For the development of independence and concentration, every child has to be able to use the Practical Life Exercises. These are mainly activities that we would normally take for granted. By perfecting these skills, the child will be able to do more for himself. By using his hands and manipulating his environment, he is unlocking his intelligence and enabling its development. The activities are progressive, gradually challenging the child’s abilities according to his level of development. The mastery of these skills will eventually be needed in other areas of class work such as projects and art & craft, and for a general confidence in the child to be able to care of himself.
When using the sensorial equipment, the child learns basic concepts like size, colour and dimension.
Because the activities are both didactic and progressively more challenging, the child can learn at his own pace, moving forward only when he is ready. He is free to choose his activity and is thus able to move efficiently around the classroom.
The sensorial equipment builds a foundation for mathematics and language as it presents the various math concepts in concrete form. The child that has gained experience with the materials is also constantly interacting with the environment, and thus, communicating with the others around him and building up a vocabulary that will be vital for formal lessons later.
Sensory experience is important for the child to form his own understanding of the world.
Through the senses, the child is able to gain a firmer footing in reality and so begin to desire to know more about his world.
The Math section is a follow up from the Practical Life Exercises and Sensorial sections where foundations in mathematics have been set. The materials require concrete manipulation and also follow a precise sequence. The first few exercises teach the concept of one-to-one correspondence and conservation. Once that has been mastered, the materials go on to introduce the concept of number. Numerous activities can be designed around the materials, and the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplicaton and division) are enjoyed with concrete manipulation.
The preparation for language in this curriculum comes in the form of developmental activities in the other curriculum areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Art, and Music & Movement, and through games, songs, and rhymes. These activities concentrate on developing listening, speaking, decoding, writing and reading: factors essential for acquiring language.
The materials follow the same basic principles: being progressive, moving from concrete to abstract, and the child is free to develop at his own pace. Since the child is taught the letter sounds phonetically, he is given the advantage of making the discovery of reading for himself.
Little Hands Montessori Kindergarten is an English teaching preschool with Mandarin as a second language. Mandarin is taught every day in all classes from 2-6 years of age. Class length and difficulty age appropriate.
With the younger children we use a lot of singing, games, dancing and interactive play. As the children language skills, motor skills and speech develop we introduce conversational mandarin, writing, simple spelling tests, Han Yu Pin Yin and reading.
The reading programme runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. With three parent volunteers and a reading co- ordinator all the children four years and above will read one on one with an adult in school. They then take their books home and read them with Mummy and Daddy and bring them back in and swap them out.
This hugely successful programme has been running for 11 years now. We use the Oxford Reading series and the children enter the world of Biff, Chip, Kipper, Mum, Dad and Floppy. It produces confident inquisitive readers. The feedback from parents and primary schools is very positive.
We are incredibly lucky to have fantastic supportive parents always willing to volunteer their time.
Little Hands has been taking children to the gym for 15 years as part of our curriculum. We believe in the holistic development of a child and the benefits of gymnastics contribute to it. Not only does it help to develop a child’s coordination and gross motor skills, it also helps in building focus and self-confidence. Most importantly, gym is fun and the children all love going there!