At Brilliant Kids, your child's days are filled with rich and
The Montessori curriculum is divided into
the following core areas of study:
Click here for a
complete list of activities and materials used in a Montessori preschool
and kindergarten level
Frequently Asked Questions about Montessori
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Curriculum - Age 3 - 12
A rich supplement of natural and physical sciences, cultural studies,
fine arts and perceptual motor training enrich the child's daily life
and spark interest for your child's future studies.
"The absorbent mind is indeed a marvelous gift
to humanity! By merely ‘living' and without and conscious effort the
individual absorbs from the environment even a complex cultural
achievement like language. If this essential mental form existed in the
adult, how much easier would our studies be!"
- The Formation of Man :: Clio Press, 1994 :: p.64.
"During this early period, education must be
understood as a help to the unfolding of the child's inborn psychic
powers. This means that we cannot use the orthodox methods of teaching,
which depends on talk."
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 4
Students are introduced to practical life exercise in the first two
years. These exercises satisfy the child's need to imitate adult
behavior and achieve increasing levels of independence. They serve to
lengthen attention span and aid in the development of fine motor
coordination. As time goes by, practical life exercises evolve from care
of self into care of others and care of the environment, which lead to
activities such as science experimentation and discoveries.
Examples of Practical Life Activities: pouring, sorting,
polishing, sewing exercises, hand washing, fruit slicing, vegetables
slicing, tracing, magnets, pairing, buttoning tying, snapping, zipping,
table scrubbing, sweeping, cutting/pasting, folding, shell grading,
social graces, perceptual motor activities.
Sensorial exercises involve innovative educational materials that
assist the child in the development and refinement of his sensory
organs. The child learns to grade and sequence objects according to
various attributes, giving the student a clear, deep understanding of
sequences, groups and sets. These activities prepare the child for the
more advanced math and geometry activities of the kindergarten year. The
student also meets a rich vocabulary in the process and learns to
discriminate perceptually, using the senses.
Examples of Sensorial Activities: pink tower, knobbed
cylinders, red rods, geometric cabinet, geometric solids, binomial cube,
baric tablets, smell bottles, broad stair, knobless cylinders, color
tablets, constructive triangles, trinomial cube, fabric matching,
thermic bottles, sound cylinders, rough and smooth boards.
Mathematics is introduced individually as the child demonstrates
interest and readiness. We match each child's ability to the appropriate
materials so that your child's learning experiences are positive,
rewarding and provide optimum learning at each stage of development.
Introduction to mathematics begins with a clear, sensorial impression
derived from manipulation of objects, movement and activity on the part
of the child.
As each math concept is internalized, your child weans himself
naturally from concrete objects and progresses to the abstract level
that is required for advanced math curriculum. This method of
instruction, devised by the genius of Dr. Montessori, has proven to be
successful in teaching math skills while enabling the child to enjoy
working in this subject.
Each child benefits from this concrete introduction to abstract
concepts such as decimal system identity, commutative and associative
properties, and cube vs. square concepts. Kindergarten students work
with the math 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
Examples of Math Activities: red and blue number rods,
sandpaper numerals, spindle boxes, cards and counter, gold bead
material, teen and ten boards, linear counting with beads, skip counting
with beads, stamp game exercises, addition strip board, subtraction
strip board, bead frame, multiplication boards, division boards,
The language program begins with readiness activities. It is
imperative that each child be allowed to progress to a state of physical
and mental readiness before formal language exercises are introduced.
The child experiences matching cards, stories, poetry, listening games
and other preparatory activities.
As the teacher ascertains your child's readiness, your child is
introduced to language through our phonetic approach. Language is taught
through a variety of multi-sensory activities: visual, auditory, tactile
and kinesthetic. This ensures success by providing the appropriate
experience for each child's individual learning patterns. As your child
differentiates and recognizes sounds, he or she begins the process of
word building and then blending sounds into meaningful reading. During
the kindergarten year, student reading skills typically range from the
early stage of phonetic reading to the study of the functions of the
parts of speech.
To guarantee success and pleasure, the reading child is guided
carefully through the Montessori curriculum.
Montessori discovered a
child's natural development leads in the following progression:
First - to Spell (otherwise known as encoding)
Second - to Write (handwriting)
Third - to Read (otherwise known as decoding)
E. M. Standing in his book,
Maria Montessori, Her Life and Work explains how Maria Montessori and
her assistants made two sets of alphabets in cursive - one set cut out
of cardboard (i.e. Movable Alphabet) and the other out of sandpaper and
mounted on a little wooden board (i.e. Sandpaper Letters). Children,
ages 4-5, were not taught the names of the letters, but only the sounds
they represent. They were encouraged to trace the forms of the sandpaper
letters with their “writing fingers” (the first and second fingers). One
day a five year old made a discovery… “To make Sofia you need S, O, F, I
This was spelling, but this was not reading.
Some time later while drawing a picture of a chimney, a boy burst out
full of enthusiasm saying “I can write, I can write,” and knelt down on
the pavement and wrote with a piece of chalk the word “hand,” then
“roof” and “chimney.” Other children started to gather round and a
couple of them trembling with excitement said.” Give me the chalk, I can
write too,” and they wrote various words…. It was the first time any of
them had written.
This was handwriting, but this was not reading.
Montessori found that handwriting came several months before reading.
For six months this group of children practiced writing, which to them
became a continuous and unlimited exercise. One day Montessori, without
saying anything, wrote on the black board some little sentences such as,
“If you love me, give me a kiss.” “If you can read this, come to me.”
For several days nothing happened. On the fourth day a little girl came
up to Maria Montessori and said, “Here I am.” A short time after another
came up and gave her a kiss. They had discovered communication in a new
way, without a word being spoken. As she wrote more little commands on
the board, the children trembled with eagerness as they read and
This was reading!
As Maria, herself, reflected, “It took time for me to convince myself
that all this was not an illusion. One of her teachers even commented.
“When I see such things I think it must be the holy angels who are
inspiring these children.”
The point in this story is to illustrate that there is a natural
progression from spelling to handwriting to reading. Most often in our
schools, unfortunately, we will see the reverse taught – first reading,
then handwriting, then spelling.
Examples of Language Activities: Readiness activities includes
gross motor skills, fine motor skills, practical life activities,
sensorial activities, metal insets, perceptual games, matching
activities, sequencing cards. Reading activities include sandpaper
letters, object boxes, classified cards, ringed cards, moveable
alphabet, language baskets, grammar studies, phonetic and non phonetic
In addition to the core curriculum, your child will be engaged in
delightful activities that instill a lifelong love of sciences, history,
cultures and the arts. Our school is infused with music of many
varieties and peoples. Foreign language curriculum is presented through
songs, stories, games and activities that introduce students to other
Each year, geography is studied in depth. Students learn about
physical and political geography, people and flags of distant countries,
and the cultural similarities that unite all people. Music, art,
architecture, and food are a part of this experience.
Examples of Cultural Enrichment Activities: geography, globes,
maps, art, food, clothing, music and movement (instruments, theory),
botany (parts of a plant, needs of plants, flower dissection, leaf
shapes, seasons), zoology (living vs. non living,
vertebrates/invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds.)