Education is a natural process spontaneously carried out not by listening to words but by experiences in the environment”, Dr Maria Montessori, Creator of the Montessori Education. Dr. Maria Montessori characterized the 3 to 6 year old child as possessing an extraordinary capacity, the ability to absorb information from his or her surroundings.
Dr Montessori named this quality as the “absorbent mind”. The child from 3 to 6 is a sensorial explorer, soaking up every aspect of the environment, including language and culture. The corresponding educational environment should support the natural drive of the child to become competent and independent, with the motto “to help me do it myself”. The Montessori approach embraces the full development of the child addressing all aspect of the child’s development.
The program at DMS is designed to meet the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of each child. The Montessori materials are designed to appeal to the child’s natural desire to learn. Children are encouraged to develop good work habits and share in the responsibility of their learning. They work at their own pace and on their own level of learning with gentle guidance from dedicated teachers. The materials in the Montessori environment are designed to isolate one concept at a time in every concrete manner. Children work with material that i are self-correcting thus allowing for self-education. Errors are viewed as a necessary and helpful part of the learning process. The Montessori material provides a bridge from the known to the unknown allowing children to evolve gradually from concrete experience based learning towards increasingly abstract thought. With our curriculum, there are ample opportunities for more repetition and self-discovery throughout the classroom. All the curriculum areas have a wide range of material and activities that appeal to all, from the youngest to the oldest student.
The activities of Practical Life help the child master day to day needs of taking care of self, of others and his/her environment. Activities in this area are designed to give children opportunities to practice the skills necessary for everyday life. Children get great satisfaction in the simple tasks of everyday life. These exercises include pouring liquid, preparing food, washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, setting the table, polishing silver, shoes and showing grace and courtesy in social encounters. Children are taught how to care for their own environment and are given lessons in grace and courtesy.
Through these task and experiences, children learn to concentrate, coordinate their movement, and develop their fine motor skill and a sense of order. Practical life activities are the foundation of all future academic work because they promote concentration, order and complete work cycle.
The sensorial material is designed to enable 3 to 6 year old children to identify and refine information obtained through their senses and to order the classified sensorial impression by seeing, smelling, tasting, listening to, touching and further exploring. The sensorial material aid in his / her power of observation, discrimination of senses by discriminating color, size, shape, texture and sound. Children learn best when allowed to touch, feel, hold, smell, listen, and taste. The sensorial properties of these materials enable the children to classify and eventually name object and attributes in their environment. The sensorial material is designed to refine the senses while also preparing the child for further learning in Math and Language.
Montessori observed that the children between the ages of three to six year have a sensitive period for absorbing language; both spoken and written. The Montessori early childhood classroom is rich in oral language. The verbal skill of the young child is stimulated through conversation and exposure to high quality children’s books. The tracing of a sandpaper letter provide the tactile, phonetic foundation for later reading.
Reading and writing are intimately connected and integrated strategies are offered to ensure success. Opportunities such as listening to stories or reciting poems, singing and conversing with others, introducing the Montessori sandpaper letters connect each spoken sound with its symbols, thus supporting the developmental of writing and eventually reading. A variety of fun and enriching activities are available to facilitate the child’s emerging writing skills, beginning with the early scribbling stage to keeping a daily journal. This promotes reading, writing, expression and comprehension. This is done through phonic, reading, writing mechanism, handwriting and self-expression
A basic tenant of Montessori education is that understanding is often a matter of seeing and touching. Special equipment helps the child to absorb abstract concept through the use of concrete material. A broad spectrum of activities in the room allow one child to count sets of five or six button while next to him a child is adding four digit number, through the use of manipulative. The Montessori Math material and lesson help children to develop an understanding of Math concept through the manipulation of concrete material thus building a secure foundation of Math principle, skill and problem solving abilities. It begins with concrete understanding of quantity, symbol, four operation and progress towards using these concepts without the aid of Montessori material.
The Montessori curriculum provides a wide range of activities to learn more about the world around him. They are presented in sensorial ways with specially designed material and real life experience. Science, Geography, History, Art and Music are all incorporated into the early childhood environment. In geography, children learn not only about the names of countries, but the life of people and their respective cultures. They develop a sense of respect for different cultures recognizing that we all belong to the family of people. Young children are natural scientist. Watching and caring for animals and plants creates an interest in science lessons and a reverence for life.