Montessori education helps children focus on five essential areas of study. These areas include practical life, sensory perception, mathematics, language and culture. These areas are brought together through a set of Montessori learning materials designed to increase in complexity as the child grows and progresses. Each classroom is child-sized, and offers a wealth of prepared environmentrewarding and stimulating.
The Montessori learning program
Set up by Maria MontessoriThe Montessori program brings together the main educational objectives and program content applied in Montessori schools to support children's development. It is an international program shared by Montessori schools worldwide. Montessori education is introduced with an overview of the pedagogical concepts that guide practice in Montessori schools.
The advantages of a Montessori education
One of the factors that makes Montessori method works so well is the emphasis on self-motivation. The program's five areas encourage children to learn at their own pace.
By following a Montessori program, your child will acquire :
- A love of learning through hands-on, individualized activities
- The ability to develop one's own talents
- Better social interaction
Characteristics of Montessori education
Children, rather than teachers, lead the Montessori learning program in the classroom, a feature that distinguishes Montessori schools from others.
Rather than being confined to the same thing and learning it in the same way, children who study according to the Montessori method will be allowed to evolve at their own pace and move from one skill to another if they're ready (whatever their age). Visit Montessori teachers s role is to observe and help where necessary, but not to intervene in the child's learning process.
The 5 areas of education in the Montessori Method
Each of the five learning areas of the Montessori program is prepared with learning tools and materials that become increasingly complex as the children progress.
The Montessori practical life program integrates exercises and activities that children observe in everyday life. These activities develop children's independence, concentration and fine motor skills. These exercises include activities such as pouring, sorting, sewing, peeling, serving, cleaning and many others using real-life objects in a child-sized environment.
Montessori Practical Life exercises are designed to prepare your child for everyday life by teaching him to interact with his environment. This area of learning forms the basis for all other Montessori learning.
Montessori sensory exercises aim to develop your child's ability to understand and adapt to his environment. This area of learning involves the manipulation of specially designed materials that isolate the senses. Exposure to sensory information, such as size, color, shape, texture, smell and taste, helps your child classify and categorize the things around him as he explores the world.
Sensory activities teach children to hone their senses of sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste. Sensory work also prepares children for mathematics, language and geometry by teaching them to classify and sort.
Here are a few examples of sensory materials and activities:
- Pink tower
- Color box
- Geometric solids
- Trinomial cube
The Montessori mathematics program teaches children to understand complex mathematical concepts and functions through hands-on learning experiences. Each mathematical exercise builds on another, and children gradually move from the concrete to the abstract.
Children learn to count, to identify and associate numbers with their quantities, and to relate decimal quantities to symbols. They learn to understand the principles of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using Montessori materials. Math-related activities are not implemented at a fixed pace, allowing your child to progress at his or her own pace.
Here are a few examples of materials and activities:
- Figures and counters
- Pearl staircase
- Seguin's table
- Quantity tray
Montessori language exercises aim to improve your child's listening skills, comprehension and vocabulary. The Montessori language program provides children with the knowledge and skills they need to develop their vocabulary and linguistic understanding. Language arts in a Montessori classroom are based on phonetic awareness. Language is an essential part of the curriculum. The skills required for reading, writing and oral language are developed through hands-on experience using the Montessori language materials.
Children learn about sounds (phonetics), letter identification and formation, how to combine sounds to form words, how to construct simple sentences and how to hold a pencil correctly. Oral language skills are developed through daily social interaction and group experiences. This area of learning is designed to help your child grasp different modes of communication.
Children work with specific, practical and tactile language materials, such as :
- Sandpaper letters
- Mobile alphabets
- BOM cards
This field enables children to explore and learn about the world around them. It's the study of cultures (or the humanities), but it actually encompasses many disciplines, including biology, history and art.
The cultural program includes a wide range of subjects:
- Geography (continents, relief, solar system...)
- Zoology (classification and physiology of animals...)
- Biology (plant classification and physiology...)
- History (chronology, use of a calendar, etc.)
This part of the program is probably one of the most important, as it helps students understand their own identity. Children work with specific cultural materials:
- Map of seas and oceans
- Continental box
- Lifecycle activities