Maria Montessori was fond of quoting the French philosopher and mathematician, Pascal, who said that all humans have a “mathematical mind”. Montessori believed this to be especially true of children. They explore the world by organizing & categorizing what they find there; they love to find the patterns in the world around them and this is the beginning of their mathematical education.
Children in the Montessori classroom have the opportunity to learn many mathematical concepts before they are six years old. They’ll begin with very concrete materials and gradually progress to abstract concepts. They learn to recognize, recite and eventually to write the numerals one through one thousand, and to associate those numerals with the appropriate quantities (number).
The Montessori math curriculum is varied, never boring, and challenging – but never forced upon the children. They love these materials! They’re colorful and fun to work with, intricate and beautiful.