Exercises that are developed with the goal to aid the adaptation of the child to his environment and growth of his independence. This goal is accomplished through the development of coordination and controlled movement, by which the child will be enabled to care for both him and his surrounding, thus establishing him in his society through courteous relations with others. For this purpose, the child is provided with special materials scaled to his size and to which he enjoys such tasks as sweeping, dusting, polishing, washing, tying, and buttoning. These exercises provide the child with a clear relationship between the "prepared environment" and what he has seen his own family do. Thereby allowing him to contribute to the life he sees around him.
A child is brought by nature to the task of classifying those materials that surround him. The sensorial materials of the Montessori classroom are designed to aid the process of classification of the environment which has already begun, thus enabling the child to arrive at a conscious level of discrimination rather that an abstract one. These materials are designed to develop the sense of hearing, vision, touch, taste, smell, and perception, as well as the ability to discriminate between shapes and sizes.
Language is the essence of the development of the child because it enables him to communicate with others and understand when they communicate. Within the Montessori classroom, your child's vocabulary is enriched by storytelling, conversation, and poetry. The Montessori child begins reading when he is ready and proceeds at his own pace. Sandpaper letters provide a phonetic basis for reading. The child hears by sounds, see the shape, and prepares his muscles for writing by the light tracing of the letter with the fingertips. Many other exercises for both reading and writing are found in the environment. Geography, biology, zoology, art, music, and drama are presented as extensions of the sensorial and language activities.
The mathematical mind is the ability inherent to all men. Therefore, it is essential to make a child's natural mathematical tendencies by coupling these with his innate urge for exploration, repetition, and exactness. The materials for mathematics introduce the concept of concrete quantity before the abstract. The quantity is introduced by a series of rods that the child can count and compare. Beads and symbol cards familiarize the child with the decimal system. These exercises provide a deep understanding of the function of numbers and concepts that will help the child in later abstractions.
Maria Montessori designed the curriculum of the cultural subjects as an interdisciplinary study of the life of man on earth throughout time and in all geographic regions. It includes the study of geography, history, music, art, botany, and zoology. It encompasses all cultural subjects as part of a meaningful whole.