When arriving back in my home country, Kenya, the first thing that hits me is the smell, the wonderful smell of Africa and memories flood in. When walking into a spice shop the smell conjures up exotic places and delicious foods, perfumes and true well being.
On walking into a clothes shop my instinct is to reach out and touch a silk or cashmere and absorb the feeling and recognise the differences.
Oh the taste and texture of a delicious papaya with a squeeze of lime, the crunch and richness of a macadamia nut, the shock of a sour lemon or too much salt.
When I think about what we can see and hear..it’s pretty amazing.
So what I am driving at here is teaching through the senses..what a concept and one that Maria Montessori observed in children from the day they were born. How we all learn is through our senses.
Montessori Sensorial materials tune in and develop a huge range of skills learned naturally through the senses.
Children have a choice of sensorial materials and gravitate towards the materials that will develop their “sensitive period” (more on that later) they may do it once and satisfied move on, or they may stick with it day in and day out exploring all the extensions until their sensitive period is satisfied and they have reaped as much as possible.
A montessori teachers’ job is to observe a childs’ “sensitive period” and offer their knowledge of the Sensorial materials to the child.
This sensitive period can be observed and blossom in all areas using the senses, whether it be practical life, sensorial, language, math, culture or any activity, a child will learn and absorb so much more if it is demonstrated sensorially.
Empower the Child.