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What is a Montessori School? - Lessons
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What is a Montessori School?
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A child does not engage in an activity until the teacher or another student has directly demonstrated its proper use, and then the child may use it as desired (limited only by individual imagination or the material's potentially dangerous qualities). Each activity leads directly to a new level of learning or to a concept. When a child actively learns, that child acquires the basis for later concepts. Additionally, repetition of activities is considered an integral part of this learning process, and children are allowed to repeat activities as often as they wish. If a child expresses boredom on account of this repetition, then the child is considered to be ready for the next level of learning.

Children are introduced to equipment that is designed especially for the lesson at hand. For example, children are introduced to sandpaper letters as the first step to reading. Sandpaper letters are simple lower case letters cut out of fine-grained sandpaper and mounted on wooden cards. Simple sounds that flow together are introduced first. In addition, children are taught the sounds of the letters, not the names. For example, the teacher would show the child the k sandpaper letter and say kuh. The child is encouraged to trace the letter as he or she says the sound aloud. Once the first letter is mastered, the child will be introduced to another.

When children have learned seven or eight letter sounds, they are introduced to the movable alphabet. The movable alphabet is a set of letter cutouts. The vowels and consonants are different colors. Using these letters, the child will learn how to blend CVC (consonant vowel consonant) sounds to form words such as "mat" and "cat."

Home schoolers may find both the philosophy and the materials useful since each child is treated as an individual and the activities are self-contained, self-correcting, and expandable. Aspects of the Montessori Method can easily scale down to a homeschooling environment — save for Montessori's focus on maintaining a group of children within a three-year age range.



 
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