Introduction to Montessori:
The aim of Montessori Education is to prepare the child for life. The teacher introduces to each child the skills and qualities necessary to live life to the full in an independent, safe, happy way. It also develops the child to their full potential. In the Montessori classroom, the child explores the world through their senses and their own activity. They develop a love of learning and enjoy working, which hopefully will stay with them throughout life. Montessori is an education for life, a learning process where children are encouraged to develop at their own pace in a safe and caring environment. Montessori is about learning to balance responsibility with freedom of choice. It offers children the opportunity to realise their potential, in a non-competitive environment and seeks to promote in them:
- Self-confidence and self-esteem
- A sense of achievement and self-worth
- A sense of responsibility for themselves and their actions
- Independence and adaptability
- Co-operation with others
- A sense of community respect for the rights and needs of others
- Concentration and persistence in completing a task
- Initiative and self-motivation
There are five main sections in Montessori:
- Practical Life:
This is every day exercises that children see adults doing in the home and wish to imitate e.g. Polishing, sweeping, setting the table, dressing frames, sorting, matching, spooning, pouring and much more. All the practical life exercises help the child gain confidence, independence and social skills.
- Sensorial Education:
This is used to teach the children through their senses e.g. Sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing, weight, temperature and muscular memory. The sensorial activities refine the child’s senses, give order to what they see and broaden their awareness of objects. A lot of the materials have an indirect preparation for mathematics. Examples of some material would be, jars with different smells, the children would smell them and match them to another jar that smells the same. A similar game is played with the sound boxes. One of the children’s favourite pieces of work is the knobbles cylinders, which allow the children to build a stairs or a tower. There are four of these boxes which all vary in width, height or diameter. The children can explore using more than one piece of work at a time.
Both of these are thought at different stages of the day on a daily basis. The teacher will work individually with your child teaching them numbers and phonetic sounds.
These are exercises that teach your child about where they live and about different cultures and traditions around the world. It will also teach your child different languages e.g. Irish, French, Spanish, etc…and also music and dance e.g. Irish Dancing.
At the end of each day the teacher will have “CIRCLE TIME”. This is a time when all the children are taught together as a group. Culture subjects, stories, poems, songs, show and tell, news time and much more are taught during circle time.