Dr Maria Montessori calls the period in the child’s life from birth to 6 years ‘the Absorbent Mind’. During this time the child absorbs everything in the environment around them in a specific and detailed way. The child has a love of order and seeks out activities designed to help them build orderliness and sequencing skills leading to security within their environment. Maria Montessori recognised that the 3 – 6 child has particular developmental needs or ‘sensitive periods’ for:
MOVEMENTMOVEMENT – is the way we relate to and get in touch with the environment. It is through movement that the child organises himself internally to gain physical independence and acquires the elements to build his own personality. These early experiences are the cognitive base for the child’s future development.
ORDERORDER – makes it possible to have sequence of thought and action. It is through order that the child can classify and organise his perceptions of the environment. Learning external order develops internal order.
LANGUAGELANGUAGE – the ‘explosion’ into oral and written language helps the child build communication and socialisation skills and forms the basis for reading. These special sensitivities within which learning becomes energetic and effortless are developed through the prepared environment, which includes:
Practical LifeThrough repetition of the practical life exercises the child perfects gross and fine motor skills, concentration, and develops order. They help the child learn to care for themselves and others leading to responsibility and respect for the environment.
LanguageThe Montessori concrete language materials help the child develop verbal skills, pre-reading, reading, writing and literacy skills by enriching the language they have absorbed and building more complex language through their own discoveries and experiences.
SensorialThe sensorial area of the classroom appeals to the child’s five senses, stimulating them to explore the environment using their senses to develop discrimination, order, refinement of movement and concentration. These materials allow for repetition and control of error. Sensorial materials form the basis for mathematics, language, and the arts.
MathematicsMontessori concrete mathematics materials assist the child in discovering and understanding mathematical and geometrical concepts, forming a strong foundation for abstraction, problem solving and reasoning.
Cultural SubjectsChildren enjoy activities in biology, history, geography, science, art and music to broaden their understanding of the world around them. Cultural diversity is present within every classroom and promotes appreciation and acceptance of all culture
School ReadinessA school readiness program is provided for all students who will leave Montessori for traditional education at the end of the year.
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