Before the age of 7, language, order, sensory perception and motor coordination can be easily learned to their highest possible potential. Beyond age 6 this ability gradually diminishes, both in the quantity and in the quality of possible learning.
Every activity in the Ancaster Montessori School classroom corresponds to the development of the child in one or more of these areas of learning:
Practical Life Activities
Activities in Practical Life teach children how to be independent. Independence is very important for the young child to learn. Small children can learn how to tie their own shoes, pour their own milk and tidy up when they make a spill. There are many activities of Practical Life. Through these activities, children learn to care for themselves, for their environment and for each other. As in other curriculum areas, many Practical Life activities isolate one particular skill. This allows children to master the necessary skills to progress, beginning one step at a time.
Sensorial activities teach children to focus their awareness, discriminate fine differences and learn how to observe. Some exercises are for matching and grading colours, textures and sounds, while others are for sorting by one aspect such as height, width, or length.
Montessori Mathematics includes activities in numbers 1-9999, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. These involve hands-on learning materials that make abstract concepts clear and concrete.
Language activities develop children’s skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar. Considering that the optimal developmental timeframe for learning language is before the age of 6, this is an important time for vocabulary enrichment. Materials in every area of the classroom can teach the names of geometric shapes and solids, continents and countries within continents, flags, types and parts of trees, flowers and animals, etc.
Activities in Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies include the subjects of history, geography and science. Children use many puzzles for activities in geography and science long before they do any written work. Puzzles are a very important part of the Montessori approach. Young children experience things that they can touch and manipulate with much greater interest than a two-dimensional picture on paper. By assembling a complex whole from many parts children can develop a real sense of discovery about the world they live in while building their concentration.
The activities in our classrooms involve the use of Montessori material. These are all child-sized, multi-sensory, self-correcting, sequentially organized and are designed to enhance the child’s focused attention.
Children can benefit from a Montessori education starting at 15 months. We have had a great Montessori program for over 30 years for children 2.5 to 6 years old, and now toddlers can explore, discover, and learn with us, too. Find more information about our toddler class here.
Our schools show that children of different ages help one another. There are many things that no teacher can convey to a child of three, but a child of five can do it with ease.
– Dr. Maria Montessori