Here are answers to some of the questions we often here from parents that are interested in our preschool and kindergarten programs.
Who was Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator, the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy. She first worked with mentally handicapped and disadvantaged children. She later developed her method of education to include normal children. Born in 1870, she worked in the fields of psychiatry, education, and anthropology until her death in Holland in 1952.
Does early education have any effect on intellectual capacity?
Research has shown that half of our intelligence growth is completed by the age of four, two thirds by age six. The stimulation we receive in these early years is crucial in determining how well we learn in later life.
What is the “absorbent mind”?
Montessori termed the child’s mind is able to absorb knowledge. He has the power to teach himself. This is evidenced by the child who grows up speaking his parent’s language while no one has really spent any time teaching him language. His mind has absorbed that information from the environment.
What are the “sensitive” periods?
This is Montessori’s name for age periods when the child shows unusual capabilities in acquiring particular skills. She found that a child was able to absorb more readily different subjects at different ages or periods of growth. Once the specific trait has been acquired, the special sensitivity disappears.
What is the purpose of the Montessori Practical Life learning area?
The “Practical Life” area is used more frequently by the younger child. Daily living relationships provide the child with learning experiences for self-mastery. The child learns inner control and mastery of movements. The child cares for his environment and for himself. The underlying objectives of all practical life exercises are: coordination, concentration and independence.
What is the purpose of the Montessori Sensorial materials?
Sensorial materials are designed to aid in the training of the five senses. A child uses his senses to learn about the world. The sensorial equipment develops the child’s ability to judge different shapes, sizes, colors, weights, textures, etc. Most of these exercises have underlying objectives of order, concentration and coordination.
What is the purpose of the Montessori Language materials?
The Montessori language materials are offered to the child when he/she enters school. A phonetic approach is used when a child is ready. He uses three of his senses when learning to read and write. For example, he learns the form of the letters as well as their sound by tracing the Sand Paper Letters with his fingers and saying the sound. Reading skills, handwriting, word blending exercises and spelling tests follow.
What is the function of the Montessori Math materials?
When a child first enters school, he/she learns the concept of numbers 1-10. Many reinforcing games are played to help the child associate the number symbols with the quantity. He/she practices addition, subtraction, linear and skip counting, division, multiplication and fractions.
What happens to a Montessori child who transfers to a public school?
The Montessori child adapts to his/her environment wherever he finds himself/herself. How soon and how easily he adapts to the public school usually depends on the new teacher he/she meets. Each situation should be evaluated very carefully. It is generally accepted that the Montessori child retains a love of learning through all of his/her life and this enables him/her to adjust to the public school situation very well.
How do you “discipline” the children?
We use logical consequences to help the child with problems that arise. We encourage the children to be responsible and independent. The children decide together the “rules” of the school and what the sensible consequence should be if the rule is not followed. Problems are solved in a positive manner.