Ages: 18 months to 6 years
Why choose Montessori Education?
- There is an integrated curriculum that:
- There are both small group and individual instruction.
Learning occurs physically, mentally and sensorially. The Montessori ‘prepared environment’ is specially prepared to meet all the child’s developmental needs. In contrast to a traditional nursery school, in the Montessori environment there are many specially selected learning and cultural activities, each of which is introduced precisely when the child is ready, and is thereafter freely available for the child to conduct independently. The children have freedom in choosing activities and to conduct these activities when, where, as long as, as often as, and at whatever pace the child likes.
Life is aimed at developing muscle co-ordination and concentration and encouraging independence in caring for themselves and their surroundings. Purposeful activities include sweeping, polishing (shoes and metal), sorting items into groups, sewing with needles and thread, washing clothes and dishes and preparing food.
Senses are the gateway to learning, therefore a Montessori classroom comprises of sensorial activities which are based on special sensorial materials. These materials help sharpen and train the senses for easier, simpler and more understandable learning. All the activities are linked to each other and are introduced from easy and real to more challenging and abstract.
Children work their language from the moment they enter a Montessori classroom. Games like the ‘sound game’ make the child realise that all the things have names and are made up of sounds. These sounds are represented through symbols called alphabet which are introduced three at a time with sandpaper letters. Cards and many other materials are prepared to enrich children’s vocabulary and advanced activities help them understand all the complicated world of English grammar. This makes the whole process of learning easier, faster and more rewarding for the child.
The sensorial material also prepares the child’s mathematical mind which helps the children to easily understand the basic mathematical concepts like deep, shallow, long, short, less and more etc. The mathematical material then builds on these basic concepts helping the child understand more complicated functions like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. By the time the child is six years of age they might be able to calculate in thousands.
A wide variety of activities covering geography, botany, art, and culture. These include land formation, puzzle maps, making flags, painting (water colour and acrylic), clay, sewing, weaving and musical bells.
1. Multi -age Classrooms
Montessori classrooms do not have toys. The Montessori equipment is different to what you may see in mainstream pre-schools. Much of the equipment is specially designed and constructed to allow children to learn how to use it in a simple manner at first, but allowing them to learn increasingly complex uses for it as they become able. The equipment is also self correcting, which allows children to find the answer themselves.
The teacher is a guide, observing the child and assisting them only when needed. She spends time observing and quietly guiding children as they work. She will provide one-to-one guidance to introduce a new activity and assist the child until they have mastered it. This type of instruction is part of specialist Montessori teacher training.
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