Montessori Curriculum

Adults work to finish a task, but the child woks in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be. - Maria Montessori

Montessori CurriculumAs with any Ivy League school, the curriculum is the basic framework of the education model. At Montessori Ivy League, we have incorporated this model in the Montessori method. The method, of course, is based on the experimental observation of children to bring about self-directed learning and support their genuine natural way of being, what Dr. Maria Montessori referred to as "the child's true normal nature" in 1907. To keep true to this method, the teacher recognizes that there is an inner guidance that is directing the child perfectly. Hence, one of the roles of the teacher is to ensure that this path is without obstacles, and that the environment is free to us by the child.

The Montessori method is thus achieved by dividing the class room in the many following logical areas, ranging from basic to intermediate to advanced levels, so the children can work at their own pace:

It is important to understand that each of this category is specifically designed to isolated a particular concept, so the child is naturally drawn to work with it, with minimal interference from an adult. The children are able to check their own work, and learn their lessons in ways so that they comprehend the subject and have a complete grasp of it. This way they are able to master abstract ideas, presented to them in a very concrete realistic way. This allows the students not to be afraid of making mistakes, and try new things in life, without fear.

If you would like to read a bit more on some specifics about these models used at Montessori Ivy League, below are some more details about the curriculum:

Practical Life
This area is primarily designed for our younger members. The Practical Life area promotes self-sufficiency, self-reliance, coordination, and independence. This is when the children decide to work independently. The Practical Life model contains high quality attractive objects, which are known to the children, for example, items pertaining to daily living tasks, such as eating, dressing, cleaning.

One of the concepts Dr. Montessori talked about was the “doorway to the mind”. She was referring to our senses. Not only does the senses aid in the maturation of our sensory organs, like the eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and skin, but it also helps in intellectual evolution. As the children explore, the sensorial work helps them make clear and concise classification in the environment. And as the children make these classifications, they are experiencing their first understanding of organizing their intelligence.

For example, Thermic Sense means the network of sense organs and connecting pathways that allow an appreciation of temperature changes. So in the Thermic Sense Exercise, the child may learn the difference in temperatures between two objects. Or in Baric Sense Exercise, they may analyze the different weights or pressures. Or in Stereognostic Sense Exercise, the children learn about how objects feel. Dr. Montessori once said, “When the hand and arm are moved about an object, an impression of movement is added to that touch. Such an impression is attributed to a special, sfixth sense, which is called a muscular sense, and which permits many impressions to be stored in a “muscular memory”, which recalls movements that have been made.” In total there are eight different groups in the category, Visual, Tactile, Baric, Thermic, Auditory, Olfactory, Gustatory, and Stereognostic.

Math is very abstract. In Montessori, a strong foundation is laid to transfer concrete ideas to this abstract way of thinking. The children use hands-on learning resources that make abstract concepts clear. We use the concept of Unified Math, where the fundamentals of algebra and geometry are taught along with the principles of arithmetic. Since arithmetic is the science of computing real numbers, like adding and subtracting, by incorporating this with tangible objects and exercises, the abstract is brought to the level of the specific. Hence the children are exposed to subject matter at a pre-school level, which is normally taught at a second grade level in ordinary schools.

In Montessori, writing comes before reading. The children discover writing with drawing and forming letters. The children then explore the different sounds related to the drawings associated with the letters of the alphabet. So the process of learning to read becomes painless and natural. And of course, each classroom at Montessori Ivy League is equipped with an extensive library of books, ranging from the classics, to the whimsical fun, catering to the every mood of the child. And since language is an essential part of reading and writing, the child is not only taught to become articulated, but also listened to, so the child is confident and encouraged to communicate to others.

Most of these books may be checked out to practice reading at home.

Other Sciences and Arts
In the Montessori method, science represents a way of life. Learning about the sciences teaches clear thinking and a logical way of approaching life and problem solving. In Montessori, botany does not mean just looking at the photo of the leaf; it means potting your own plants in the garden. Montessori Ivy League is designated as a World Class Montessori by the Montessori Foundation, so Geography is just not knowing the capitals, but working with detail three dimensional maps, and learning about the cultures and heritage of the world, both of their own and their friends around them. In the Arts, great importance is given to the classics of the human civilization. The genius of art and music is celebrated of all cultures and of all time. The children themselves are given the opportunity to experience art by hands-on instruction and practice in creating their own art and making their own music, as well as the opportunity to play music, to develop their muscular control and motor skills.