“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.” – Maria Montessori
Mequon Montessori Curriculum
Dr. Maria Montessori’s ideas of education were based on her observations of how children learn. She believed that education was an aid to life and she developed a curriculum which supports her philosophy. Montessori’s philosophy is based on observing a child in a prepared environment. There are five distinct areas in the early childhood program: practical life, sensorial, language, mathematics, and cultural subjects (geography, science, botany, music, art, etc.).
The Practical Life area of the Early Childhood curriculum includes activities that develop practical living skills. Some examples are hanging up one’s coat, putting shoes on, blowing your nose, snapping, buttoning, zipping, tying, sweeping, watering plants, serving food to someone else, carrying trays, pouring, and spooning food.
The Sensorial activities aim at developing the child’s innate sense of order. The materials analyze dimensions (size), forms (shape), colors, smoothness or roughness of surfaces, textures, weight (baric), temperature (thermic), flavor (gustatory), sounds (pitch & loudness), smelling (olfactory).
Language is present at all times in the Montessori classroom. However, it is formally introduced through a phonetic approach. The moveable alphabet introduces the process of making sounds into words. This is the Montessori approach to the beginning of formal reading.
We start off with 1-10 quantity/numeral relationships. The concrete composition of teens, tens, etc.; the concrete representation of the decimal system; fractions, and the operation of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division follows afterwards.
The areas of Geography, History and Science are components of the Montessori Curriculum. They encompass ideas of Cosmic Education and the interrelatedness of all things. Our students also love cartography, the art and science of making maps. Our younger students create basic maps of the continents, and our older students move on to make maps of the United States, Europe, and Asia.
We encourage creativity by offering the child a wealth of different art experiences. Art is as important as math and reading because it gives children the chance to express themselves. The child explores the basic techniques and mediums first. Once the child masters these, creativity can begin.
Our curriculum incorporates music into Line Time in the classroom. Children will be exposed to various cultural pieces coming from around the world as well as fun and silly songs. Appropriate songs are chosen to coordinate with the themes, and by the end of the year, the child has built up a wide repertoire.
Gross motor movement and control are stressed throughout the day in our classrooms. Montessori emphasized that children learn through purposeful movement. In addition, we have a wonderful “Gym” teacher who comes to school once a week to work on physical education.