Practical Life

The purpose of the Practical Life curriculum in Montessori is to improve concentration, co-ordination, control, independence and order which lay the foundation for learning.

As every parent knows young children want to be with adults and to take part in the daily activities of an adult. The Montessori Practical Life materials allow them to do just that and they provide real life experiences for children.

  • Simple activities which man performs everyday to maintain order in his environment in which they live and work.
  • The activities are scientific and so, for the adult, they have a goal and the end result is more vital than the process which is often hurried.
  • The child, having been influenced by the adult’s daily routine from birth, is very much interested in these activities. From as early as he watches the adult, tries to imitate him. It is his way of adapting to his environment and constructing reality.
  • Therefore the presentation of these simple daily routines for the child is developmental and absorbing. The process is more important than the end result which is often neglected.



Watch a child who is pouring beans from one jar to another. As they pour, they become transfixed by the look of the beans emptying, as well as the sound of them hitting the glass jar. It is a satisfying, almost calming sound that they strive to repeat over and over again. They focus intently on the task at hand, developing those concentration skills that are necessary to observe the world around them, and to focus on later learning.


A degree of coordination is required to successfully pour those beans without spilling them. Balancing beads on a spoon, sewing a button, picking up rice with chopsticks, all require great dexterity and strong fine motor skills. All activities in the Montessori Practical Life curriculum exercise those finger muscles and develop fine motor skills. Co-ordination is necessary when learning writing and art skills, balancing while walking, and performing everyday tasks like tying shoes.

Practising Control

An element of control is necessary in co-ordination skills. Control also encompasses the ability to manage the amount of force used when tightening a screw, stopping when pouring liquid so as not to spill any liquid, or shutting a door quietly. The child also needs control over their muscles as they walk across a room or around a mat, as they carry items or a tray to and from a shelf, and as they roll up a mat.

Fostering Independence

Young children's main goal in life is to develop independence. How often does one hear the cry of a young child, "I can do it myself!" The Practical Life curriculum teaches children how to perform everyday living skills that enhance their independence. They learn how to pour and use different utensils, prepare and serve food to themselves and others. Care of self skills, such as the Dressing Frames, allow them to get themselves dressed. Care of the environment skills, such as the various cleaning tasks, allow them to look after their own room and or toys.

Order in the Environment

Children crave order in their environment and lives. The Practical Life area is set up with a definite order. Activities are placed on the shelf from left to right and top to bottom. This is because one reads from left to right and top to bottom. Activities themselves have a definitive order in which steps are performed. A favourite Montessori saying is “It is the process that is important, not the product". It is more important that the proper steps are followed when washing dishes than the dishes actually getting cleaned, as the process will ensure the desired product.


  • The sensorial materials facilitate the understanding of abstract ideas. Working with them, the child begins to understand concepts, judgments and develop observation skills. The materials are graded to suit the developmental level of each child and has self correcting elements which encourage auto- education, which means that the child can correct himself and experience success.
  • The sensorial materials are also multipurpose in that each particular piece of material focuses on a specific concept, and also serves other educational purposes. For example, the Knobbed Cylinders develop the child’s perception of dimension; and his development of seriation skills, fine motor coordination, pincer grip, concentration and vocabulary.
  • The sensorial apparatus provides the child with sonsori- motor activities which help the child to learn to discriminate shapes, sizes, colours, sounds, smell using all the five senses i.e. visual, auditory, gustatory, tactile, olfactory. The apparatus is designed for used with exercises from simple to complex, from concrete to abstract and which also involve Mathematical concepts.
  • Therefore the presentation of these simple daily routines for the child is developmental and absorbing. The process is more important than the end result which is often neglected.


Visual (Size & Dimension)


Visual (Colour & Form)




Auditory (Sounds Boxes)




Gustatory (Taste Jars)

Language (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese & English)

We use 4 basic and widely- used teaching methods- “look- and- say", “phonic", “phonic- word" and “language-experience approach"

  • The “look-and-say method
    The children of this method were taught to respond to the overall visual appearance of whole words and not to the letters of which words were composed. They were introduced to words that had contrasting shapes as these were easier to discriminate than words of similar pattern.
  • The “phonic" method
    In this phonic method, the names assigned to letters were not their alphabetic names but their most common sound values. Children pronounce the words by “sounding?the letters and putting them together to “build?words- kuh- a- tuh-, cat. Then he progresses to ‘blends?and ‘diagraphs?and learns blocks (or families) of words which are related to each other.
  • The “phonic-word" method
    This method uses the twenty- six letters of the alphabet to make up the forty- four sounds of English. Children are taught to analyse letters and sounds within known words.
  • The “phonics 44"method
    “The Morris- Montessori Word List?(Morris, 1990), the latest resource to incorporate “Phonics 44" have words presented in an order which is “economical" because it saves time for both teacher and learner.

    “Phonic 44" provides a more reliable base than was previously available for the development of initial literacy and particularly for graded phonic instruction.


  • Adults can solve simple mathematical task by doing them in the head, but young children find such abstractions difficult to master. They need to see, talk, touch and experiment with concrete materials first. Here lies the strength of the Montessori materials and environment, where the child has lots of opportunities to acquire pre- mathematical skills of discriminating between sizes, sequencing, grading or comparison as he works with the concrete materials.
  • Eye Level MATH

    Eye Level MATH is designed to help students improve their mathematical thinking and problem solving skills by enabling them to master concepts each step of the way as they progress through the curriculum. The Eye Level MATH program is well aligned with Korean's NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) content and process standards, and links to the NCTM standards are highlighted throughout the Eye Level MATH program. NCTM standards reflect the collective view of mathematics teachers and should be carefully considered when designing mathematics curricula and instruction. Adhering to these standards will ensure that students master fundamental concepts in all areas of mathematics at performance levels that are developmentally appropriate.

    Eye Level ENGLISH

    The goal of Eye Level ENGLISH is to guide students to master English language skills while enhancing the four fundamental skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Various themes and diverse strategies will motivate students, nurture study habits, and develop language capabilities, which are sure to be the basis of lifetime learning.