Nienhuis Montessori Mathematics
The Nienhuis Montessori mathematical materials are supremely intelligent in their simplicity and provide children with a sensorial experience of the abstraction that is mathematics. This allows them to store concepts so that when the time comes to deal exclusively in abstract terms, the understanding is already there.
The child starts working with the Nienhuis Montessori mathematical materials after being well prepared by the practical life and sensorial materials which offer a clear example of indirect preparation, a principle that is rooted in the child’s natural manner of learning. Each material isolates one concept, and these isolated concepts integrate to form the basis for a further step in the development of the child’s mathematical understanding.
Montessori mathematics is presented in concrete form. When performing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, they carry and borrow and change the quantities involved. As the child puts them together and takes them apart, the interplay of numbers is unconsciously perceived. This is a preparation to explore and memorise the tables with another series of exercises that again, isolate the particularities of each operation.
Through all this, the child will consciously pursue the exploration of mathematics in a manner appropriate to the characteristics of their age. All their work done previously has prepared them to master the skills of mathematics, and the child’s brilliant, adventurous mind can take off to explore the untold reaches of the mathematical sciences.