Montessori. It's a bit of a buzz word when it comes to early education. But what does it really mean? What were Maria Montessori's principles and values?
We asked one mumma who is adopting Maria Montessori's way of learning in her own home why she likes it.
"I used to work in childcare and through my studies found Maria Montessori’s books and "Montessori from the Start" and I was really captivated by how respectful I thought it was towards kids, the sense of agency that it gives them and thought I’d probably do it. And then found that when I actually had her it was all very instinctive to us and goes along with other parenting things that we believe in (no screen time at this point, respectful parenting). She doesn’t go to a Montessori childcare though they do a lot of Montessori type stuff and we aren’t strict about it."
We asked how she knows her child is reaching 'milestones'?
"We don’t test her on “what’s this colour” “what’s this animal” and she really gets to pick her own interests and work on skills that pop up for her when it’s relevant for her. So, there’s less stress on us about meeting certain expectations when it’s about the process."
What are some of the other things you like about the Montessori way?
"I think Montessori and the way that you prepare the environment for the child to make choices helps them develop an attention span and independence which is something we all kind of crave. It can be hard to observe and not interrupt them playing because they’re so cute or what they’re working on feels like such a big deal and you want in on it, but how can they learn that stuff if we don’t give them the opportunity?"
And finally, overall, is it working for your family?
"I guess to sum it up I like it because she is not a doll, she’s a capable person who has agency and deserves respect so we follow her. So, yes. It is working for us."
You can follow this Montessori Mumma at @apartmentmontessori to get ideas on great activities you can do at home too!