Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is Montessori right for you?

Lately I've been thinking about preschools. I know it's a bit early because my daughter isn't even crawling, but it's never too early to start, right? The Montessori Method is a style of teaching that respects each child as a person and strives to understand, teach, and motivate the child to be a positive member of a the community and develop his or her gifts. Reading the literature on the Montessori Method has just been so fascinating to me. They focus on the way the child develops and sees the world, which is completely different than the way an adult would see it. The Montessori Method helps me try to understand my child, and sometimes a bit of perspective gives me a few more minutes of patience when I think my well is dry.

  • The most important years of a child's life are the 1st years, age 0-3. Most critical in development because of rapid brain development.

  • Our children are our teachers! Our babies are asking us to collaborate with them as they compose their life.

  • Feeding, changing, and diapering your baby is a time for focusing on being together, not multi-tasking. Connect and involve our baby in their care - "Respectful care of the infant" - "try telling your baby what you are going to do before you do it".

  • Receptive Language. Babies understand before they can speak.

  • Keep supplies and activities low so they will learn to be a part of their own care and daily activities.

  • Uninterrupted playtime is a wonderful time for parents to observe and learn from their babies.

  • Try to arrange your home environment for toddlers to reflect order and routine. A great way for toddlers to enhance their own self awareness and independence is by seeing that everything has a place. They can put things back and get things for themselves. Arrange their toys, puzzles, books, and even diapering/potty training items low so that they can share in the experience. Routine is also very important. "Babies and toddlers have no sense of time. They only base life on what comes next".

  • "Is there anything I'm doing for my toddler that they can do for themselves."

  • The Montessori Method is based on the idea that children do not learn linearly. Instead, they learn in peaks and valleys. Classes reflect children who are grouped together in 3 yr cycles. Idea mimics a family where the youngest are learning from the oldest.

  • Children learn through doing. In a toddler class, children are working on independence - getting their own snack, getting their own "work" or activity, doing as much for themselves as possible while actively participating in their own environment.

  • Low tables, small chairs, and low shelving all assembled in a classroom so that children can be in community with each other.

  • No guilt, shame or punishment - Positive Discipline.

  • Ongoing idea that children benefit from their social environment- this method is applied to the individual.

  • Read!

    1 comment:

    1. I agree with this style of teaching because parents need to understand that each child is different, even between siblings. What is best for one child may not be the best for another. Parents should adapt to their children's style not make the child adapt to the parents style. I agree with giving children thier independence. Let them fgure it out on thier own. Let them find thier true identity. I have let Charlotte be herself and only disipline her for things that she does that may cause her harm not for the things she does when she is trying to learn the world. If she spills cereal all over the floor from trying to pour it into her bowl, I praise her for trying, not scold her for making a mess. By doing this with my child, she is picking up her dirty laundry on the floor and putting it in the hampers. She is also surprising me on all the things that she can do on her own and she is only 23 months old!