About Montessori Methodology
The Montessori method respects the innate drive within every child that guides him/her to, instinctively take hold of what he/she needs to learn,. at that given moment. Maria Montessori discovered that if allowed to indulge this sensitive period, the child learns with greater enthusiasm and thoroughness. This unique feature of the Montessori school cannot be overstated – whereby each child is given the freedom to choose his activities as best benefits his or her natural curiosity and corresponding to the special needs of his or her sensitive period of inner growth.
The special ability of adults , to respect each child’s unique path of learning and growth, at the same time inspiring them to take in hand enough material and skills, will provide the kid with rich experiences necessary in the formation of a balanced individual.
A. Experience from Practical Life.
The child is introduced initially to practical life as children are familiar with most of the materials at home , but has not laid hands over them. This attracts them to these activities and gives them independence and control over their own life. The purpose of this is to helps the child to take care of itself and his/her environment, help him with his/her eye-hand co-ordination, and endowing him/her with socially acceptablel behavior. The most important need of the young child is to develop his muscles and co-ordinate his movement through such practical life exercises as sweeping, polishing, carrying water, pouring and wiping a table. Special Montessori materials enable him to tie, button, snap and use many other fastening devices.
The purpose of these exercises is to develop concentration, and attention to detail by making the child follow a regular sequence of actions and to learn good working habits. These activities provide the very foundation on which the child approaches more intricate academic exercises.
B. Sensorial Exercises
One aspect of the Montessori Method taught at all Montessori schools are the Sensorial exercises. Sensorial Materials in the Montessori environment are designed to sharpen the senses of the young child and enable the child to understand the many impressions he receives through them. Each of the Sensorial Materials isolates one defining quality such as color, weight, shape, texture, size, sound or smell. The Montessori Sensorial Materials help the child to distinguish, to categorize, and to relate new information to what he already knows.
C. Language and Communication
The child learns oral language naturally. He automatically absorbs it from his environment. When the child enters a Montessori environment he/she learns that the words are made of sounds and each sound has a symbol. By absorbing the sounds and the symbols, the Montessori child begins reading when he is ready and proceeds at his own pace. His experiences in practical life and sensorial education serve as a preparation for his writing.
The sandpaper letters provide a phonetic basis for reading. With cut -out letters (moveable alphabet), the child builds the words with relation to the pictures by phonetically listening to the sounds in succession and placing the right symbol for each sound. This material frees him from the fatigue of his still developing writing skills, and yet gives him the opportunity to pursue his interest in words. These activities serve as a preparation for the time when the child assimilates what he knows and then he explodes into writing.
The materials for Arithmetic introduce the child to associate quantity and its symbols i.e., the numbers 0 through 9. The quantities are introduced by a series of rods, which the child can count. Then he/she matches the sets of symbol cards with the rods. Using a wide range of beads and symbol cards, the child becomes familiar with the numbers as a decimal system, including concrete experiences with the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. These exercises not only teach the child to calculate, but they provide a deep understanding how numbers function and the relation between the quantity and symbol. It also introduces the importance of quantitative study in daily life.
Culture plays a very active role in the Pre-primary Montessori Environment. Various activities aimed at introducing and refining the culture, within the child’s scope of understanding, are conducted throughout the year. Geography and Botany too, as vital part of our immediate outer environment, become integral in our process introducing culture to the children. Geography starts with introduction to water and land bodies, progressing to the study of the earth in the form of a globe/map. Children get to learn more about different continents and explore India in general through photographs, moulds and geography puzzles.
Botany introduces the child to parts of a plant by practically experiencing the lifecycle of a plant and through field trips to help them appreciate nature's diversity. Children get to learn more about shapes of leaves and also get to understand the inter dependency between plant life and mankind.
Children through zoology are able to satiate their fascination and curiosity for animals by learning more about their classification, life cycles and their habitats.