Children under 6 years old exhibit great curiosity and have a tremendous capacity for learning. They are in the period that Dr. Maria Montessori called the “Absorbent Mind”, where the child absorbs concepts and clarifies impressions effortlessly. Our programs are specifically designed to enable them to take advantage of their readiness to learn. It offers a carefully prepared classroom full of scientifically designed material and equipment. Most lessons are individualized and tailored to each child’s needs. The activity and material will be presented to the child when the child is ready.
The five major areas of our program are: Practical Life, Sensorial, English Language, Chinese Language and Mathematics. In addition, Music, Art, History, Geography and Science are also included in our program.
Practical Life: A series of general activities that help the children learn to take care of themselves and the environment. The children are given the opportunity to learn to use the proper tools in completing their work. Such activities help them to explore ways to control and coordinate their body (such as hands) to reach a goal. Practical life activities are very appealing to children because these activities are the activities that they see in the adults’ daily life. Children have the biological need to participate in their culture and daily life activities. They always want to help, and most of the time, they want to do things for themselves. By offering practical life activities in the classroom, we assist the child in the development of concentration (note: concentration is based on interest). These activities also enhance independence, as such activities are design so that children can be engaged in their daily life without assistance from an adult.
Sensorial: The five (5) human senses are the foundation of human intelligence. It allows humans to know and understand the world. The purpose of the sensorial materials in the classroom are to refine the child’s senses. The selection of these sensorial materials are aimed to be purposeful. All Montessori equipment builds on what has gone before and leads to what will come later. Such materials deepen the child’s knowledge of the object in their environment, and increase their consciousness of the object’s qualities. Dr Montessori called the sensorial material as the key to the physical world. Building a stair from rods of graduated length, and matching geometry plane figures to geometry form cards train the young eye. Matching cylinders according to their sounds when shaken and arranging them from loud to soft (or vice versus) delight eager ears. Matching fabric of various textures while blind-folded challenges tiny fingertips. Each of the senses are exercised in their own special ways. As the child becomes familiar with all of these, he/she is taught the appropriate language (large, larger, largest, octagon,equilateral triangle etc) to further develop an awareness of the attributes of the objects.
English and Chinese Language: Tong Le Montessori is proud to be the unique school in Baltimore to offer English and Chinese in the main program. Both languages will be offered in three means: speaking, writing and reading. In spoken language, children learn the names of endless variety of objects to satisfy their curiosity, from familiar objects surrounding the home and city, to sophisticated and scientific animal and plant names . Many interesting and true stories around the world will be told in class which feed the little mind with food for thought and expression. They also learn proper words to be used in different social and cultural situations. In written language, children feel the shapes of Sandpaper Letters with their finger tips while practicing the letter’s sounds. Express their thoughts and spelling words with Movable Alphabets. Practice using a pencil and Metal Inset, which prepare the child for that joyous discovery of writing. Because our approach to words is phonetic, these experiences and the the child’s expanding vocabulary pave the way for learning to read. The acquisition of these skills are not only crucial but immensely exciting to the child.
Mathematics: The design of Montessori Mathematics material is made so that the mathematical concepts are intelligible and understandable to young children. We use concrete materials so that manipulating these materials by hand will bring awareness and understanding of mathematical concepts. Once the child has experienced solid ideas of numbers 1 to 10, he can then move on to abstract work. Our mathematics program is designed so that children not only can count from zero to thousands, but be proficient in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and fractions as well.
Music and Art: Music and art are exciting activities for young children. In our program, children not only learn to sing new and familiar songs but also have the chance to be exposed to a variety of musical instruments. They will also work with colors and shapes in a variety of ways, and learn about well-known art works.
History, Geography, and Science: Our program also expands into these exciting realms with the uses of globes, puzzle maps, flags, picture folders, books, and stories.
The prepared environment should bring the world at large, and thus the adult world, within reach of the child at whatever stage of development it is at a given moment.
Education for Human Development