The Montessori approach to education was developed by Maria Montessori, an educator and physician in Italy. Estimated to be practiced in upwards of 20,000 schools around the world, this approach emphasizes freedom with reasonable limits, independence, and a Constructivist model that allows kids to learn basic concepts through a hands-on approach, rather than through lectures and direct instruction. These 10 iPhone apps can help you teach your child the educational basics in accordance with the methods prescribed by the Montessori approach, supporting his education with the assistance of your mobile device.
- Montessori Letter Sounds HD – Based on the Montessori method of teaching, this $2.99 app is broken down by age, helping kids ages three and under play “I Spy” to understand letter sounds, four year olds to begin working on letter sounds and their shapes, and then progressively bringing all of those concepts together in a cohesive way. The end goal is for kids to be able to write their first words with a movable alphabet all by themselves by “sounding it out.”
- Montessori Crosswords – Spelling With Phonics-Enabled Alphabet – Kids learn that words are made from sounds with this $2.99 app. Once they learn this, they then learn how to make those words themselves by memorizing the phonic sounds associated with each letter. Eventually, even preschoolers are able to play a simplified version of this crossword game, thanks to the lessons they’ve learned.
- Montessori Matching Board – Learning about shapes, letters and numbers is fun and easy with this $0.99 app, which helps kids learn with a small-scale matching game. The simple interface and clear graphics are easy enough for even an older infant to manipulate, while toddlers and young preschoolers will be able to confidently navigate the app, matching and learning in no time.
- Alpha Writer – Learning to read, write and spell phonetically are the building blocks of literacy, and are the fundamental skills taught by this $2.99 app. Identifying consonants and vowels, creating and spelling their own words, and focusing on early reading skills are all among the tasks that your child can master by using Montessorium’s Alpha Writer.
- Montessori Geometry – Give your little one a jump start on Geometry with this $4.49 app, which helps him learn to identify shapes in both 2D and 3D. Activities are self-correcting, emphasizing autonomy and self-confidence, and allow kids to learn independently and be motivated by the earning of reward medals.
- Montessori Numberland HD – Featured in Apple’s New & Noteworthy and rated five stars out of five by Common Sense Media, the $4.99 Montessori Numberland app is a highly-rated and powerful one, teaching kids to write and recognize the shape of a number, hear its name, and then count objects to reinforce those concepts. You can even help kids learn to count in more than one language by changing the in-app preferences!
- Montessori Alphabet Maze Free – Improving fine motor skills, learning visual tracking, and extending a child’s attention span are all among the claims made by this free app, which also helps a child master the alphabet through exposure and repetition. The app also contains no ads, does not work with social networking sites, and does not enable in-app purchases, making it a safe one for kids to use with minimal adult direction.
- Montessori Counting Board – Kids learn to count in ascending and descending order with this app, which offers a variety of formats and counting options. Marketed to kids from infancy to six years old, the $0.99 Montessori Counting Board is highly rated and reviewed by App Store users.
- Intro to Math – Kids learn the fundamentals of math, how to read, recognize and understand the numbers between 0 and 9, symbols and units, sequence, spatial relationships and problem solving skills with this $4.99 app. Rods, numbers, tracing and counters are among the virtual tools used by Intro to Math, based on proven Montessori methods.
- Intro to Letters – Learning to read and write begins with understanding and recognizing the letters of the alphabet, a skill that this $4.99 app helps to teach. Learning to draw, read and pronounce letters phonetically gives your child the competitive edge she’ll need to excel academically from an early age, inspiring a love of reading and writing.
While your iPhone will allow your child to learn through exploration independently, the Montessori approach is dependent upon parental involvement as well as independent learning. These apps are great ways to keep your child entertained in an educationally-worthwhile way during long delays or car rides, but they work best when you’re there to direct and offer your assistance as needed. For the best results, set aside some time each day to work with your child as he uses these apps.