Exposure to a rich variety of experiences is a vital part of the curriculum. The curriculum consists of: practical life, sensorial, mathematics, language. Cultural subjects are integrated into the curriculum
The activities of practical life resemble the daily activities that children see in their home. Sweeping, dusting, pouring, cutting vegetables and fruit for snack, arranging flowers and sewing are just a few of the practical life activities. Children learn to care for their environment, themselves and others. Through these activities, children develop motor skills, independence, confidence, self-esteem, social skills and concentration.
Montessori materials are designed to refine the child’s senses of sight, touch, sound, taste and smell. Children’s senses are a key to understanding and classifying the environment. Children learn to discriminate colour, size texture and sound through activities of comparing, sorting, exploration, language and games.
The Montessori classroom provides rich opportunities to develop and enhance vocabulary and language appreciation. The language materials are phonetically based. They help the child develop skills needed for verbal communication, reading and writing Children learn the shapes and sounds of the letters with the sandpaper letters. They join letters to make words and then sentences with the movable alphabet. Reading naturally follows word building. To further the development of reading, children explore the function of words and the structure of sentences.
Each casa class has a French speaking assistant who speaks only French, allowing for a natural second language development.
Materials in our primary classrooms emphasize the concepts of number recognition, quantities, linear counting, the decimal system, simple fractions and beginning lessons in the four operations. The children work together counting the chains, sharing out quantities and creating large numbers with the “golden beads”. Children’s understanding of basic mathematical concepts emerges from using this concrete material.
Geography, botany, zoology, history, art and music are referred to as cultural subjects. Children learn about people, their countries and the world through food, music, pictures, flags, maps, artifacts, holiday celebrations and other cultural observations.