3-6 years old
The pre-school class brings together children aged three to six because these years correspond to a specific period in child development and are an essential stage of personality construction. The child’s education takes root during this period and forms the basis for the development of his/her intelligence and social behavior.
“Help me to be independent” is what the child asks of the adult. The Montessori method takes advantage of specific moments called “sensitive periods” during which the child will naturally be driven to certain activities. The teacher recognizes those moments and guides the child to the related material thus enabling him/her to discover it and work with it. As the child is naturally guided toward the activities that fulfil his/her inner needs, s/he concentrates on a specific task and repeats it until s/he masters it. The child’s mind is so absorbent at that young age that s/he will integrate the information effortlessly.
The following processes develop:
- Refining the 5 senses
- First approach to reading and writing
- Forming the mathematical and logical mind
- Exploring cultural elements s/he relates to
- Personality building
The teacher is the guide and link between the material and the child. S/he proposes activities that will be of interest to the child at a specific moment in his/her development. The child thus grows in an environment designed to respond to his/her needs.
The material for 3-6 year olds
The Practical Life Material is material adults use in their daily life but which is adapted to the size of a child’s hand. It is used to fine-tune the child’s movements and enhance his/her autonomy in every day life.
The Sensorial Material contributes to refining the child’s 5 senses and developing his/her intelligence through association, comparison, etc. The exercises performed with this material structure the child’s mind, thus preparing him/her for the future.
The Language Material initially enables the child to start developing his/her vocabulary through songs, stories, words and sound games. In a second stage s/he will start to recognize the letters of the alphabet. Once the pre-reading and writing is absorbed, the child will be driven to learn to read and write. Usually, by 5 1/2 years old, s/he will begin to approach grammar through the sensorial material s/he is introduced to in both English and French.
The Mathematical Material will familiarize the pupils with counting, the decimal system, and the four basic mathematical calculations. Numbers will be absorbed through sensorial experiences.
Science Material includes material related to an array of different subjects: botany (naming of plants, flowers, etc.), zoology (animals, species, etc.), geography (continents, countries, flags, etc.) and is presented in various forms (puzzles, games, etc.).
6-9 and 9-12 year olds
At this age, children start to have moral concerns as they have two parallel lives: their home life and their social life. While they are very much attached to their family, they want to experience and explore the outside world. They need to distinguish the good from the bad and develop their own consciousness.
By now, children wish to understand for themselves and by themselves rather than just absorb what they hear. They are open to all fields of knowledge, want to try out their own ability to reason, and aspire to making up their own mind. Our role as educators is to feed their intellectual demands to enhance their optimal development.
Montessori material 6-12 year olds
The five Great Lessons (the different states of matter and their transformation) are presented to the child in the form of tales, frescoes, symbolic pictures and practical experiences which feed his/her imagination. Introducing the pupils to the story of life provides them with a global vision of the themes; they will feel the desire to have a deeper understanding and feel urged to explore and discover the details by themselves. This is the best way for a child to build his/her thought process.
The objective of these Lessons is to arouse curiosity, interest and wonder. The first Great Lesson is the creation of the universe and of planet earth. The interdependence and the collaboration of the different agents, the natural laws, the physical and chemical properties of matter, geography, astronomy, and geology. The second Great Lesson presents the evolution of life on earth, from the cell to the organ: thus an introduction to botany, zoology and the time-space continuum. The third Great Lesson is dedicated to the appearance of mankind, its evolution up to present time, its basic physical and spiritual needs, its characteristics, talents, history and biology. The fourth Great Lesson is dedicated to the invention and the evolution of the different systems of communication and symbols: language, writing, and the arts, used by man through the studies of different human civilizations. The fifth and last Great Lesson describes the evolution of the scientific mind of mankind materialized through the history of numbers and mathematics.
Huge paper rolls are used to materialize these lessons, introducing children through a global sensorial impression which triggers their imagination, encourages their intelligence to work in the abstract, and awakens their sense of discovery and invention. The teacher, while giving only a starting point, triggers the child’s interest, leading him/her to ask questions and to carry out research.
We encourage the pupils to do research alone or in groups in each field of study. We guide them and teach them how to write essays, reports, history stories, make models, and take notes. Once the work is finished, the child will make an oral presentation and explain what s/he has discovered to the class. This new dynamic will allow the children to absorb new knowledge and develop their self-esteem.
Our objective is also to develop the child’s sense of responsibility. We must help each child to be responsible for his/her conduct and work by offering him/her the chance to practice his/her responsibility. The children are thus given an active role: they set their target and organize their work. They do not work for grades or for external rewards nor to please teachers, but for themselves because it gives them pleasure.
The material provided enables them to see and explore abstract concepts by using concrete experiences. This leads them to develop a deep understanding of complex concepts. Exploring to understand. In the classroom, the material is organized in an orderly manner so that the children may easily access what they need for their research.
The Montessori curriculum includes diverse subjects, among which are music, the arts and sports. In an effort to comply with the Swiss national curriculum (“Plan d’étude romand - PER), German is taught from the age of six onwards, first through songs, and then through language lessons twice to three times weekly.
The children will be in charge of their environment and of their life in a Montessori environment. They are taught to tidy, clean, lay and clear up their tables, greet visitors, organize their class rules, work and outings. The approach leads them to build their social skills progressively, be respectful of others, and develop their self-esteem, which are key foundations to a healthy life.
“We do not raise our children for today’s life. This world will have changed when they are older. Therefore, we must help our children to cultivate their ability to create and adapt.” Maria Montessori
The Montessori educational system will help the child to engage in society and develop his/her personal approach. The child will thus be able to continue his/her studies with a strong reasoning and a structured imagination. S/he will be open to understanding the world, being creative, dealing with others with respect and consideration, making judicious and clear decisions.
For further information on the Montessori education please contact us
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