THREE STAGES TO ADULTHOOD

When Dr. Maria Montessori studied children’s development more than a century ago, she observed children from birth to adolescence. She discovered that every child goes through three major stages before becoming an adult.

During the first stage, from birth to 6 years, a child learns subconsciously. Spirit, movement and language form a trinity that develop only if the child has the opportunity to act and practise.

From the age of 3 years onwards, a child will begin to learn consciously through the senses: choosing and repeating activities at their own rhythm and duration. They will observe the environment, showing great interest and good memory for language. From the age of 5 years onwards, children’s awareness of their surroundings and how they fit into it is growing and they will soon be ready to discover the world.

The child will develop more social skills to facilitate group play instead of parallel play. They will become open to influences from adults and follow instructions in a pleasant manner, and will be open to writing, reading and mathematical activities.

The classroom is divided into areas corresponding to different sensitive periods which the children are familiar with from their previous experiences, so that the appropriate materials can be presented.

Many materials – especially those from the sensorial area – are provided again to give the children the opportunity to repeat and refine their movements. In the practical life area, the exercises are more complex and more challenging.

LANGUAGE, MATHS, CULTURE…

In the language area, the children will work with the sandpaper letter boards. As soon as the sounds are memorised the child will enter the world of reading. Objects, pictures, language matching games, movable alphabets, books and accompanying workbooks are there to fulfil the child’s need to acquire proper reading and writing skills. Spelling and grammar activities are part of the language curriculum as well. Word lists and books are sent home to review; children love to show their parents their ‘homework’!

The mathematics area contains many different exercises giving the children the opportunity to work with units, teens, tens, hundreds and beyond. After recognising the numbers 0-9 and having completed numerous counting activities using specific Montessori materials, the child is ready to learn the numbers up to 20. The Montessori material, at every stage, helps the child to associate the quantity with the number.

At this age, children like to work with big numbers too. Recognising big numbers such as 5,426 and visualising the quantity is a big achievement. Their minds are ready to think in a more abstract way and therefore addition and subtraction will be introduced; first with materials and later without. Multiplication is introduced through the bead chains and later the squares and cubes of numbers. Fractions too are introduced through materials that can be traced and compared.

In the cultural area materials for history, geography, nature and science are presented, often combined with original material made by the teachers. As the children are very open to exploring language, the best way of providing new words is through the study of a novel and exciting topic. Regularly, this special subject will be discussed in group sessions; parents will be asked to bring books, pictures and objects so they too can participate and be part of this study. Excursions and arts & craft activities will complete the topic.

THREE STAGES TO ADULTHOOD

When Dr. Maria Montessori studied children’s development more than a century ago, she observed children from birth to adolescence. She discovered that every child goes through three major stages before becoming an adult.

During the first stage, from birth to 6 years, a child learns subconsciously. Spirit, movement and language form a trinity that develop only if the child has the opportunity to act and practise.

From the age of 3 years onwards, a child will begin to learn consciously through the senses: choosing and repeating activities at their own rhythm and duration. They will observe the environment, showing great interest and good memory for language.

From the age of 5 years onwards, children’s awareness of their surroundings and how they fit into it is growing and they will soon be ready to discover the world.

The child will develop more social skills to facilitate group play instead of parallel play. They will become open to influences from adults and follow instructions in a pleasant manner, and will be open to writing, reading and mathematical activities.

The classroom is divided into areas corresponding to different sensitive periods which the children are familiar with from their previous experiences, so that the appropriate materials can be presented.

Many materials – especially those from the sensorial area – are provided again to give the children the opportunity to repeat and refine their movements. In the practical life area, the exercises are more complex and more challenging.

LANGUAGE, MATHS, CULTURE…

In the language area, the children will work with the sandpaper letter boards. As soon as the sounds are memorised the child will enter the world of reading. Objects, pictures, language matching games, movable alphabets, books and accompanying workbooks are there to fulfil the child’s need to acquire proper reading and writing skills. Spelling and grammar activities are part of the language curriculum as well. Word lists and books are sent home to review; children love to show their parents their ‘homework’!

The mathematics area contains many different exercises giving the children the opportunity to work with units, teens, tens, hundreds and beyond.

After recognising the numbers 0-9 and having completed numerous counting activities using specific Montessori materials, the child is ready to learn the numbers up to 20. The Montessori material, at every stage, helps the child to associate the quantity with the number.

At this age, children like to work with big numbers too. Recognising big numbers such as 5,426 and visualising the quantity is a big achievement. Their minds are ready to think in a more abstract way and therefore addition and subtraction will be introduced; first with materials and later without. Multiplication is introduced through the bead chains and later the squares and cubes of numbers. Fractions too are introduced through materials that can be traced and compared.

In the cultural area materials for history, geography, nature and science are presented, often combined with original material made by the teachers. As the children are very open to exploring language, the best way of providing new words is through the study of a novel and exciting topic. Regularly, this special subject will be discussed in group sessions; parents will be asked to bring books, pictures and objects so they too can participate and be part of this study. Excursions and arts & craft activities will complete the topic.