The Children’s House is the last group at the crèche. It opens the children up to new forms of learning and new equipment in each space, thereby preparing them for entry into nursery school. In addition to the various spaces of the Children’s Community, there are the mathematics space and the cosmic space (covering geography, biology, botany, and time), which prompt further arousal of the children’s curiosity.
The mathematical approach within Montessori education is applied as much based on practical life as it is on sensory life. It does not just entail calculations and numbers! Indeed, from the age of 2, in the area of Practical Life, each child learns to concentrate, reflect, associate his or her looks and gestures, organise work spaces, etc. And thanks to the sensory life equipment, the child can effortlessly tackle certain mathematical concepts in a concrete, intuitive way. When the child discovers calculations and mathematics in the strictest sense, he or she will rely on the knowledge acquired via impregnation in terms of geometry (shapes and volumes), arithmetic (addition, multiplication, etc.), spoken language (the concepts of bigger and smaller). Here we introduce new equipment, such as number rods, sticks, figures and tokens, etc. which will enable us to introduce the metric system and the discovery of numbers, as well as learning about the concepts of odd and even, etc.
What we mean by “cosmic education” is all the types of learning relating to the forces of nature and human beings, and the child is naturally drawn to the surrounding world: animals, forests, etc. In the Children’s Community, each child has the opportunity to discover the seasons and animals. Now the child can respond to his or her interests by tackling geography, botany, biology and the passing of time.
In the field of geography, in particular, the child will be able to carry out exercises using suitable resources (geographical puzzles, maps of the world, globes, animals from the various continents, a map showing the earth, the sea and the sky, etc.).
As far as time, biology and botany are concerned, the child will benefit from puzzles relating to flowers and plants, animals, a mat showing the 4 seasons, a botany cabinet, etc. The passage of time, in the form of the table showing the seasons, the birthdays wheel, and weather info, will profoundly embed the child in the real world.