In about 3 weeks time I will be in Nigeria, Calabar to be exact, and I will be leading a Montessori apparatus training for 10 days. As I started putting my thoughts together and planning for the journey I also started reflecting on the importance of the Montessori Apparatus in the life of our Early Years child.
The Montessori Materials call to the child, they are real and precise and are used to teach so many life lessons about the environment. Children learn quantity, sounds, alphabet symbols, reading, number symbols, mathematics, colors, shapes, geometry, botany, zoology, geography, history, science and lots more.
Sounds a lot right?
But you would be surprised the children really do not feel overwhelmed. The reason is because the materials are concrete and children love to learn hands-on. They are sensorial learners. It therefore makes no sense to stand in front of the children and talk all day! The best way for them to learn is to use the materials.
We always work from concrete to abstract and so the Montessori materials are so important for the Early Years settling. The hands are a sense organ and is a means to acquiring knowledge about the environment and transmitting it to the brain.
This is why we must spend time working through these materials, it is important for teachers to get the opportunity to work with and through each material. Some of these materials can also be hand made, you never know it may even spark some hidden creativity traits in the teachers. These hand made materials do help to inspire the children to learn so much more than just listening to us talking.
The materials help to make learning fun and engaging. I am always amazed by the concentration skills the children exhibit once they get into working with the materials. Children do not consider their time with the materials as play, it is work to them.
The Montessori materials enable children to gain a deep understanding of the subject matter, they can internalize the learning, it sinks deeper than just showing the child. The child gets to do it themselves, explore and repeat the exercises until it becomes part of their knowledge base.
If you are in Calabar do make it a point to join us. Let’s spread the Montessori love for the child to our children, through learning how to teach them by using the materials that speak to our children in the Early years environment.