The Montessori Curriculum
Child-centered education. Individualised learning experience. Hands-on learning.
Practical: means basic, useful, purposeful. Life: means the way of living.
Practical life is the essence of the Montessori classroom. These are exercises so the child can learn how to do living activities in a purposeful way.
The aim of Practical Life is to help the child gain control in the coordination of his movement, to gain independence and adapt to his society. Practical Life aid the growth and development of the child’s intellect and concentration and will help him develop an orderly way of thinking.
There are four different groups: Preliminary Applications (basic movements), Applied Applications (care of self and environment), Grace and Courtesy (how to interact with people), and Control of Movement (self movement and refine coordination).
Sensorial comes from the words sense or senses.
Maria Montessori believed that sensorial experiences began at birth and all children are “sensorial explorer” and "concrete learners".
Sensorial exercises are categorised into eight different groups: Visual, Tactile, Baric, Thermic, Auditory, Olfactory, Gustatory, and Stereognostic. All categories are designed to cover every quality that can be perceived by the senses such as size, shape, composition, texture, loudness or softness, matching, weight, temperature, etc.
Through Montessori’s Sensorial materials, abstract concepts are made into concrete materials to aid the child in better understanding his environment. Through the child’s work with Sensorial material, the child is making distinctions in his environment and is given the knowledge not through word of mouth, but through his own experiences.
The child is taught Language through a specific progression of lessons where he first becomes aware of the different sounds in a word. The child then learns the language phonetically until the point where he is taught the different “rules” in a given language and the exceptions to those rules he will need to know in order to spell and read fluently.
The Language Area in the Montessori environment consists of: Spoken Language, Enrichment of Vocabulary, Written Language, Area of Reading, Reading Classification, Word Study, Function of Words, Reading Analysis, Interpretative Reading and Language Extension, providing the child with many forms of language to help satisfy his desire to clearly communicate and more fully adapt to his culture.
Little children are naturally attracted to the science of number. Mathematics, like Language, is the product of the human intellect. Math is all around the young child from day one: 'How old are you?', 'In one hour you will go to school', 'You were born on the 10th'
Learning mathematical concepts in a Montessori classroom begins concretely and progresses towards the abstract.
The child first learns to count from 1-10 through the understanding of the concept that those numbers represent, a specific amount. Through each material, the child will learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and truly understand what each one means in their deeper sense.
The Mathematical families that are presented to the child include: Arithmetic, Geometry, Statistics and Calculus. More precisely, the concepts covered in the classroom are numeration, the decimal system, computation, the arithmetic tables, whole numbers, fractions and positive numbers.
The Cultural area of the Montessori classroom covers a variety of subjects: Geography, Science, Botany, Zoology and History are included. Art, Music and Languages are also considered a part of the Cultural Area of the classroom.
Studying Geography allows the children the opportunity to understand their own culture as well as many others. The children can relate and understand cultural diversity and ultimately come to appreciate differences in humankind.
Science in the Montessori classroom allows the children to observe and work with hands-on experiments that will cultivate a lifelong interest in nature and discovering more about our unique world.
Art & Music allow the children a very unique opportunity to express themselves moving, dancing and singing among their school peers.