THE MOST IMPORTANT YEARS

Dr. Maria Montessori respected every child’s individual potential. While observing children she understood that every child follows their own developmental time table. The time between birth and the age of six is the most important phase in the child’s life, as everything that occurs has a profound effect on their future development.

Children at this age are like sponges, absorbing the world around them. This is the period in which the child’s personality and character is formed. The adult needs to give the child every opportunity to free her/his potential and allow him to educate himself.

From birth to the age of two, a child follows her or his own plan of development (e.g., crawling, standing and walking). They recognise the parent, understand what is said, and then repeat sounds and later words in a subconscious manner.

At the age of 2 ½ your child can join our school, where the prepared environment will allow further development in an atmosphere of freedom. From the age of 3 onwards your child will become more and more curious and enthusiastic about their environment in a more conscious manner.

One of the most practical and easy to understand Montessori principles is that of the ‘sensitive periods’. Sensitive periods are transient stages in a child’s early life when they are “tuned in” to certain aspects of the environment, and seeking details.

During these sensitive periods your child will learn and grow through activities rather than from intellectual understanding. When your child walks around between the different areas, s/he will fulfill their need for movement. Interaction between peers is inevitable, giving an opportunity to build on social skills and good manners.

Daily life exercises, sensory experiences, language development, numbers, interest in detail, order and sequence, co-ordination and muscle development are all characteristics of early childhood sensitive periods. Through observation the teacher gathers information about the child’s inner needs and offers exercises that correspond to that period.

THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT

Children love working with beautiful objects, so all the materials are prepared with the greatest care. In the beginning of their school experience, the practical life area is of great importance. Here they will work on daily life exercises, such as pouring, transferring, mixing, brushing, opening and closing boxes/bottles/locks, sponging etc. Movements will be refined by repeating these exercises.

In the sensorial area your child can explore and learn, using her/his five senses independently. Maria Montessori recognised that children build on their physical experiences of the world through their senses and that by carefully designing interesting materials, with which the children were drawn to experiment, she could help them extend this understanding. Maria Montessori took each of the senses in turn and developed materials that isolated these aspects, which could then be explored by the children.

Both practical life and sensorial materials prepare your child for mathematics and language skills, expand concentration, and develop independence in organising work.

In the mathematics area your child will find the sandpaper number boards, which will give an opportunity to feel and recognise the numbers 0 to 9. There are many counting activities provided to combine numbers and quantity.

The same principle is used for teaching the alphabet phonetically in the language area. Sandpaper letter boards are shown one by one to every child individually. Phonetic objects help to identify the sound and to give meaning to the exercise (from concrete to abstract). The alphabet is taught phonetically i.e., we do not use the name of the letter (“f”), but rather refer to the letter by the sound that it makes. When the teacher writes the word, it creates a link between tracing and identifying sounds and leads to recognising words. This is the first step towards reading.

Finally, there is the cultural area, in which history, geography, nature and science are explored. In this area you will see globes, maps, nature jigsaw puzzles and objects. These are mostly linked to the chosen topic and reinforced with stories. Excursions and arts & craft activities will complement the topic. Your child will be asked to bring books, pictures and special objects to share.

THE MOST IMPORTANT YEARS

Dr. Maria Montessori respected every child’s individual potential. While observing children she understood that every child follows their own developmental time table. The time between birth and the age of six is the most important phase in the child’s life, as everything that occurs has a profound effect on their future development.

Children at this age are like sponges, absorbing the world around them. This is the period in which the child’s personality and character is formed. The adult needs to give the child every opportunity to free her/his potential and allow him to educate himself.

From birth to the age of two, a child follows her or his own plan of development (e.g., crawling, standing and walking). They recognise the parent, understand what is said, and then repeat sounds and later words in a subconscious manner.

At the age of 2 ½ your child can join our school, where the prepared environment will allow further development in an atmosphere of freedom. From the age of 3 onwards your child will become more and more curious and enthusiastic about their environment in a more conscious manner.

One of the most practical and easy to understand Montessori principles is that of the ‘sensitive periods’. Sensitive periods are transient stages in a child’s early life when they are “tuned in” to certain aspects of the environment, and seeking details.

During these sensitive periods your child will learn and grow through activities rather than from intellectual understanding. When your child walks around between the different areas, s/he will fulfill their need for movement. Interaction between peers is inevitable, giving an opportunity to build on social skills and good manners.

Daily life exercises, sensory experiences, language development, numbers, interest in detail, order and sequence, co-ordination and muscle development are all characteristics of early childhood sensitive periods. Through observation the teacher gathers information about the child’s inner needs and offers exercises that correspond to that period.

THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT

Children love working with beautiful objects, so all the materials are prepared with the greatest care. In the beginning of their school experience, the practical life area is of great importance. Here they will work on daily life exercises, such as pouring, transferring, mixing, brushing, opening and closing boxes/bottles/locks, sponging etc. Movements will be refined by repeating these exercises.

In the sensorial area your child can explore and learn, using her/his five senses independently. Maria Montessori recognised that children build on their physical experiences of the world through their senses and that by carefully designing interesting materials, with which the children were drawn to experiment, she could help them extend this understanding. Maria Montessori took each of the senses in turn and developed materials that isolated these aspects, which could then be explored by the children.

Both practical life and sensorial materials prepare your child for mathematics and language skills, expand concentration, and develop independence in organising work.

In the mathematics area your child will find the sandpaper number boards, which will give an opportunity to feel and recognise the numbers 0 to 9. There are many counting activities provided to combine numbers and quantity.

The same principle is used for teaching the alphabet phonetically in the language area. Sandpaper letter boards are shown one by one to every child individually. Phonetic objects help to identify the sound and to give meaning to the exercise (from concrete to abstract). The alphabet is taught phonetically i.e., we do not use the name of the letter (“f”), but rather refer to the letter by the sound that it makes. When the teacher writes the word, it creates a link between tracing and identifying sounds and leads to recognising words. This is the first step towards reading.

Finally, there is the cultural area, in which history, geography, nature and science are explored. In this area you will see globes, maps, nature jigsaw puzzles and objects. These are mostly linked to the chosen topic and reinforced with stories. Excursions and arts & craft activities will complement the topic. Your child will be asked to bring books, pictures and special objects to share.