Community Room/Casa da bambini (children's house)
18 months to 3 years
During the first two years, the child is introduced to exercises in practical life, such as spooning beans, pouring water and polishing silver. These exercises satisfy the child’s need to imitate adult behaviour and increase his/her level of independence. These exercises also lengthen the attention span and aid in the development of fine and gross motor coordination. As time goes by, practical life exercises evolve from the care of self into the care of others and the environment, which then can lead to activities such as science experimentation and discoveries.
Sensorial exercises involve innovative educational materials that develop and refine the child’s sensory organs. The child learns to grade and sequence objects according to various attributes. These activities give the child a clearer, deeper understanding of sequences, groups and sets, while preparing the child for the more advanced mathematics and geometry activities later on. The child also meets a rich vocabulary in the process and learns to discriminate perceptually by using the senses.
The language programme begins with readiness activities. It is imperative that each child is allowed to progress to a state of physical and mental readiness before formal language exercises are introduced. The child will experience matching cards, stories, poetry, listening games, and other preparatory activities. Children will learn about different languages in a prepared Montessori environment, through activity-based lessons under the instruction of highly experienced educators. Once the child is introduced
Mathematics is introduced when the child demonstrates interest and readiness. We match each child’s ability with the appropriate materials so that his/her learning experiences are both positive and rewarding while providing optimal learning at each stage of development.
Introduction to mathematics begins with a clear, sensorial impression derived on the child’s part from manipulation of objects, movement and activity.
As each mathematical concept is internalised, the child moves him/herself gradually from concrete objects and then progresses to the abstract level that is required for a more advanced mathematic curriculum. This method of instruction, devised by Dr. Montessori, has proven to be successful in teaching mathematic skills while enabling the child to enjoy working in the subject.
Each child benefits from this concrete introduction to abstract concepts such as decimal system identity, commutative and associative properties. The older children work with the mathematic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using Montessori Golden Bead material. The success that the child meets here inspires confidence and a desire to seek out future learning experiences.
Culture, Science, Geography, History
These activities are designed to help the child become aware of and appreciate the diversity of the world. By examining the human, plant and animal worlds, the child gains exposure to the life that surrounds him or her. The child is taught to respect and take care of the environment. Even the younger child experiments with air, water and electricity, among other elements. The child is able to develop his/her intellect by thinking about the relationship between the causes and effects of each experiment. Rather than just inundating the children with a lot of facts and information, experiments allow the children to grasp a clearer understanding of their physical environment through hands-on activities. They then develop new ways of thinking and sharpen their memories.