Over 100 years ago, Maria Montessori, an Italian educator, pioneered a teaching pedagogy that was a game changer for the formative years of children’s life. Her methodology was centred around the children she taught and not the books she was teaching from.
The Montessori approach is holistic and aims at the overall development of a child. Essential to the approach is the belief that a child’s early years from birth to six are the period when they have the greatest capacity to learn.
There is a wonderful peace and quietness throughout the classroom brought about through concentration on the task in hand. Many of the early exercises use objects often found around the home, such as small jugs for the ever popular pouring activities; dusting and polishing exercises; folding and buttoning activities to name just a few. These are designed to teach the children life skills, increase their dexterity and concentration. As the children are familiar with the objects used, this will help them to make a smooth transition from home to school.
As your child gets older they will be introduced to the Montessori materials specifically designed to help develop their sensory awareness and ability to make finer discrimination in size, shape and colour, for example. These are later followed by materials ingeniously designed to develop the child’s concrete understanding of Language, Math and all the other areas of the curriculum. When reintroduced to these concepts in their primary school, this physical understanding will be invaluable to them.