Independence and self-esteem
Children will spend a lot of time with practical life exercises, which help develop the ability to take care of their own needs, care for the environment, to dress and undress, to have cooking experience, and to pour water. The materials are designed, and the educators trained, to help the child learn how to break down the required actions, to perform them step-by-step, and to do them repeatedly. For example, the dressing frames isolate the skill of buttoning with an attractive material, children enjoy buttoning and unbuttoning, over and over, until they master the skill.
Learning, in Montessori, is not an adult-led process of transmitting knowledge, but rather a process whereby the child teaches himself. The educators act as a guide. The first skill a child needs to acquire is an ability to sustain attention, to concentrate. By offering activities which the child is naturally interested in, and which lend themselves to repetition, makes it an enjoyable process where the child learns to focus and appreciate the developing ability to solve problems independently.
Mature social skills
In Montessori environment, children are taught to respect each other and to act with grace and courtesy, to walk around another child’s mat, to avoid interrupting when others are speaking, to sayplease and thank you. Like everything else inthelearning environment, social interactions are voluntary, children choose whether to work alone or together, whether and when to share. Under the expert guidance of the educator the classroom becomes a civilised social environment where children appreciate each other.
Children learn handwriting and reading by a similar, carefully sequenced process. For instance, children use sandpaper letters and sound games to associate sounds with alphabetic symbols. They naturally develop a sense of quantity by encountering numbers everywhere in their environment, counting snack items, arranging rods by length and then explore a wide range of math materials to further develop their skills.