The Montessori Minute: Materials vs. Textbooks

What are all these manipulatives the children are using? Why not just give them textbooks?

Montessori’s specially designed materials serve as your child’s tools of learning. Unlike textbooks, they provide hands-on concrete multisensory experiences that deepen a child’s understanding by engaging more of the lobes within each hemisphere of the brain. For details on this, see Math Works by Michael Duffy (available through MontessoriServices.com). Engaging the senses ensures a greater retention of what is learned. Moreover, Montessori materials are engineered to gradually transition the child toward an abstract level of understanding. In addition, using the materials creates an active — versus passive — learning experience. At Mata, we instill the value that learning is something done by you, not to you.