What is Montessori?
“Introduction to Montessori Method.” American Montessori Society: Education That Transforms Lives, American Montessori Society, amshq.org/Montessori-Education/Introduction-to-Montessori.
The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Dr. Montessori’s Method has been time tested, with over 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world.
It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive.
Each Montessori Preschool classrooms is a carefully prepared environment. There are five main areas in each classroom with engaging activities for children:
Practical Life: Activities in this area allow children learn to function in his or her own environment, and are preliminary to more advanced learning.
Sensorial: Activities are designed to isolate and sharpen each of the five senses (taste, sight, touch, smell, and hearing).
Language: Children are introduced to letter sounds first and then they continue to learn letter names and shapes. They then progress naturally to reading skills.
Mathematics: Concepts are presented through extensive use of concrete materials, this allows children to understand mathematical concepts abstractly before introducing the concrete form of mathematics.
Cultural: Geography, history, botany, biology, music and grammar are introduced through the use of concrete materials.
Each child is encouraged to progress at their own pace through the five main areas in the classroom. By enjoying the activities available within those areas, children will naturally refine their gross and fine motor skills. In time, these skills will help them read, write and acquire math skills.