The exercises in the Practical Life area offer adult-like activities that involve purposeful activity and intelligent movement. This is the area where children first develop concentration, coordination, order, self-confidence, independence, and a sense of responsibility. These skills are the foundation for the child’s continuing exploration of his/her environment.
All knowledge comes through our senses. The exercises in the Sensorial area allow children to manipulate materials that develop the body-brain connection regulated through teach of the senses. When children engage in these exercises, they begin to see patterns and order in their environment that provide a foundation for development in other areas.
Young children have a natural ability to learn language skills that diminishes as they grow older. In the Language area, emphasis is placed on learning the sounds each letter makes rather than the alphabet. Throughout the curriculum, children are developing the small motor skills they will need to be a successful writer and the auditory and visual tracking skills necessary for learning to read.
Thinking mathematically comes naturally to children. The Math area focuses on the child’s receptive capabilities and ability to understand concepts. A child’s understanding of mathematical concepts will precede their ability to apply that understanding in a concrete manner. Through exercises in this area, children develop their innate abilities to gather physical knowledge and their intuitive sense of logical/mathematical relationships.
Science is an integral element of the Montessori curriculum. Among other things, it represents a way of life: a clear thinking approach to gathering information and problem solving. The scope of the Montessori science curriculum includes a sound introduction to botany, zoology, chemistry, physics, geology and astronomy. The Montessori approach to science cultivates children’s fascination with the universe and helps them develop a lifelong interest in observing nature and discovering more about the world in which we live.
Culture, History, and Geography
In Montessori terms the History and Geography areas are referred to as “Cosmic Education.” This area emphasizes cultural materials and how all people are connected and integrated using a timeline of life. This area is intended to build a deeper respect for life and for the importance of being responsible stewards of our world.