The practical life materials are a very important part of a Montessori learning environment and lay the foundation for further learning. These purposeful materials develop motor control and coordination, independence, concentration and a sense of responsibility. They cover two main areas of development: care of self and care of the environment. The practical life materials are purposeful and meaningful to children as they are learning experiences that are familiar to everyday life. They contribute to the child's control and co-ordination of movement, development of concentration and self esteem.
The sensorial materials help children develop and refine their senses. It is through the senses that children begin to understand their environment. These materials help children to sort out different impressions thus helping them understand concepts such as color, size and dimension. They also prepare the child for reading, writing and mathematics.
From the moment a child steps into a Montessori setting, they experience a language rich environment where they absorb everything. Sounds are introduced using the sandpaper letters. By using the phonetic system, children are given the keys to language.
Children are naturally attracted to the science of numbers. It is part of their everyday environment. The Montessori math materials are introduced in a very simple and concrete way. The manipulation of concrete materials facilitates both exploration of and understanding of mathematical concepts. Children learn to count using the number rods along with learning to recognize the numbers using the sandpaper touch numbers.
We aim to enable each child to see how they fit into their environment both geographically and historically. This helps children gain an understanding of the cultural makeup of our world. As we explore other cultures, parents have the opportunity to get involved by sharing their own cultural experiences. Children learn to respect, understand and appreciate other cultures as well as develop a knowledge and sense of pride in their own identity within their own culture.