Montessori School System
Any information that has to be gathered
from the environment is done by the senses. If the senses are
not working properly the intelligence gets starved. The Sensorial
activities will not be familiar to the child as the Practical
Life activities were. The purpose of these activities is not
known to the child. Therefore, we do not offer these activities
to the child as soon as he is admitted to a Montessori setting.
The child gets the preparation needed to do these activities
from the Practical Life activities. There are five basic principles
for using the Sensorial activities as follows:
1. These activities will
help the child develop a scientific approach of looking at his
surroundings. (To observe, compare, establish contact, and then
come to a conclusion.)
2. The child will make conscious discoveries
through hands-on materials.
3. The child will develop a wealth of new vocabulary
(thick, thin, loud, soft, large, small, heavy, light, etc.).
4. As the child's consciousness grows he
will become more interested in his environment.
This also helps him to explore the human environment in other
points of view socially, culturally, and ethnically.
5. By mastering the sensorial impressions, he feels secure and
is able to disregard allunnecessary information.
The biggest difficulty in arithmetic is understanding
quantity. Montessori math activities are made in such a way
that they are easy to understand. The first activity in math
that deals with understanding quantity is Number Rod. After
gaining this basic knowledge of quantities one through ten the
children in the Montessori environment can work with hundreds
and thousands but only with the specially prepared Decimal System
Bead & Card material. This material enables the child to
proceed with numbers over thousands without any difficulty since
he finds no group contains more than .nine of that kind. We
find that not only does the child have no difficulty in handling
large numbers but he finds them far more interesting than small
Science We give science experiments to children in a motor-sensorial
way. This is not the time for a lot of explanations. Instead
we place in the environment simple science materials for the
child to play and work with as much as he desires. In this way,
he will absorb the basic principles which will leap to later
interest and study of earth sciences. Children at this age love
working with water, magnets, batteries, candles and other real
physics materials, each a key to a basic physical law.
Geography & History
The seeds of the study of history are given
through experiences such as sampling ethnic foods and music
as well as observing objects, pictures, and books. Many people
are astonished at the young child's ability to learn the names
of continents, countries, land forms, flags,' etc. According
to the Montessori philosophy, the child under six years of age
is in the strongest "sensitive period" for learning
language. The materials in the Montessori environment are specially
designed to help the child develop a love for geography. This
is offered to the child in the forms of puzzle maps. Later,
we offer the names of the places on the map. All of this experience
and knowledge leads to a natural concern and responsibility
at a later age because children "love what they know."
The most important of all developments that
govern the growth of the child is that of language. The adult
in the child's life should speak to the child in a very clear
manner. The child first starts using nouns followed by prepositions,
conjunctions, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. Dr. Montessori
discovered that symbols for sounds appeal to the child's mind.
She developed sandpaper letters to help the child establish
a strong association between the symbol and the sound. The key
to language is-becoming "sound conscious." Dr. Montessori
also realized that these abstractions of sound had to be materialized
in order to help the child. She also realized children from
ages three to six are sensitive to language and sensorial impressions.
Language materials are all designed with this philosophy in
mind. Each language lesson is an individual lesson at first
and then the child is given plenty of freedom to explore the
It is important to understand that the
Montessori philosophy is not limited to the classroom. Instead,
there should be a "team" approach between the Montessori
teacher and the parents so the child's needs are being met both
at school and at home. As the parents see the growth in their
child they will become confident in what the child is doing
at school and they can continue this process with home activities.
It is my goal to provide a quality Montessori environment to
the parents and children of this area. I spent more than two
years studying the Montessori philosophy and I am confident
in my teaching abilities. I encourage all of my parents to study
the Montessori philosophy and implement this approach in their
respective homes. The most important period of life is not the
age of university studies but the first one, the period of birth
to the age of six. That is the time man intelligence; his greatest
implement is being formed.
(Dr. Maria Montessori)