Montessori Curriculum

The Montessori Curriculum offers children five key areas of study: Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, and Culture. Each learning area is made up of a set of Montessori materials that each teach one key knowledge area or skill. Through repetition and practice, children develop a foundational understanding of each material, and master the core competencies within each curriculum area.

How Does the Montessori Curriculum Work?

The Montessori Curriculum offers children five key areas of study: Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, and Cultural Studies. Each area of study is made up of a set of educational materials that increase in complexity. Children progress through the Montessori Curriculum at their own pace based on their stage of development and interests.

Montessori educators present key lessons to introduce children to the name and learning outcomes of each Montessori material. After a Key Lesson, the children work with the Montessori material independently to practice, explore, and make connections to the key learning outcomes.

During this time, Montessori educators stand back, observe how the children are learning, and document their progress. An educator will only intervene if needed, to encourage children’s independence, as there is a direct link between children’s sense of empowerment and their ability to learn and retain new skills and information.

New lessons are provided when a child is ready to progress to the next stage. Through repetition and practice, children master the progression of the Montessori materials, and develop a fundamental understanding of each curriculum area.

Key Curriculum Areas

  • Practical life: Independence, social skills and care for the environment
  • Sensorial: Colours, shapes, textures, weights, dimension, discrimination and distinguishing between smells, taste and sound
  • Mathematics: Numbers, quantities, counting, addition, subtraction, decimal system, multiplication and division
  • Language: Oral language, phonics, letter formation, sentence structure, vowels and consonants, writing, reading and early literacy skills
  • Culture: Geography, botany, zoology, science, history, music and art

The Five Areas of the Montessori Curriculum

Practical Life

The Montessori Practical Life Curriculum incorporates exercises and activities that children observe in daily life. These activities develop children’s independence, concentration, and fine motor skills. Typical practical life activities involve transferring, food preparation, lessons in grace and courtesy, and cleaning.

Example materials and activities include:
  • Spooning
  • Tonging
  • Threading
  • Sweeping

Sensorial

Sensorial activities teach children to refine their senses of sight, touch, sound, smell and taste so that they are able to organise sensory impressions and their understanding of the world. Through sensorial materials, children learn about similarity and difference, dimensions, colours and shapes, and distinguish between smells, taste and sound. Sensorial work also prepares children for mathematics, language and geometry by teaching children how to classify and sort.

Example materials and activities include:
  • Pink Tower
  • Colour Box
  • Geometric Solids
  • Trinomial Cube

Mathematics

The Mathematics Curriculum teaches children to understand abstract mathematical concepts and relationships through hands-on learning experiences. Children learn to count, identify and match numerals to their quantity, relate decimal quantities and symbols, and become aware of the functions of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division by using the Montessori materials.

Example materials and activities include:
  • Numerals and Counters
  • Hanging Bead Stair
  • Teen Boards
  • Hundred Board

Language

The Montessori Language Curriculum provides children with the knowledge and skills to build their vocabulary and understanding of language. The skills required for reading, writing and oral language are developed through hands-on experience using the Montessori language materials. Children learn letter sounds (phonics), letter identification and formation, how to combine sounds to make words, how to build simple sentences, and how to properly hold a pencil. Oral language skills are developed through daily social interactions, group time experiences, and lessons in grace and courtesy.

Example materials and activities include:
  • Sandpaper Letters
  • Moveable Alphabet
  • Metal Insets
  • Three Part Cards

Culture

The Culture Curriculum incorporates a wide range of subjects, including: Geography, Botany, Zoology, Science, History, Music and Art. Through explorations of culture, children develop an understanding of their community, their world, and their social responsibilities. Children learn to respond to diversity with respect, appreciate music and art, and develop awareness of sustainability.

Example materials and activities include:
  • Land and Water Forms
  • Continent Boxes
  • Life Cycle Puzzle and Activities
  • Map Cabinet

Where to next? Montessori & EYLF

Montessori Academy delivers a blended curriculum that incorporates both Montessori Education and the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). These programs work together to enhance children’s learning and development during their crucial formative years.

Montessori & EYLF