As we are heading into the new year I thought it would be helpful to start a series of posts about Montessori and what children encounter in the environment. I know sometimes from a parents perspective the beauty of what occurs can be shrouded in mystery.
What are the five areas of the Montessori Classroom?
Today, I will briefly touch on the five areas of the Montessori classroom and later post in-depth on each one. All areas of work in the Montessori classroom are purposeful and deliberately presented in a way that strengthens learning in one or more of these areas.
This work sets the foundation for all other works. In this work, Montessori teaches real-life skills, such as care of self, care of the environment, grace and courtesy, as well as coordination and concentration. Tasks which as adults we take for granted are important for children to master. Such works like, table scrubbing, dishwashing, laundry folding, mopping, sweeping, polishing etc… help ground the children in being present in the world that is filled with distractions. Children’s concentration is disciplined through these works so that larger concepts will later take root in the medium of the well-rounded Montessori child’s mind.
There are very crucial sensitive periods for learning a language. The Montessori environment is rich in opportunities to meet these needs beginning in the Nido, (or infant program). Language is an important and omnipresent part of the environment, from the spoken word to the actual lessons. Some of the areas in language that Montessori child will master include, oral language works, vocabulary, pre-writing, and pre-reading, and then writing and reading. It’s a truly beautiful process that unfolds when the child’s vocabulary expands, followed by their concept of the world and him or herself. Their personality is further developed and revealed with the help of the language process.
This area of focus uses the senses be it, visual, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, auditory or stereognostic. These are technical terms to describe our senses of sight, touch, smell, taste, and even movement. Through the development of the senses, the child becomes an active explorer of his or her environment.
In this area, the Montessori child begins to understand their environment in the larger concept of the world. With areas, in geography, social studies, sciences like biology, botany, and physics. In this area, the “environment should bring the world at large and thus the adult work within reach of the child at whatever stage of development it is at a given moment.” – (The Secret of Childhood) by Maria Montessori
In mathematics, the Montessori environment provides tangible works to help children understand first the concrete concepts of math and then the abstract concepts. Each work, like all works, builds upon itself in lessons given in certain ordered scope and sequence.
I hope this overview of the five areas was helpful. Stay tuned for a more in-depth explanation of these areas soon.
Information gathered from the works of Tami Kinna
Visit our school’s website: http://www.healthybeginningsmontessori.com