fostered in a Montessori classroom, developing into a work ethic that is notable among Montessori students.
Dr. Maria Montessori viewed education as not just a means of transmitting knowledge but as a way to support the full development of children as individuals and as members of a community. The Montessori classroom is a microcosm of society, made up of mixed ages and depending on empathy and cooperation to function smoothly.
The practical Life area develops the child’s sense of order, concentration, coordination and
independence. In fact, many of the materials so common in nursery schools, such as dressing frames or pouring and sorting exercises began as Practical Life materials in Montessori classrooms. Cooking and baking are an integral part of our Practical Life activities, and we designed a kids’ kitchen to allow children to work at their own level and in their own space.
The Montessori cultural materials introduce the child to a world of wonder. Science, history,
geography, world cultures and more are included in the global vision of the Montessori
classroom. The concrete experiences with the artifacts of other cultures enhance the children’s understanding of the world around them. Through these materials, they develop a sense of responsibility for their world and for life around it.
There cannot be too much emphasis placed on the sensorial activities done in the classroom. We are aware as early childhood educators that the young mind needs concrete sensorial experiences in order for the brain to discriminate. Specially designed materials are provided in our classrooms to help this process. Children are able to isolate the use of each sense, and in doing so, enhance its development. Because the materials are designed to be self-correcting, the child is able to discover independently the qualities of the world. The sensorial materials enhance the tactile, visual, gustatory, auditory and olfactory skills of the child.
Every child is provided concrete mathematical materials ranging from simple experience with quantities to advanced geometric and algebraic equations. After much practice, the child attains a meaningful knowledge of concrete numbers. A very young child is then able to work with four digit numbers at a manipulative level. preparing for an understanding of the decimal system. The child does not learn these concepts by rote but rather through the real experiences with concrete materials which develop genuine comprehension. It is not surprising, then, to see children in a pre-primary classroom performing multi-digit multiplication and division with accuracy.