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The academic subjects of practical life, sensorial, math, language, and cultural subjects are based on the Montessori Method.

Practical Life

Practical life exercises are the foundation of a Montessori environment. It provides a wholesome range of activities which allow the children to develop control and coordination of movement, awareness of their environment, orderly thought patterns, independent work habits, responsibility and many other human characteristics which can only be attained by spontaneous, purposeful work. The first elements to be perceived and absorbed into the child's very being are the numerous levels of order prevailing in their home. The daily activities undertaken by adults in establishing the living environment; the care of others and the care of the self; the ceremony and ritual of hospitality; these are all intensely fascinating to the child because they are aesthetic, logical and understandable. These daily rites of everyday existence are comforting and provide a security necessary for the child's development. The practical life exercises are classified under the headings: care of the environment, care of the person, grace and courtesy, and movement. There are materials for each of these areas, adapted to the child's-size, interest and capabilities.


Montessori sensorial apparatus allows the child to classify sensorial impressions in an organized, orderly and scientific manner. The sensorial apparatus are sequenced in such a way that they discriminate one predetermined aspect and quality or facet at a time, keeping the others constant or identical. They have built-in control of error. Sensorial materials allow for individual work and repetition. This makes it possible to illustrate abstract concepts inherent in each piece of material; to name them and then apply them to the environment - thereby, giving the child a more accurate perception of the universe around them. Our sensorial material; in fact, analyses and represents the attributes of things: dimensions, forms, colours, smoothness, or roughness of surface, weight, temperature, flavour, and sounds.


A variety of concrete math materials are used to teach math concepts and skills. These are presented to the child in a developmental sequence beginning with: sorting, one-to-one correspondence, numbers and counting, sets and classifying, comparing, shape, space, parts and wholes, ordering and patterning, measurement, time, and graphs. Mathematical materials give the child a sensorial experience of the abstraction that is mathematics. This allows them to absorb concepts so that when the time comes to deal exclusively in abstract terms, the understanding is already there. Every item focuses attention on a single concept. These concepts are then integrated to form the basis for a further step in the development of the child's mathematical understanding.


When the child comes into the Montessori environment at around three years of age, their spoken language is developed. Their vocabulary is quite extensive and the grammatical structures of their speech are established. They have a boundless capacity to expand and enrich their language and, the desire to write and read. The language materials provide the keys to the fascinating world of language and are highly effective.

The language program is based upon developing verbal communication and problem-solving. The materials are very simple: the sandpaper letters give the child the shape of the letters, they learn phonetic sounds with the use of these tactile letter, the moveable alphabet allows them to arrange these letters to form words and the metal insets make it possible for the children to control a writing instrument.


Cultural subjects are presented through the use of materials that model physical facts and areas of the world. Materials such as: globes, puzzle maps of the continents and countries, land form trays, and flags are used. With the cultural materials, the child is given the facts of his physical world- that it is a sphere. This sphere is composed of land masses and bodies of water. They have different forms and these forms have names. The facts that the land masses are called continents, and the bodies of water are called oceans. We then specify that the oceans and continents have names. The cultural materials provide the child with the opportunity to explore the many levels of order established as we perceived and classified our earth over the ages, organized it into countries, provinces, states, each with their own particular shapes, their intriguing names, their capitals and their flags.

When the child arrives at the next plane of development, the time for intellectual exploration, the time of asking the why, when, wherefore of all things, the facts absorbed through the sensorial exploration provide a solid foundation for him to rediscover that which he already knows. He is able to integrate the physical characteristics for the land and water, to understand human affairs past and present that evolved upon them, and to become aware of man's dependency on, as well as responsibility for the habitat he shares with other forms of life.

In the first years of life children have absorbed a limitless wealth of impressions taking in all the elements of the world around them. Among these are a multitude of plants, trees, flowers, shrubs- an infinite variety of growing things. The child is given names and the opportunity for sensorial exploration thereby creating the foundation for knowledge to be acquired in the years to come.

Art, music, and French activities are also integrated into the daily program through stories, matching activities and curriculum based apparatus. There is painting, finger play and creative movement as well as rhythm games and songs. Gym is also a part of our academic program. Each school year curriculum emphasizes and includes activities directed toward conscious behaviour in ecological matters as they relate to the individual, the community and the world.

Four Winds Montessori School - 116 Church St, Bowmanville, ON, L1C 1T2
905-623-6722 | fourwindsmontessori@gmail.com