Arithmetic

“The human mind is by its nature mathematical”, Pascal said this, and Dr. Montessori quoted him often, Mathematics is a tendency of human beings. That means they have a predisposition towards learning those things which enhance their ability to be exact and orderly to observe, compare and classify. The human child by the very nature of his humanity is born with such a “Mathematical Mind”.

The child of two-and-a-half will be in possession of a great amount of Arithmetical ideas. So we must help the child to build up the attitudes, the concepts, the notions and ideas and help him to become conscious of them.

All Arithmetic is based on counting; he does not mean to just recite numbers in a particular succession. We need to prepare the child and it is at the right time in a Montessori Environment, that we introduce the Language of numbers.

Spoken language is used to express abstract concepts and to communicate them to others. In addition to the spoken language humans need a language to express quantitative experience; and from this came the language of Mathematics.

After a series of preparative activities provided in the Montessori House of Children, the child is now able to;

  • Establish internal order
  • Developed precise movement
  • Established work habit
  • Able to follow and complete a work cycle
  • Ability to concentrate
  • Learned to follow a process
  • Has used symbols

All these previous development has brought the child to a maturity of mind and readiness to work. Thus we begin to give the child educational help in order to give him the opportunity to appreciate quantity with precision, clarity and exactness.

We say that the awakening of the Mathematical Mind takes place at around the age of three-and-a-half. In the Montessori House of Children the Mathematical Material gives the child an opportunity to experience and to arrive at individual work.

Thus we must give Mathematics as something to enjoy, to explore but not just to get the results only. So the child should come to the understanding himself and discover for himself. Mathematics must be enjoyed by the child, for ones benefit and he should not be bored with it.

How can you help your child at home?

From an early age use words of Arithmetic Language ie: one, two, three..etc, more, less, far, near, big, small, count small quantities of toffees, biscuits, when climbing steps count, etc..