The Montessori Casa curriculum and thus the classrooms are purposely organized into five areas.
While each section is independent, the purpose and the organization of the materials, as well as the learning concepts, are often intertwined with one another. For example, the materials in each section of the classroom are subtly organized in a left to right fashion, progressing from easier ones on the left to the more challenging ones on the right as an indirect preparation for reading English (i.e., left to right).
Practical life activities focus on four main areas – control of movement, care of self, others, and the environment, and grace and courtesy. They are the distillation of everyday activities the child experiences at home and in the classroom.
The practical life activities involve the children in precise movements that challenge them to concentrate and work uninterrupted to complete the activity, which provides them with the feeling of satisfaction and builds confidence.
These activities are aimed at developing fine motor and other basic skills needed to advance to the more complex activities.
Sensorial activities bring clarity to the mind by helping the child sort, arrange and classify their day-to-day experiences. Abstract concepts of time, imagination, numbers, weight, etc. are unfathomable for a child, and the objective of these exercises is to form the basis for abstraction in thought.
Sensorial activities first enable a child to isolate fundamental qualities perceived through the five senses – colour, smell, texture, taste, sound, shapes, dimension, temperature, weight, etc. Once mastered, children are then introduced to distinguish qualities such as long/short, loud/soft, rough/smooth, circle, square, cube, etc.
Language is also introduced using concrete materials – through touch and tactile-based activities. Alphabets are introduced through meaningful games and tracing letters, then to small phonetic words, and eventually to complex words and sentences.
Since writing is one’s own thoughts, to encourage self-expression and creativity, children are taught to write first before reading.
The enrichment of language and vocabulary is nurtured through the use of good language, meaningful conversations, poetry, storytelling, voicing opinions, and purposeful talk. The Casa curriculum includes advanced grammar and sentence analysis for older children.
Math concepts such as sequencing, sorting, shapes, and patterns are also introduced through sensorial activities, making them interesting, and understandable for children.
Abstract math concepts such as addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication are first learnt using concrete materials such as beads, number rods, and numeral cards. Children then move to advanced math exercises that require them to associate numerals to quantities in their minds – i.e., abstract without needing beads or cards.
The activities are sequenced to make the foundation for math solid and to aid the development of abstract reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Culture is presented as extensions of the four areas listed above and covers topics such as Geography, Biology, Botany, Zoology, Art, Music, Dance, and Physical Education.
Children learn about people and cultures around the world and the lessons related to geography, nature, and other forms of life connect the children to our world and the global community.
The aim here is to inspire the child to respect all human beings, other forms of life, nature and make them environmentally conscious. Art, music, poetry, etc. allows the child to enjoy and explore a variety of creative activities.