“Help me to do it myself.“ (Maria Montessori )

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Just a few parents know that the first 6 years of a child represent an important period from the point of view of acquiring knowledge and acquaintances. Many of them think that the child is too small to learn. However, just think about how much a child can learn by watching TV. Kid’s curiosity, the desire to explore, investigate and learn are the essential elements of this period. The importance of early childhood has already been highlighted by Maria Montessori (1870), an Italian doctor, who worked with preschool children during her studies.

At the beginning, she worked with mentally handicapped children. The results of her work showed that if you work with these children properly, they achieve results comparable with their healthy peers. After this, she decided to use this approach with healthy kids and started to look for the possibilities and ways how to work with kids to develop them as much as possible. She claimed that education starts from birth and first few years are the most formative and the most important in both physical and mental abilities. Nowadays, many kindergartens and primary schools draw from her researches and studies (Montessori Pedagogy)

Montessori highlights the following principles in her studies:

  • Children until 6 years of age have an extraordinary mind. Montessori called it “absorbing” because of its ability to absorb, learn and store large amounts of knowledge without effort.
  • She talks about sensitive periods during which a child has some talent to obtain a certain ability as in any other period. It means children have a universal ability to learn from the surrounding environment without conscious effort. They do not need to learn by direct teaching and despite this, they learn incredibly a lot. For example in the age of 1 – 4 years, the child is able to learn their mother tongue and other languages easily, in the age of 2 – 4 understands faster the sequences in time and space, in the age of 3,5 – 4,5 easily acquires writing, 4,5 – 5,5 reading, …
  • Little children in their early age gain information from their surroundings, especially through senses. Because of this, it is important to put emphasis on the sensual education in this age.
  • Unlike the opinion that kids are messy, Montessori indicates that They can spend a lot of time by sorting, organizing household objects into rows and columns. They insist on the arrangement of everyday activities, which help them with the orientation in time and space. Disordering and constant changes evoke feelings of chaos and uncertainty.
  • Appropriately chosen teaching methods from birth to 6 years highly influence the ormation of personality.

In our kindergarten we try to develop children with the usage of different types of activities. The development of various educational areas (language, maths, zoology, botany) the same as ordinary areas (keeping order, organizing things, leading to self-reliance, concentration, development of all sences, motor skills) is completed and supported by incorporating Montessori activities. Class organization allows the child to move, touch, manipulate, investigate and gives the freedom to choose their own activity in the free game where the teacher supervises the realization of the selected activities. Every day is conducted with the usage of routine activities (circle time, theme song during cleaning or hygiene, change of light before the Fairy English and many others), which according to Montessori evoke a sense of security and certainty in children and help them with the orientation in time and space because they are an indirect information about what is going to happen and the child adapts easier. During the teaching in kindergarten, we apply different Montessori activities:

  • Practical Life Activities
  • The Initial Sensorial Activitiesy
  • Activities for Development of Reading and Writing
  • Arithmetic Activities

Practical Life Activities:

Since an early age, children try to copy what adults do. They want to take part in housework and learn everything without the assistance of adults. They love real things and because of this, they like to sift, to pour, to set the table, to fold napkins, to button up, … They learn to concentrate. Here are 4 areas of activities: caring about myself, caring about the surroundings, movement control, and social life.
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Learning through the senses helps to develop concentration and coordination. The exercises apply to all senses. They are focused on development of visual perception – spatial orientation, distinguishing of colour, size, auditory perception, the development of touch – distinguishing of hard and soft, distinguishing of objects by their weight, development of smell and taste. Sensorial material is also a pre-preparation for learning reading and writing because a child improves movements of hand and fingers and gets ready for holding a pencil.
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Activities for development of reading and writing

Reading and writing go hand in hand together. In this phase, a child learns to recognise letters by sight and by touch and at the same time acquires the sounds of letters. Kid learns an alphabet through the “moving alphabet“ and finds out how letters are combined and form words. For children, reading and writing is a fascinating game and they learn with enthusiasm.
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Arithmetic Activities:

A child learns numbers, develops logical thinking. The idea of the amount is presented in all activities. The beauty of arithmetic lies in the fact that everything can be caught. Understanding is very important here. All experiences get automatically into the subconscious. Working with beads, figures made of sandpaper, drawing shapes in for example semolina, all this creates an experience that will stay in child forever and mathematics becomes an easy game.
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Montessori activities have a specific sequence; they complement each other, develop mental and physical abilities of children and prepare them for life. All these activities should lead to easier acquisition of knowledge in different areas while at the same time, they make the preschool learning more interesting and form independent personalities ready to enter school life.

PRESCHOOL AGE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERIOD OF YOUR CHILDREN THEREFORE…

…give your children the best education possible and help them to do everything by themselves…

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