By the time your child is three they will have some level of functional independence, good control over their body’s movements and have complete oral language. That’s a lot to have achieved in just three year! Yet it happened without effort because of the unique quality of the young child’s mind. Your three year old is still very much sensorial explorer. They use their senses to absorb every aspect of the environment, their language and culture, in the process constructing their own intellects. In Montessori we call this the phenomenon the ‘absorbent mind’.
Throughout this time of development your child will also experience periods during which they display heightened sensitivity to, or interest in, particular aspects of the environment. These periods, named sensitive periods by Montessori educators, represent windows of opportunity during which children’s intense interest, enables them to learn the corresponding knowledge and skill with ease and enjoyment. These periods occur universally for all children at approximately the same age. If you observe child closely you might see signs of these sensitive periods.
Movement – 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.
ORDER – 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.
LANGUAGE – 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:
Through 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.
The 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.
The 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.
Montessori concrete mathematics materials assist the child in discovering and understanding mathematical and geometrical concepts, forming a strong foundation for abstraction, problem solving and reasoning.
Children 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
A school readiness program is provided for all students who will leave Montessori for traditional education at the end of the year.