Montessori: The Early Childhood Years
THE MONTESSORI EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM Ages 2 ½ -6
Social, and Emotional Development
In the Montessori classroom, children learn in mixed aged groups, typically with a 3-year developmental span. This enables the older, more socially advanced and capable children to become role models for the younger ones. A feeling of community develops as the younger children are aided by the older ones. The older children learn patience, and leadership skills through their experience with their younger friends. And they reinforce and perfect their own skills in the process.
Practical Life Activities
Practical life activities are life-skills activities which instill care of oneself, care of others and care for environment. These are everyday living activities such as buttoning, zipping, pouring, folding, sweeping, and learning to be courteous.
Through these activities and experiences, the children develop concentration, smooth & coordinated movement, fine and large motor skills, and learn to be graceful & courteous in social encounters.
Practical Life activities are the foundation of all future academic work because they promote focus and concentration, order & sequence, attention to detail, observation & listening skills, and the completion of a work or activity cycle.
Sensorial activities are designed to enable the young child to identify & refine information obtained through his senses. Each material isolates a single sensorial impression such as color, depth, texture, or sound, and challenges him to either match or sequence the sensorial impression he experiences. These activities assist the child’s on-going process of classifying his environment.
Because the young child’s mind is in such a rapid phase of growth in language development between birth & six, these early years provide an ideal opportunity to focus on language, vocabulary and reading.
The Montessori Early Childhood classroom is therefore rich in oral language. Classroom language experiences include the whole spectrum of ways in which language can be used to include listening to stories, reciting poems, singing, and conversing with others.
Vocabulary and language enrichment begin the first day your child enters school and continues daily throughout his stay at Far Horizons Montessori. By broadening the child’s vocabulary, he is able to better classify his world, more clearly express himself, and build on his interests.
Vocabulary is enriched through games of labeling, matching, categorizing, and sequencing sets of singularly related language cards such as opposites, fruits, vehicles, North American mammals, & the life cycle of butterflies.
Through phonics, and the use of the “Montessori sandpaper letters” and “moveable alphabet”, the young child is given the key to early reading. As with all areas of our curriculum, reading instruction is individualized and begins when the child shows interest and readiness. Our goal is not just the teaching of the mechanics of reading (the decoding of words) but to develop total reading (the ability to extract completely the thought expressed by the author).
Human beings have a mathematical mind related to their tendencies to explore and to imagine. All too often, adults do not enjoy or excel at mathematics.
Young children, however, are intrigued by numbers. Knowing “how much” or “how many” provides another dimension for them in understanding their world.
The Montessori math materials and lessons help the child to develop an understanding of these concepts through the manipulation of sequential hands-on materials.
This builds a secure foundation of math skills, and problem solving abilities. A variety of materials not only maintains the child’s interest, but allows for much repetition.
Other Curriculum Areas
Science geography, history, music and art are all integrated into the Early Childhood Montessori environment. They are presented with specially designed sensorial materials and through real life experiences.
Geography & Science
In geography, children learn not only the names and locations of countries but also about the people, their culture, and the animals that live there.
Our goal is to assist the child in developing a respect for differences and an understanding that we all share similar needs such as food, clothing, and shelter, and the need for work, play and love.
Young children are natural scientists – constantly observing, listening, touching, experimenting with, and questioning about countless items & everyday experiences they find in their environment.
They are fascinated with animals and plants. Many of the reading classification and language activities in the Montessori classroom focus on these interests.
Music & Art
At Far Horizons Montessori, the world of the young child is enriched through the special magic of music and art. Music and art provide the child an opportunity for creative and joyful self-expression as well as experience with the work of great musicians and artists
Yoga, dance, and rhythmic activities with boas, hoops, beanbags, rhythm sticks and instruments, provide dramatic play and fitness fun.
These activities also assist the child in improving coordination, flexibility, and body awareness, while fostering self-confidence and encouraging cooperation and listening skills.