The educational style known as Montessori, was founded by the Italian physician, Maria Montessori, in the early 1900s. Through observing children and their learning potential she derived that, “education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment”. This philosophy is the basis of Montessori schools and Montessori education that occurs within the home.
It is Montessori education’s goal to help each child achieve their full potential while fostering a life long love of learning. Montessori schools are marked by a clean, clear environment with child-size stations that encourage students to complete tasks independently. Maria Montessori is oft quoted saying, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” Therefore, Montessori teachers act as guides in the learning process and allow children to direct their own education within limits.
Montessori schools are most often seen in preschool form, but some schools carry on through high school. Many parents also including Montessori in their home education whether in a companion form to traditional schooling or as the basis of a home school program.
Although I am no where near an expert when it comes to Montessori teaching, within my parenting realm I try my best help my daughter do things herself while following her lead in educational interests. Right now that means we take things slow when she puts away her own laundry and helps me to unload the dishwasher. It means we read copious amounts of dinosaur books and sing the ABC and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at least 30 times each day. It means she chooses her own clothes (usually purple from head to toe) and dancing with her eyes closed to any bit of music she hears. It means creating “stairs” with pillows and lining up her blocks in a very specific order. Daily I’m following her lead as we explore a great big world and I couldn’t be happier to be along for the ride.
Ready to learn more and implement Montessori in your home? Here are a few of my favorite resources:
Oh, and don’t even search “Montessori” on Pinterest unless you have a few hours to organize and plan a plethora of new and fresh activities for your little ones!