Want to know more about the Montessori hands-on learning approach? You’re not alone. Many parents swear by the reputed Montessori method for their child’s early years education, and with good reason. But, what does it really mean in practice, and how can we continue the learning at home? We ask Ms Kristal Koh, principal at Brighton Montessori Lotus Ave, for the scoop on incorporating Montessori methods into your child’s everyday life.
Providing top-class preschool education to children aged 18 months to 6 years at seven campuses across Singapore, the educators at Brighton Montessori have been mastering the self-directed Montessori method, combined with a structured learning approach, for the past 20 years. The importance of individual learning styles is at its heart, with each little learner at Brighton Montessori able to direct their own learning and progress at their own pace within a supportive, stimulating and creative environment with trained Montessori educators by their side.
Practical Life Skills (as Maria Montessori called it when children model the behaviour of their parents and caregivers) is one of five key areas of Brighton Montessori’s curriculum – the others being Sensorial Exercises, Language, Mathematics and Cultural Studies. Far from just child’s play, these real-life experiences give children a strong foundation in academics and equip them with the life skills and values for formal schooling and beyond. We’re talking about building concentration, self-control, independence, coordination and self-esteem.
Here are a few fun activities for you to try at home:
1. Household chores
Sweeping, mopping, pegging clothes and picking up items with tongs – helping out with housework won’t just impress Grandma. It’s the perfect opportunity to refine those motor skills, gain independence and teach children to help others while learning to look after themselves.
While it may be tempting to clear the laundry basket pronto, letting little ones sort items themselves will teach the concept of classification, develop self-discipline, fine-tune those senses and improve hand-eye coordination. Take it one step further and sort clothes by colour, size, shape and texture for a perfect rainy-day activity!
Hone those mathematics skills by counting everyday objects and arranging and grouping in multiples. Whether you’re counting cupcakes or Hot Wheels cars, children will lap up the chance to show off their budding abilities!
4. Food preparation
From peeling a hardboiled egg and spooning pasta from one bowl to another, to pouring a drink, spreading butter on toast, cutting soft fruit with a plastic knife and laying the table, the benefits of getting little ones involved in the kitchen from an early age are huge. Think everything from developing attention span, to patience, independence and self-confidence. Plenty of reasons for children to don that mini apron then!
Engage in daily age-appropriate reading sessions with your little linguist. For ages two to three years, Mum or Dad can read out three-letter words and point out objects. Four- to five-year-olds can practice reading a story with your help, while five- to six-year-olds can read quietly on their own or to a younger sibling.
RSVP for Brighton Montessori Lotus Ave’s Discovery Day
Want to see the Montessori difference in action? Head along to Brighton Montessori’s newest campus at 35 Lotus Avenue, 277618 (just off Sixth Avenue), for a Discovery Day on Saturday 8 April 2017, from 10am to 2pm. Book your spot at brightonmontessori.com.sg/discoveryday or call 6588 3883.
Brighton Montessori also has campuses at Great World City, Frankel Avenue, Mountbatten, Fort Road, Sunset Way and The Grassroots Club in Ang Mo Kio.
Promotion: Enrol your child at Brighton Montessori at Lotus Ave by 30 June 2017 and get your registration fee waived. Bonus!
* Terms and conditions apply.