Montessori is a type of education that encourages self-paced, guided learning. Since it’s quite different from the traditional classroom, its goals are specific: to foster motivation, social awareness, and the “whole” development of every child. Today, there are many preschools and daycare centers that are continuing to adopt the Montessori philosophy.
The Montessori framework consists of five key learning areas. These five areas are educational concepts as well as physical “stations” throughout every Montessori classroom. They are:
- Practical Life
Whether it’s a group lesson or independent activity, these five areas are important to all forms of child development— emotional, social, cognitive, and physical. Because these five areas strive to integrate whole child development, some parents prefer Montessori environments over regular childcare settings or preschools.
Here’s an overview of the five key learning areas for Montessori early learning centers.
In early education, children begin to develop language and learn how to communicate with others. Oral language comes first, starting with word formation, sentence structure, and other basic literacy skills. In preschool and kindergarten, children learn basic letters of the alphabet, phonics, and early reading and writing.
Montessori language learning areas often contain picture books and writing supplies. They also include listening activities and story time. Two popular tools that Montessori teachers use are sandpaper letter tracing toys and a movable alphabet. These help kids explore the alphabet in immersive, hands-on ways.
Children learn how to understand and respond to their external environments through their five senses: touch, sight, sound, taste, and smell. The sensorial learning area in a Montessori program focuses on interactive materials and activities that nurture these senses as well as “proprioception” — the awareness of where your body parts are in space.
Teachers often engage children in isolated sensory experiences such as:
- Color blocks
- Texture items
- Scented bottles
- Matching shapes
- Thermic tablets (wood, fur, cork, etc.)
- The Pink Tower
Sensory activities are effective for all learning types. In the Montessori classroom, learning activities can even be adapted to further support children who might have sensory-stimulation issues.
Mathematics sets children up to expand their learning in technical subjects throughout their education. In the math area of Montessori learning, children learn basic counting, numeration, and comparison. They also become familiar with some of the problem-solving skills they need to master self-guided learning for a lifetime.
For the math area, Montessori classrooms use number rods, abacuses, measuring sticks, sandpaper numbers, beads, and other materials. Math activities are designed to build upon previous knowledge, helping kids experience both concrete and abstract math concepts. The outcome is not only to learn basic concepts but also to develop mathematical minds.
4. Practical Life
Practical life skills are a major part of the Montessori framework. Unlike traditional schooling, Montessori classrooms teach children how to be self-sufficient in daily life. This includes lessons on cleaning, cooking, manners, and caring for others.
Teachers often facilitate positive practical skills activities for early education students. These include:
- Self-care: preparing lunch, tying shoes, and folding laundry.
- Courtesy: helping a friend, greeting parents, and helping teach another student.
- Self-control: walking in line, waiting turns, and practicing refined movements.
- Environment care: gardening, picking up litter, decorating, and cleaning.
The idea of practical skills in Montessori is that if children learn life skills early on, it sets them up to be responsible, resourceful individuals as they grow into society.
Cultural studies are one of the many reasons parents choose Montessori education for their young children. The cultural studies learning area equips kids with an understanding of the greater world. They explore topics of history, geography, art, and science through a lens of diversity— meaning, there are many ways to live life.
Teachers help children recognize and respect differences as positive traits instead of something to be avoided. Many classrooms introduce foreign languages, maps, cultural observances, and different styles of music. Children are encouraged to express themselves and their family culture. Kids learn many different social and emotional skills that are useful for lifelong learning.
Support the 5 Montessori Learning Areas With Childcare Software
To support each of these learning areas, Daily Connect offers a unique childcare management software for Montessori programs. Along with the full-featured childcare app, Montessori learning centers can access extra tools and resources they need to achieve learning outcomes.
Here’s what the most recent Montessori learning framework update includes.
Montessori Lesson Plans
There are more than 270 lesson plans across the five areas of Montessori learning. There are different lesson plans suitable for ages 0-6. Each lesson plan contains supporting materials for teachers, such as:
- Lesson descriptions
- Equipment and supplies checklists
- Expected learning outcomes
- Instructional videos (when necessary)
Having a set of lesson plans can provide teachers and students with more structure through the Montessori classroom.
Observations and Assessments
Within the app, teachers can record their observations and learning assessments for every child. Observations reveal how well each child is progressing through each of the five skills, and these results can be shared between teachers, parents, and other learning facilitators.
Assessment data can be analyzed at a classroom or individual level. Plus, coordinated reports can be synced and shared between classes, homeschooling coursework, hybrid learning, and more.
If you already use Daily Connect, you can give these features a try! If you’re looking to switch to a new childcare software that suits Montessori programs specifically, the Daily Connect app may be a great option.
Daily Connect for Montessori Early Learning Centers
Overall, the Montessori learning framework continues to grow in popularity. It’s suitable for all styles of learning. Its learning outcomes ultimately help children develop into independent, capable, and well-rounded individuals through their education years.
If you operate a Montessori early learning center or are thinking about opening a new one, let the Daily Connect app help. In addition to supporting the five learning areas, the software also helps with:
- Lesson planning
- Childcare licensing requirements
- State learning frameworks
- Parent billing
- Staff-to-parent communication
- Employee management
- Attendance tracking
- Childcare accounting
- And more
Ready to get started? Reach out to Daily Connect today for your free trial.