The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.Dr. Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind
It was Dr. Montessori's belief that education must begin at birth, and she regarded the first two years of life as extremely important. She noted that without the facility for language, children use an innate sense to learn directly from their environment.They learn to adapt to their surroundings and begin the foundation of their own distinct personalities. She observed that children around the world learn language in approximately the same manner and at the age of around 2 years. Their lessons are not absorbed by formal education but by the vocabulary and speech made around them.Montessori materials are provided to help and appeal to the young mind of a child. In a Montessori classroom, children will be sorting, stacking, and manipulating all sorts of beautiful objects made of a range of materials and textures. Keeping sensitivity and intellect level of a child in mind, the materials are designed to attract them towards the materials with various colors, textures and art in them.
The most important years of children's growth are the first six years of life when learning is gradually brought to the level of better understanding. Children love physical activities, especially when they are fun, it is not for learning anything new but those activities interest them. These activities allow them to unknowingly build a pattern and discipline of working or participating in an activity and eventually learn to build their mental, physical and psychological powers. For example- when wooden push toys and walkers are provided to children, there is a change in physical development in a child, from being completely immobile to beginning to move by holding their own head up to pushing the toy or trolley. These small steps are natural similar to slowly crawling, sitting, rolling over, walking and finally running, where they learn slowly and steadily each movement's reaction, effect and they begin to discover their own changes and in their environment.
In many number of ways the Montessori is vital for a child; right from Mathematics, in which numeration, for example- when a child is introduced to Number rods, where Learning quantity of 1 to 10 which introduces to the sequencing of numbers, and in Language, especially Early Language, where exercises such as Matching cards are used to develop skill to match visually, Labeling cards to Support vocabulary development, Patterning cards to develop visual ability to follow patterns and discriminate among patterns, Sequencing cards are used to support development of ability to sequence, stimulate oral language development and lastly classification of cards are used, to support the ability to perceive likenesses/differences & to develop skill to sort items into categories.
In Sensorial education, children are taught of Visual Discrimination, for example- Pink tower, for a child to learn the discrimination between heights, to develop pencil grip and control. Here, cubes represent the cubes of the numbers 1 to 10, a mathematical exercise. In Geography, which is divided into Cultural Geography, where Flags of different countries are shown and placed, to identify the flags of countries mentioned or asked of, and Continent pictures, to give them an exposure of different people, cultures, ethnicity etc from different parts of the world. Another exercise includes, identifying and visually discriminating the seven continents, and of the second type of Geography, Physical Geography, in which Continents and World maps are given to accurately recognizing continents, countries, and states. In Practical Life, children are taught and exercised to fine tune their motor skills, where exercises such as pouring & transferring activities, which builds strength in thumb and fingers for writing, development of carefulness in movements and concentration. Lastly, Care of Self & Environment is used wherein washing tables, watering plants, cleanliness, hygiene, and various other activities are used to develop their concentration and control of movement.