The Montessori Method of Education, developed by Maria Montessori, is centred around your child's own educational approach and has been used for over 100 years in many parts of the world. Montessori considers that the child is the one who is eager for knowledge and able to start learning in a supportive and specially prepared learning system. Montessori develops children academically, physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively.
The Montessori classroom is structured to develop your child's skills in important areas including practical life, language, mathematics and cultural life. The multi-age grouping also develops the child's social skills and provides them with learning and leadership opportunities.
Language: The Montessori classroom is designed around encouraging and developing the language skills of a child. This not only includes reading and writing, but also talking and expressing oneself.Children are introduced to sandpaper letters early on where they trace their alphabet with their fingers. The Montessori method advocates lower case, phonetics based learning as this directly promotes reading and writing. Once children are able to sound out the phonetical alphabet, we move onto the pink cards where children blend and form three letter words. Children also complete a small book where they write out the words they have read, developing their writing skills. Reading and writing skills are also developed through the moveable alphabet where children can form words themselves and practice writing them out.
Language is also encouraged by the free expression of the children with other children. We have circle time every day where children can bring something to show and tell to the class. This builds confidence and public speaking skills which is an important skill to develop all the way through adult hood.
Mathematics: Mathematics is introduced to each child at the Waverley Montessori ELC early on. It is important that children understand the concept of the numbers to ten – this is the foundation of mathematics in Montessori. We have a range of Montessori equipment and the children understand that each number represents a certain quantity. The equipment helps children visualise the concepts concretely rather than working with abstract ideas.
The rods and numeral cards activity assist children in associating quantities with the number symbol. The cards and counters activity introduce the children to the concept of odd and even numbers – the odd numbers being the ones that have a dot without a partner. The spindle boxes introduce children to the concept of zero and loose units making up a number quantity. Once the children master their counting and understanding of the numbers to ten, they are introduced to more complex concepts such as the decimal system and the teens and tens.
Sensorial: Sensorial activities are fundamental to the Montessori method as Maria Montessori believed everything came through the senses. At the Waverley Montessori ELC develops children’s sensorial skills by introducing them to activities from early on that will help them be logical, aware and perceptive. These activities encourage children to identify patterns, discrimination and order.
The pink tower develop children’s discrimination of sizes. The cubes decrease in size by one centimetre and children build a tower from largest to smallest. The knobless cylinders take this one step further and refine their discrimination skills. This activity also targets fine motor skills and concentration. The brown rods refines children’s discrimination skills as children order the rods from longest to shortest (length). The colour box encourages children to identify colours and grade colours from darkest to lightest.
Please feel free to visit our centre to learn more about the benefits of the Montessori philosophy for your child.