Young children in a field of wildflowers

Dr Montessori outlined four consecutive planes, or stages, of development from birth to maturity, each plane spanning approximately six-years. At each plane of development children and young people display intellectual powers, social orientations and creative potential unique to that stage. Each plane is characterised by the way children in that plane learn, building on the achievements of the plane before and preparing for the one to follow. The timing and nature of the transition between planes vary from individual to individual.

Language development young child reading

In a Montessori environment writing is introduced before reading; the reverse of most other methods of education. When writing, the words come from the child (the child knows what they are wanting to express) however reading is a more complex process. Now the child needs to decode (work out) someone else’s thoughts and ideas.

How can the language programme be supported at home?

Rich and varied spoken experiences need to be provided and modelled

Cosmic education Montessori teacher with children

Introduced to the primary aged child (6-12 years), “Cosmic Education is related to the development of human beings, not just a new educational method, or a new technique of teaching subjects in a syllabus. Cosmic Education is a form of relating children to the universe, its furnishings, and humanity, so that they are able to understand the law and order underlying their existence and to realise in themselves all the developing potential that is their birthright.” Dr Maria Montessori

Moveable alphabet letters

“Written language complements spoken language and is integrated with it.” (Maria Montessori, The Formation of Man)

Montessori said that writing is a complex action requiring certain abilities that can be categorised into two main groups: physical ability (the use of the hand) and cognitive ability (the use of the mind).

Have you noticed the young child is drawn to the tiny ant, that the child’s attention is caught by the delicate new bud or shoot just starting to emerge? The child has a close connection to nature and in the 3 to 6 Montessori classroom this interest is further stimulated through the leaf cabinet. This is a cabinet containing different leaf shapes. Three sets of cards (one with a filled in leaf shape, one with a thick outline and one with a thin outline) are also used with the shapes from the cabinet.

The outdoor area is an extension of the inside space as well as being a space in its own right.  It often includes a garden where the children can grow and harvest flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Plants which reflect a variety of flowers, leaf shapes, smells and colours should be available to the child outside. 

Montessori Australia recently hosted the “Montessori for the Digital Age Forum” featuring the noted digital parenting educator Dr Kristy Goodwin.  In her workshop entitled “Plugged-in Childhoods”, Montessori leaders and educators were given evidence-based research and practical information about raising healthy children in the digital world.  We present some of her tips here and would encourage parents to visit her website 

Australia has one of the highest rates of spending per child on toys, with our children averaging 250 toys each.  Today’s consumer society and marketing drives parents to buy more toys, whether it be buying the latest trend, responding to a child’s demand for what they’ve seen advertised on TV, or being guilted into getting ‘educational’ toys so their children don’t ‘fall behind’.

The trend in 2018 is to speak about digital technology, digital disruption to future jobs, creative industries, entrepreneurship and of course the types of jobs that will disappear or change radically.
An article adapted from an article on Caboolture Montessori School’s blog from December 2017.

As Montessori educators, our mission is to provide the best possible education for all students in our Montessori learning environments. The Montessori Quality Assurance Programme supports Montessori learning environments to engage in the ongoing process of review, improvement and maintenance to ensure the highest quality of Montessori education for all students.

Montessori Australia’s parenting blog helps families to choose the right learning environment for their child. We provide some helpful tips to recognising a quality Montessori educational environment.

We have put together some simple, yet effective ways in which adults can support young children to develop concentration.

Montessori Australia’s blog post offering parents some simple, yet important insights into the growing mind of a primary school-aged child

Experts from across Montessori Australia join together to provide some simple, yet effective tips for parents who are looking to find a high quality Montessori classroom for their child.

Experts from across Montessori Australia join together to provide some simple, yet effective tips for parents who are supporting (or preparing to support) a blooming adolescent.