House of Children

Age Group: 2 ½ to 6 years

"Help me to do it alone!"

‘The Montessori House of Children’s as it is popularly called has an interdisciplinary curriculum. It is characterized by its emphasis on independence, freedom, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development and their in-born need to explore and discover new things constantly.

It is a prepared environment which caters to a mixed age group. It is a three year sequential learning program geared for personal, academic and social excellence for the child.

The system encompasses five broad areas:

Practical Life: These are daily life activities that we all perform as part of taking care of oneself and the space that we live in. The ability to conduct oneself in everyday life is the first and the most important step in the process of a child’s development. Young children enjoy and take pride in caring for the environment, of oneself and each other, indoors and outdoors. These activities are designed in a way that the child can function independently, allowing for repetition and completion. These tasks include – shoe polishing, folding clothes, watering, tying laces, etc.

It is here that the children gain independence and self esteem, feel ownership to the community, problem solve, concentrate, be aware of others needs as they wind up and keep things ready for the next person to use. All this work of the hand and mind together prepares the child for all other areas. Social language and etiquette are brought to awareness through role modelling and practice in the community.

Sensorial materials: This area of work focuses on the refinement of sensory perception. All five senses are engaged as children learn to minutely differentiate among sizes, colours, weights, forms, textures, smells, tastes and musical sounds. These materials give the children the ability to increasingly refine their senses, identify and classify information, increase understanding and awareness of the environment. These exercises facilitate the development of the intellect with hands-on exploration which also provides a foundation for future math and language work.

Language: Language is beyond mere reading and writing, but a means to express oneself and empathise with others thoughts, feelings and emotions. The program aids effective development of linguistic skills – oral, reading, writing, comprehension and listening. The environment is filled with the buzz of conversations, poetry, stories and songs. A phonetic language program is offered that paves the way for the ‘arrival’ of the child to writing and reading as the hand and mind are prepared with various exercises. Children explore grammar and syntax in the language through various advanced language exercises. The children also receive second language instructions in Kannada and Hindi.

Mathematics: Concepts in math are offered by means of concrete materials that allow for manipulation. Exercises allow the child to internalize concepts of quantity, sequence, decimal system, and to explore the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The scientifically designed materials give children a strong understanding of basic mathematical principles, allows for self evaluation and correction, prepares them for abstract reasoning and helps develop problem-solving capabilities.

Sciences: The children are offered various experiences in nature, that is then extended in the community by offering ‘Keys’. These ‘Keys’ of knowledge allow opportunities to children to explore Geography, History, People & Culture, Botany, Zoology. In Botany, children have varied experiences with flora by taking care of them and subsequently learn about the parts of plants as well as how those parts function to help the plant grow. In Zoology the children learn about the parts of different animals. Continents, land mass, water bodies are observed and the corresponding language is offered in Geography. Science experiments are explored to initiate conversations of ‘Why’ something happens so.

Art & Music: Self expression can be in different forms and the program offers various opportunities to communicate, create and explore through different means of visual (painting, colouring, craft) and expressive art. Music and movement is an integral part of our day.

“After the child has finished his work, he appears satisfied, rested and happy. It was this feeling or rest and satisfaction that I first read on those small peaceful countenances and in those eyes gleaming with a contentment of a voluntary task completed”.

- Dr. Maria Montessori

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