If you send your child to a good Montessori school starting at the age of three, your child will start learning about counting and quantities using hands-one equipment ranging from cards and counters to Red and Blue Rods (see our archived articles for details), moving up to more advanced exercises such as long addition and division in the well-known Banker's Game with the Golden Beads. You can easily monitor your child's progress by learning a bit about the equipment and observing a class.
However, what about parents who are starting at home in mid-stream, say, with a five or six year old? A lot of people are tempted to buy equipment and rush through the process, so their child can "catch up" with the normal Montessori curriculum.
We highly suggest starting from the beginning, even if this means your five year old will be working with Math Spindles, Red Rods, or Sandpaper Numerals. The important concepts related to relative size, quantity, and numerals remain key to building a solid foundation in math at any age, so do not skimp on the basics to move your child ahead quickly!
The Golden Bead introductory exercise will quickly enable your child to begin more complex math exercises! For more details, send us a note or subscribe to our Montessori Curriculum Newsletters.
Children in the Primary class typically work with the advanced arithmetic mentioned above as well as fractions from one whole to one-tenth, the Binomial cube (a precursor to algebra), and ratios and percents.
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