Dr. Maria Montessori warned us that no amount of good teaching would help children if given at the wrong time. We must study and observe development to find our what children’s particular aptitudes are at every stage of development. Every period prepares for the next. If children are neglected during one period, this cannot be put right in the next, however hard the teacher and pupils work together. The children learn after a fashion, but they will not have the real mastery they would have gained if taught at the proper time. Given the right program, children will not only progress; they will astonish us by showing powers that we never suspected.
Observation and experience show that children from 3-5 years of age are happy in the peace and security of a Montessori environment. They are at a stage when they are exploring the world through their visual and tactile senses. Through these senses, they can acquire their letters and numbers without difficulty or mental strain.
At every stage we must study the children and make sure we are giving them the mental food they need. Intelligence is characteristic of humanity; and to exercise intelligence is a joy. If teaching causes mental fatigue, boredom or apathy, then the teaching is wrong. Children enjoy learning because they are fresh to the world; everything is interesting to them. Our traditional system of education cannot be right unless the children are enthusiastic and get pleasure and satisfaction from their work. And at Montessori Preparatory School children do get pleasure and satisfaction from their work in a beautifully, prepared environment.