The EMI children are given opportunities to work on the development of language skills, art and music, sensorial and practical life. The practical life area is particularly emphasized as the activities in this area give children the chance to develop skills to care for themselves and their environment in the following areas: control of movement, grace and courtesy. Practical life activities are simple and can be accomplished by each child. They offer repetitive cycles of activity, helping the child establish patterns of order and sequencing. Due to the fact that these are very real activities, each child becomes grounded in reality, building the child’s self esteem, which is the ultimate goal. This is accomplished through repeated success with these activities.
Through song and dance and freedom of choice, the children have access to a variety of gross-motor activities that offer them opportunities to jump, climb, balance, crawl or skip. These exercises, as well as creative art activities are offered for each child to freely choose. This freedom in a safe space is crucial to the toddler program . However, it is always tempered by two important limits that will be beneficial for a lifetime, respect for others and respect for the environment.
The Montessori classroom is a “living room” for children. Children choose their activities from open shelves with self-correcting materials and work in distinct work areas – on tables or on rugs on the floor. Over a period of time, the children develop into a “normalized community” working with high concentration and few interruptions.
Preschool classrooms include the following components:
The Practical Life Exercises enhance the development of task organization and cognitive order through care of self, care of the environment, exercises of grace and courtesy, and refinement of physical movement and coordination.
The Sensorial Materials enable the child to order, classify, sequence and describe sensory impressions in relation to length, width, weight, temperature, mass, colour, sound and shape.