What is the Montessori Program
The Montessori classroom is commonly referred to as a "prepared environment". This choice of words reflects the care and attention given to creating a learning environment that reinforces children’s independence and intellectual development. Montessori schools are places where children work and learn with dignity and spontaneous enthusiasm. The class groups are always multi-aged, normally covering a three or four year span. Each class is essentially a stable community, with only the oldest third moving on to the next level each year. At each level within a Montessori school, the curriculum and the methods are logical and consistent extensions of what has come before. The curriculum consists of four areas.
The exercises of Practical Life are activities a child encounters in daily living. While practicing pouring, tying, sponge squeezing, caring for plants or greeting visitors, the child not only masters these skills, but, more importantly, gains confidence with each activity, thus building self-esteem.
Each Sensorial material isolates one quality, such as size, volume, width, length, touch, temperature, weight, color, shape, or sound. Repetition is encouraged to allow the child to achieve mastery. Teachers present extensions, combinations, and challenges once the child grasps an initial quality.
We immerse children in language throughout their day in a Montessori classroom participating in conversations, songs, poems, stories, and discussions. Playing games where words are broken down into their sounds, leads to sound recognition and soon to the sandpaper letters, then reading.
They develop basic mathematical foundations of order, sequence, patterns, relationships, quantity and dimension in the Practical Life and Sensorial areas. Now the child is ready to go on to add numerical value to the concepts already absorbed.