Overview of the Montessori Curriculum Areas
The goal of Montessori education is to encourage independence,
love of learning and a positive sense of self in a prepared environment. Each
child is encouraged to function independently at his/her own developmental
rate. In the traditional 3-year pre-primary Montessori program,
the child is exposed to areas that enhance independent thought, concentration,
order and creativity. In this environment, the child has the opportunity to
develop academically, socially and emotionally, to his/her full potential and
to become the person they are to become.
Practical Life (Everyday Living)
Practical Life activities are designed to develop a child's
coordination and independence. Through repeated use of activities such as
spooning, pouring, twisting, squeezing and sewing, a child works toward mastery
of these skills. Materials also focus on care of the environment, care of the
person and grace and courtesy. A sense of order and concentration are promoted
through the use of materials in this area.
Montessori Sensorial Curriculum
The goal of the Sensorial Curriculum is for the child to become
an acute observer and to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world around
him. This is done by offering the child beautifully designed materials that
isolate concepts of size, color, form, touch, taste, weight, temperature, etc.
Each of the human senses is called upon in isolation, thus helping to refine
the child's acuity.
The materials begin
with simple activities such as matching colors that are the same, building
towers of cubes by using the ability to visually discriminate the various sizes
of the cubes, and learning the names of geometric figures. The work progresses
to more complex materials such as the names of polygons and quadrilaterals and
discovering the triangle as the constructor of other shapes. The Montessori
Sensorial Curriculum is rich in discovery, manipulation and language
Montessori Language Skills
Dr. Montessori saw the road to reading as a dual path that
involved the education of the hand and the education of the mind. Building upon
language skills such as listening, understanding and basic speech patterns
which she has previously acquired, the child moves on to hear and analyze both
the sounds and the meaning of language. By using language in the classroom
through listening, story telling, reading and dramatic play, a child develops a
love of literature, good communication skills and a strong self-esteem.
Materials throughout the classroom offer the child many opportunities to
development the refinement of the hand by calling for careful attention to
detail and the use of small muscles. Fine motor coordination is also enhanced
through manipulating writing instruments, cutting, drawing, writing and
opportunities for creative, artistic expression.
Montessori Mathematics Area
In the Montessori Mathematics area, the
child is introduced to math concepts and experiences using concrete materials
in the environment. Different from traditional mathematics instruction, the
abstractions are introduced through sensorial, manipulative experiences that
call for the child to order, discriminate, distinguish, make judgments and
problem solve. Dr. Montessori designed beautiful, yet simple materials for her
Math Curriculum. Each material was designed to isolate one concept. The
isolated concepts build on one another throughout the curriculum to develop and
expand the child's mathematical understanding and experience.