This environment has mixed ages ranging from 3 to 6 years. It has eight main areas:
Exercises of Practical Life
In this area you would see children involved with activities they like to do at home. Here everything is down to their level and their size. They prepare snack and serve it, polish silver, wash polishing clothes, sweep and mop spills they make, pour water from one container to another etc. Children can repeat these activities as many times as they want. The goal is mastery over their environment and independence. These activities also contribute greatly to the development of self esteem.
In the Montessori Environment children write before they read. They first learn the phonetic sounds with the help of sound games and sand paper letters. Once they know a few sounds they are introduced to lower case movable alphabets. These can be manipulated and arranged to write words by sounding out the sounds the words are made of. This allows very young children, whose fingers are not yet ready to wield a pencil, the ability to write words. Reading soon follows. The written words are all around in the environment, not just in the reading area. Children learn to read and express themselves with creative writing at an early age.
In this area children work primarily with math concepts using tangible material. Quantities, written symbols and their relationships, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are all learned with specially designed material that they can manipulate. Children grasp these concepts at their own pace, with close guidance of the Montessori guide.
After studying the solar system and the four elements the focus of study is planet earth. Land and water forms, Oceans and Continents, Continent maps with all the countries and their flags are some of the geography material. Children learn about the world to feel a part in relation to the whole.
The study of plant kingdom, parts of tree leaf and plants, names of different leaf shapes and relating those shapes to leaves in the outdoor environment. Growing their own plants from seeds, and caring for their outdoor garden are activities that bring them closer to nature.
These lessons include the study of the Animal Kingdom, Invertebrates and Vertebrates, and the study of the human body and its various systems. The children enjoy working with models of the human body and gaining, in that way, a more detailed understanding.
Language is always a big part in the various areas described above.
This areas is always very active. There are options to color, draw and paint using different mediums to create art. The children are also exposed to the art of famous artists and are shown how to recognize the different styles.
The children learn appreciation of music from around the world, and learn songs in other languages. Movement programs are also a part of the daily activities. In addition, children learn about famous composers and their music.
Children, from birth, absorb a host of experiences through their senses. These experiences are subconscious. By age three, they are able to use their conscious will. At this age, children in the Montessori environment are presented with the Sensorial Apparatus. These are materials scientifically designed by Dr. Montessori to help the children bring order to their sensorial experiences. There is a variety of material for each sense that helps children contrast, grade and learn the language of everything within their environment, thus helping toward refinement of their senses.