The Montessori Curriculum
There are six main areas in a Montessori preschool: practical life, sensorial, language, math, music, and cultural.
Activities in the practical life area include learning to do up zippers, snaps, and bows, beading, pouring water from jugs into glasses, cutting, sweeping, hand washing, and washing dishes.
- Activities in the sensorial area include matching colours, differentiating textures, sounds, and smells, sorting similar objects while blindfolded, and grading shapes (e.g. a set of circles) from the smallest to the largest.
- The language area prepares children for reading and writing as well as helps them to develop self-expression. Language activities include vocabulary cards, books, sound games to learn the phonetic sounds of the letters, letter tracing and writing, combining sounds to make words, and eventually reading.
- The math program is one of the most interesting aspects of a Montessori program. It is a very concrete program that makes use of beads, squares, cubes, colours, and symbols to teach children the numbers up to 10 000 as well as basic mathematical operations in a very simple and clear progression.
- Singing and listening to music are every day activities in a Montessori program. The program also uses a set of 10 bells that correspond to the scale from middle to high C on a piano. The children strike them, sing with them, match them, grade them, and create songs with them. It is a very joyful part of the program.
- Finally, the cultural program includes geography and the study of music and art from other cultures. The curriculum goes far beyond what one would find in a typical preschool.