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Practical Life element of the Montessori curriculum links the home environment to the classroom. Practical materials and activities allows the child to develop fine motor skills and concentration whilst working at their own pace. Through this, a child finds independence to complete tasks resulting in satisfaction and confidence. Practical life encompasses four areas:
From the very beginning a child is constantly developing a sense of order and actively seeking to sort, arrange and classify. The sensorial element of the Montessori curriculum creates a meaningful world through the child’s perception and understanding forming the abstraction of thought. Sensorial materials and activities allows the child to experience the perceived difference between similar and different things. For example; a surface can be both smooth and rough, yet smooth and rough are different.
The language element of the Montessori curriculum uses songs, poems, games, stories and flash cards to refine the oral language of a child acquired at home since birth. Through the use of movement, motor skills and the ability to distinguish between sounds, a language is made. With spoken language, alphabet symbols are introduced and letters are learned thereby allowing the child to form words, phrases and sentences using correct spelling and grammar. The power of language leads to storytelling and writing allowing the child to develop a sense of creativity.
The Mathematics element of the Montessori curriculum introduces the functions and operations of numbers and its application to real-time measurable relationships and experiences. Mathematical concepts are presented to the child through concrete materials. Most of these mathematical ideas have already been experience through sensorial activities. For example; distance, sequencing, identity, similarity, dimension and graduation. Through concrete materials a child is taught to count, add, subtract, multiply and divide.
The cultural element of the Montessori curriculum introduces the areas of Geography, Science, Music, and Art. Geography is learned through picture viewing, maps and discussions about the continents, oceans, countries, their history and habitats, land, air and water. Science is learned through areas of botany, zoology, human senses, weather, the solar system and earth sciences. The Music and Art element provides an arena for the child to express their imagination and feelings, develop fine motor skills, build confidence and allow their creativity to shine through by way off song, dance, drawing, painting, craft and gardening.