“This system in which a child is constantly moving objects with his hands and actively exercising his senses, also takes into account a child’s special aptitude for mathematics. When they leave the material, the children very easily reach the point where they wish to write out the operation. They thus carry out an abstract mental operation and acquire a kind of natural and spontaneous inclination for mental calculation.” Dr. Maria Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that the human mind is mathematically wired from birth: Babies have developed in the womb with the sound and rhythm of their mother’s heartbeat, and unconsciously absorbed the regularity of the light of day and dark of night.
Mathematical concepts continue to be all around us from birth: time to eat, time to play, big and small, full and empty, one more, and so on. By the time a child enters into nursery or kindergarten they have unconsciously formed the very basics of many mathematical areas.
While engaged with Practical Life exercises a child develops concrete concepts of capacity and weight. Or learns about shapes, dimensions and size with Sensorial materials. Later on, with the Numerical Rods, Sandpaper Numerals and Golden Beads more advanced mathematical and decimal concepts are practiced and learned.
We can see that from the early stages of Practical Life, then moving through the Cultural and Sensorial areas, a child’s skills and knowledge are developed and refined so that he or she is in full readiness for Language and Mathematical development.
To conclude, the Montessori method scaffolds and enriches a child’s learning pathway, in a truly holistic approach, developing the whole child to absorb the whole world.