What is Montessori

 

Maria Montessori was born in 1870 in a little town in Italy. Dr. Montessori’s focus on the whole child led her to develop a very different sort of school, one that was more child-centred. She emphasised this difference when she named her first school the “Children’s House.” The Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment designed to facilitate the development of the children’s independence and sense of personal empowerment. They move freely within the environment carefully selecting the work that captures their interest, thus giving them the opportunity to investigate and learn. Even the smallest child is responsible for the care of his or her own child sized environment. A Montessori Pre School is designed to work with children between the ages of two and six. At this age the child’s mind is likened to a sponge, otherwise known as the ‘absorbent mind’. Learning is spontaneous and requires little effort which leads to a concrete understanding of many abstract concepts. The children work at their own pace which enables them to become motivated and self disciplined in their learning experience and at the same time retain a sense of curiosity. It is through the independent completion of tasks that the children develop a strong sense of confidence in their abilities. This gives them the courage to take on further challenges and allows them to progress through the various learning areas. The three year Montessori experience gives the children a joy of learning which prepares them for future challenges. In addition, the teachers gain a unique understanding of the child as an individual.

 

The Areas of Learning

 

Practical Life

IMG 1500Young children have a strong urge to be independent. Practical Life activities are aimed at fulfilling this need as well as to perfect the skills they need in their daily life. Whilst learning essential life skills the children are also developing eye-hand co-ordination and the capacity to focus their attention on a task at hand. Successful completion of such activities gives the child a real sense of achievement which in turn builds confidence.

Mathematics

IMG 3163Mathematics materials enable the very young child to achieve a natural appreciation of mathematical concepts through his or her own efforts and exploration. This avoids the mental blocks which so often occur in children faced with purely abstract concepts. The specially designed equipment helps the children to grasp ideas along with sensory experiences of numbers, quantities and mathematical operations. 

Sensorial

IMG 1513Children are intensely aware of the world. They constantly explore it and take in impressions through all of their senses. The sensorial materials encourage the children to order and classify the physical properties of the world they live in. These activities stimulate and develop the senses, refining their powers of observation, perception, exploration and communication.

Culturals

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The Montessori approach to learning covers a wide range of subjects which reflect the broad interests of young children and satisfy their desire to make discoveries about the world in which they live. The Montessori environment stimulates these interests and extends knowledge and understanding of geography, history, music and science as well as the natural world. Cultures from all over the world are explored and celebrated.

Language

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At Baobab Montessori the children are encouraged to learn how to express themselves. The freedom offered to the children creates numerous opportunities for them to communicate with their peers and adults. We emphasize the development of vocabulary based on real experiences and the early preparation required for reading and writing. Advanced activities take the child well beyond the basic skill into reading and writing.