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What is the Montessori Method of Education?

The Montessori Method is a child-centered approach developed by Maria Montessori more than 100 years ago (since 1897).

Montessori watched children, and experimented with the environment, materials, and lessons available to them.

Some key principles:

  • The child is naturally eager for knowledge.
  • They can initiate learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment.
  • Aside from cognitive development, we must also include physical, social and emotional development.

Sensitive periods

Maria Montessori recognized and categorized eleven basic sensitive periods of development. During these periods, the child can learn specific concepts more easily and naturally than at any other time in their lives. It is easy to identify the period, as the child will show an especially strong interest or inclination toward certain activities or lessons. It is on this observation that the fundamental “child-led” approach of Montessori method is based. The sensitive periods include:

Movement
Math patterns
Emotional control
Order
Interest in small objects
Vocabulary
Sensations
Letter shapes and sounds
Music
Writing
Reading

(Reference: http://ageofmontessori.org/the-ten-secrets-of-montessori-4-sensitive-periods/)

Montessori tools

Montessori tools encourage children to experiment. So apart from choosing a “period appropriate” tool, choose a toy that requires them to manipulate it in different ways. Not only will they develop fine motor skills, they will also learn important observation and early mathematical skills. Examples include color and shape recognition, and sorting skills that will give them a good foundation for school and life.

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