Children under six years old need to
explore and discover in order to be calm and happy. They
see the world through new eyes and therefore are always
curious about everything. Children learn by touching and
manipulating objects, hence they want to touch everything.
Children respond to order because of their innate need to
know where things belong and how pieces fit together. They
want to master the movements of their own bodies by learning
to balance, run, skip, and jump. And they are fascinated
by the customs and traditions of people in their lives.
Montessori classroom, the objective is approached by allowing
the child to experience the excitement of learning by his own
choice. It is also approached by helping the child perfect his
natural tools for learning, so that the child's abilities will
be maximized for future learning situations. Montessori materials
have this dual, long-range purpose in addition to their intermediate
goal of giving specific information to the child. The Montessori
classroom is multi-age. Three, four, and five years old share
the same classroom. Through constant interaction, children learn
to take responsibility for themselves and for each other. When
the child enters preschool at three years of age, the practical
life area provides the link between home and school.
In the classroom, the young child is able to perform the same
activities he has seen adults do, such us polishing, scrubbing,
washing, pouring, and sweeping. The motions help the children
gain gross motor control and hand-eye coordination, which
will enable him to perform other precise tasks successively.
Practical life fosters concentration and independence.
age children have natural mathematical minds; Montessori materials
allow these sensorial explorers to begin their mathematical
journey from the concrete to the abstract through manipulation,
experimentation, and invention. For example, the child does
not merely learn to count; he understands the concept of "how
many" because he holds the amount in his hands. Likewise
he is able to perform the operations of addition, subtraction,
multiplication and division using concrete materials.
Language work can extend to exploration in science and social
studies, led by the child's curiosity. Arts and music are
not treated as separate subjects, but are integrated into
the prepared environment as part of the day-to-day activities.