If you look at Montessori Teaching Albums, Maths work isn’t usually introduced to a child formally until they are around 4-4.5 years old. There are many preparatory works within the Sensorial Materials which should be worked with first and understood to lay the foundations such as Red Rods, Pink Tower, Brown Stair, Knobbed Cylinders, etc. However, I am more than happy for L to explore a new material and watch a presentation well before this if she shows an interest.
We’ve had this Golden Bead Work on the shelves since the beginning but didn’t expect her to show interest for a while, but just the other day, she surprised me by using her step and asking if we could do this work. Given her grasp of basic maths concepts thus far, and comprehension, I couldn’t see any harm.
The Golden Bead Material introduces the child to the concepts of the Decimal System and Quantity and gives a visual representation of bulk.
The lesson begins by asking the child to join you, then you take them to the shelf with the work and name the work. Ideally you would have the child collect a mat for the table, but as we don’t have one that fits for now we just used the table. Begin by picking up the “Unit”, feel it and name it, then pass it to the child to do the same. Once they have done so, place it on the mat/table. Repeat this for “Ten, Hundred and Thousand”.
This is how far we got with the lesson, just naming and exploring and all I really expect for now. L was thrilled to work with a new material and keen to touch and name and place each quantity in place. For a full guide to the presentation of Golden Bead Material, head over to Info Montessori
It wasn’t long before she started counting the beads and ten bars by herself. I explained that 10 x 10 bars = 100 and she started laying them out.
Fun lesson for my little maths whiz, she just adores numbers and counting – The joy of home-ed I feel and also allowing Children the independence to learn what they want at their own speed whilst given the provisions to do so.