Have you heard about the Montessori method before but are not sure what it is exactly? Or perhaps you have read a lot about Montessori but are not quite sure how to teach and implement the methods at home?
In this guide you will learn about the key principles of the Montessori education and how you can apply them to your way of parenting.
What Is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori who was an Italian educator, physician and scientist. She lived between 1870 and 1952.
This is a very basic explanation of the Montessori method. In my post, I’ll be talking about these 7 key Montessori principles:
- Freedom within limits
- Learning by doing
- Distraction-free environment
Let’s dive right in by looking at the first of the 7 principles of the Montessori method and how you can teach them at home:
1. Respect Your Child
Every child is different, every child learns different at their own pace and every child likes or dislikes different things. The more we incorporate this principle and drop our highly set expectations, the more laid back we will be about our child’s development.
2. Support Your Child’s Independence
Let your child make age-appropriate choices. I.e., what shoes or clothes to wear, what audio book to listen to, what food to eat, etc.
Being independent means taking responsibility for your actions.
Children feel happy when they learn new things by themselves. As Maria Montessori said:
“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”
Getting your child to help with household chores is another great way of fostering this type of approach.
Children feel proud of being able to do a task on their own without anyone’s help. It will encourage them to learn and do more by themselves.
3. Freedom Within Limits
Talking about independence – this doesn’t mean to let your child do whatever they want. You still need to set limits.
But if there are things you find your child can make their own choice on, then let them do it.
Once they made their choice, respect it and don’t make them change their mind or even judge them for their decision.
4. Learning by Doing
Children learn best by doing things themselves rather than the parent telling them about it or showing them. From birth to the age of 6, a child absorbs new information like a sponge. Dr. Maria Montessori called this the concept of the absorbent mind.
This concept explains how effortlessly a child can learn new things.
5. Create a Distraction-free Environment for Your Child
Less is more.
If you want to develop a Montessori environment at home, you need to clear out some toys.
If there are too many toys or other stuff lying around, your child won’t be able to concentrate and focus. They will constantly be distracted by something else and will feel rushed to head from one activity to the next one. Children actually play more if they have less toys.
Get rid of toys that aren’t useful or toys that are very similar to others you have at home. If you can’t say goodbye just yet, store them and give them back to your child at a later stage.
Also, make your place nice, comforting and appealing to your child so they have a desire to explore and play with their toys.
6. Take Your Child into Nature
We all know how good we feel after a walk in the forest, right? Well, the same goes for children.
Going outside gets them away from the screen moving their bodies while breathing in the fresh air. Besides that, it teaches them more about animals, plants, trees, etc. than a book or a TV show could ever do.
Depending on the age of your child, take them to the playground, go for a walk in the park, let them ride their bicycle or balance bike or take them to a lake. If they have looked at books of something particular in nature before, they will love seeing it in real.
7. Believe in Auto-Education
Another core principle of the Montessori concept is the belief in auto-education. This means, if we provide our child with the right tools he can teach himself anything. Children are eager to learn – they just love learning new things!
It puts a smile on our face when we see our child being all proud and happy after mastering a new skill. This approach reverts back to the independence aspect.
Quotes from Maria Montessori
Here are some of my favorite quotes that Dr. Maria Montessori has made. Reading these gave me an even better understanding of the Montessori approach.
“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”
“The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to age six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself is being formed.”
“Follow the child, they will show you what they need to do, what they need to develop in themselves and what area they need to be challenged in.”
“There is no description, no image in any book that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all the life to be found around them, in a real forest. Something emanates from those trees which speaks to the soul, something no book, no museum is capable of giving.”
“The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”
Conclusion: Why Should You Teach Montessori at Home?
So why should you choose to parent the Montessori way?
By teaching your child the Montessori principles, you will raise a confident and productive human being who takes responsibility for their own actions. Children being thought the Montessori philosophy are always happy to learn new tasks. You just have to give them space, time and accept their decisions.
Setting the foundation early (age 0-6) is critical as this is the time when children learn the most and form their personality. Did you know there are Montessori schools and even Kindergartens? How assuring to know that you can send your child off to people who share the same values as you and have been properly trained to teach them.
So, have a go at including the Montessori principles into your daily life and see how your child reacts to them. I’m sure you’ll find that things will work out a little easier and that everyone is a bit more relaxed.
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How to Teach the Montessori Method at Home
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