Montessori Curriculum

At Brilliant Kids, your child's days are filled with rich and varied curriculum.

The Montessori curriculum is divided into the following core areas of study:
Practical life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, Cultural Enrichment.

Click here for a complete list of activities and materials used in a Montessori preschool and kindergarten level

Frequently Asked Questions about Montessori Method

Explore More on Montessori 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


Practical Life

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

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

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 learning experiences.

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, fractions, equivalencies.


Language

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 and A.”

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 responded.

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 spelling sequences.



Cultural Enrichment

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 cultures.

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.)

 


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