Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.
REDS offers a Primary program for children beginning at age 2 years 9 months through age 6. The primary curriculum is a 3 year curriculum comprised of 5 major areas.
In this area children will encounter many of the same materials and tasks as those in their home. The exercises develop skills in caring for oneself, for others, and for the environment. They promote physical independence, concentration and body control. The activities include many of the tasks children see as part of the daily routine in their homes as well lessons on grace and courtesy. Each is introduced in a sequential, ordered and logical manner, providing the foundation to approach more academic exercises. These activities help children to internalize order, sequence, and the experience of completion of a task.
In the sensorial area children will engage with materials that provide opportunities for observation, comparison and judgment. The exercises promote the development of the senses using materials designed to assist the child in discriminating shape, size, color, sound and texture. Each set of materials isolates a single quality or sense and draws attention to increasingly fine sensorial distinctions. These activities also contain many indirect preparations for later work in language and mathematics.
The Montessori approach provides a carefully thought-out program to facilitate the natural language, reading and writing development that occurs in children from birth to age 6. The Language component is comprehensive, focusing on spoken language, vocabulary, written language, reading, word study, function of words, and language extensions. Specific exercises build skills in discriminating and analyzing sounds, laying a foundation in phonetic skills that prepare a child for reading. Stories, poetry, songs and social conversation are important components of building vocabulary and organizing thought. In addition to the work in the Casa, children are encouraged to take a book from the School Library each week.
Mathematics is a way of looking at the world, a language for understanding and expressing measurable relationships inherent in our experience. The mathematics area provides a variety of exciting materials; the golden beads, the number rods and the pink tower all engage the child in mathematical thinking. Exercises are presented through these concrete materials providing “hands-on” experiences of abstract concepts. Through the use of these materials a deeper understanding of basic mathematical principles prepare the child for later abstract reasoning and problem-solving. Children engage in linear counting, an understanding of the decimal system, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and only move on to the symbolic abstract representation when their understanding is developed and integrated.
These exercises expose children to many different countries and cultures through music, dance and artistic expression. Abstract scientific and cultural concepts are made tangible as children investigate the natural world and manipulate materials and objects in response to images and experiences. Basic nomenclature of biology, geometry, physical science, and geography are also presented. Children gain an awareness of the physical world by exploring materials such as the puzzle maps and geometric solids.
For more information on the Montessori Primary Program, read about it on MariaMontessori.com