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Montessori education is sometimes criticized for being too structured and academically demanding of young children. Montessori would have laughed at this suggestion. She often said: 

"I followed these children, studying them, studied them closely, and they taught me how to teach them"
Maria Montessori

The Montessori primary curriculum is divided into five basic areas:

1. Practical Life
2. Sensorial
3. Language
4. Mathematics
5. Cultural Studies (Geography, Sciences, Art, Music, Spanish,
    Outdoors)

Practical Life

The principle of reality, not fantasy, in the classroom is one of the distinguishing features of a Montessori Pre-school classroom. Montessori’s idea was to teach the children all about how to live in the real world and the Exercises of Practical Life are the first activities that provide these experiences. Children learn how to look after themselves and the environment as well as how to behave socially. In a traditional Pre-school classroom there is usually a ‘home corner’ where the children play-out different aspects of living, but in the Montessori classroom they will actually engage in helping prepare the vegetables for lunch, they will really wash up after the meal and they will really dust and clean their classroom.

Activities are designed to be child-sized so that they can become confident in their life skills. The repetitive motion used within the works lead to a deeper concentration level, which is essential for later learning. 

As the child builds success upon success with small tasks, he/she is able to go on to greater ones, mastering his/her small environment. Care of self ,Care of the Environment, Grace and Courtesy, Control of Movement:

1. The development, coordination and refinement of movement 
2. The development of independence in taking care of one’s own needs 
3. The development of concentration
4. The development of the sense of order and logical sequence
5. The development of the will and confidence awareness of one's own
powers
and abilities
6. The development of awareness of others and skill in social integration
7. The integration of body and mind
8. The development of an individual sense of responsibility to care for the
    environment.
9. Sensorial

"To assist a child, we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to deveop freely"
Maria Montessori

Sensorial:

Dr. Montessori saw the senses as the "doorway to the mind". "It is necessary to begin the education of senses in formative period, if we wish to perfect this sense development with the education which is to follow. The education of the senses would begun methodically in infancy, and should continue during the entire period of instruction which is to prepare the individual for life in society."

The sensorial area contains Montessori materials that help the child refine his or her experience of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell , more complex senses: baric, thermic and sterognostic in a very concrete way. In addition, repetition of sensorial activities builds concentration and perseverance which eventually become components of the child’s personality. 

Math

Dr. Montessori’s math materials are ingeniously interesting and thoughtfully designed and they allow children to perform math steps sequentially and individually in order to build knowledge. The teachers responsibility is to prepare the environment with these logical materials, introduce the child to their appropriate use, and observe the child carefully. Keen teacher observation is meant to remove obstacles and guide learners to the next step according to their own needs and desires.

The purpose of the Math area lays the foundation for later cognitive development and to prepare for the gradual transition to abstract thinking:

Beginning counting -Advanced counting -
The decimal system - Rational numbers (fractions) - The operations of addition - Multiplication - Subtraction - Division

The child learns hands on by manipulating the concrete material while encountering his own discoveries and conclusions to the abstract concepts he attempts to comprehend.Dr. Montessori often stated that a young child has a “natural tendency to think in mathematical terms; to count, to measure, to recognize shape and symmetry.”  She referred to this as the child’s mathematical mind.
Maria Montessori (Aug. 31, 1870-May 6, 1952) <>

Language

In the Montessori classroom, language is a very hands-on and tactile experience for the Montessori child who is preparing to read and write.  

She realized that the desire to write was an area of movement that the child needed to fulfill as part of his sensitive period for movement and if this window of opportunity was missed the child may find writing more difficult at a later age.  In the Montessori Method, writing precedes reading, as the children explore with drawing and forming letters. The process of learning how to read should be as painless and simple as learning how to speak. The child begins by exploring the sounds that compose words and by relating them to the letters of the alphabet. He can soon produce words and sentences free of all other mechanical difficulties.

In the meantime he trains his hand to become precise and sure for the writing movements. Reading is prepared indirectly from writing. The child starts from what he knows about the letters and the sounds. For reading, a set of individual letters, commonly known as sandpaper letters, provide the basic means for associating the individual letter symbols with their corresponding phonetic sounds. Displaying several letters, a lesson, known as the  three-period lesson, guides children to learn the letter sounds, which finally blend together to make certain simple phonetic words like “up” and “cat”. Children learn that letters make sounds.  Dr. Montessori's research unveiled that children learn best by touch and manipulation. Her manipulative approach to teaching children how to read phonetically is nothing short of brilliance. A quiet area for reading is also included in the classroom. 

Cultural Studies

Geography, biology, botany, zoology, art, and music are presented as extensions of language activities, and are integrated into the environment as part of the curriculum (rather than a separate, "special" activity or work time). Children learn about people and cultures in other countries with an attitude of respect and admiration. Through familiarity, children come to feel connected to the global human family. Lessons and experiences with nature inspire a reverence for all life. Art and music in the classroom give children the opportunity to enjoy creative activities, as well as gain knowledge of the great masters. The scope of the Montessori science curriculum includes a sound introduction to botany, zoology, chemistry, physics, geology and astronomy.

The children are taught the concepts of Living/Non-Living, Plants/Animals, Vertebrae / Invertebrate, Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, and much more through hands-on exploration of materials.   The children also experience and participate in experiments such as sink/float, magnetic & non-magnetic, solids, liquids, and gases (properties) and many more. They offer children ways to express themselves, their feelings, experiences and ideas.  The Montessori approach to science cultivates children's fascination with the universe and helps them develop a lifelong interest in 

Art and Music

Art and music are integrated into the lessons and are not always taught as a separate lessonThe focus on art is more on process than the finished product.  Art is an important part of the Montessori classroom. Through art the child gains concrete sensorial impressions which prepare him for the more abstract subject matter at a later time. Art also balances the Montessori classroom as it involves the whole child, including mind, body and spirit. 

Spanish

The primary, kindergarten and older pre-primary students will be presented with a comprehensive Spanish language curriculum by a trained and experienced Spanish instructor.
  
Outdoor Activities

In the spring the children plant a garden, care for it in during the summer and gather the harvest when the time is right.  Also palnt flowers, tend to the yard, and do lots of outside activites during the summer months.         

  
“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment” 
Maria Montessori