Every child is smart and successful from birth. But to unleash their full potential, and most importantly, to instill a love of learning and development, you need to master certain techniques. It's not difficult, on the contrary - parents only need to watch how the child learns about the world using special materials, for example, a Swedish ladder wall, climber slide, pikler triangle, etc.
Today you will learn about the basic principles of the Montessori method for early childhood development. The methodology is effective and interesting for both children and parents, so after reading our blog, you can better organize your time with your favorite sons and daughters.
You will also learn about the basic techniques in child development: organizing space, keeping track of time (i.e. organizing various activities), understanding the child's rhythm and status, and the specifics of contact with the child.
Wedanta Kids has been specializing in the design and creation of educational indoor playsets for toddlers and children of all ages based on the Montessori method for six years. The founders of the company are parents of three children, they have tested their developments in the family and were very pleased with the result.
Why was the methodology named after Montessori?
Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870 into a wealthy and educated family. Since childhood, the girl showed a love of learning, was interested in the sciences, and contrary to the traditional profession of a teacher for women at that time, she chose a career in medicine. In 1896, Maria became the first woman pediatrician in Italy. At first, Montessori visited homes for the insane, where she selected people for treatment. It was during this period that she became interested in the needs of young children, as the doctor noticed that children who were considered uneducated responded to her methods.
How did it work? Maria first observed the children to understand their needs. Yes, she was very perceptive and attentive. And do you know what she noticed? That the problem was not with the children. The problem was with the adults who created the environment around the child and reacted to the children's reactions. We will explain the idea in more detail below.
Later, Montessori opened a home for ordinary children, which allowed parents from poor neighborhoods to leave their children while they worked. She also had another goal: to get children off the streets, as the neighborhood had a high crime rate.
Maria created a special atmosphere in the house. While observing the children, she noticed that they needed furniture that matched the size of the children (now we can call it a gym for kids). That is, adult furniture, which is usually found in families' homes, is uncomfortable and annoying for children. So she made the furniture and various educational items herself. Do you remember at the beginning of the article we talked about special items? This is exactly what we are talking about.
Maria continued to observe the behavior of the children. The doctor-educator described the conclusions from her observations and published them in books that immediately became bestsellers and icons in childhood education. By 1913, about 100 schools in America were using Maria Montessori's work in their work. And in 1922, Maria became a state school inspector in Italy. She was respected and honored by teachers, parents, and children. Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times.
What is the Montessori method?
"Children are different". This is the title of one of Maria Montessori's most prominent works. The fact is that a child feels time differently than an adult. The natural rhythm of a child's life is much slower. The child lives by what is happening to him or her at a particular moment, here and now. And now think of yourself: we are constantly planning our next steps, highlighting the most important things to do. That is, a child lives here and now, while an adult lives in the future.
The essence of the Montessori methodology is that the child chooses the materials for the lessons and regulates the duration without being forced. The materials for the lessons are toys, and the lessons themselves are a game. Young children learn through their actions, through the prism of their feelings, which they experience during the action. Adults learn through books, videos, articles, and the experience of others. A child can repeat the same action several times until he or she has fully mastered it. And he or she enjoys the process, the ability to control it independently, not the result. Adults care about the result.
Basic principles of the Montessori methodology
A child often copies the behavior of adults, but he or she has a very clear and strong desire to remain independent. Therefore, the Montessori methodology is based on the following principle: the main thing in education is the child's freedom in all aspects of his or her growth. The child must understand that he or she is trusted, can make choices, make his or her own mistakes and correct them independently. It is the child, not the adult, who chooses what and when to study, how to act in a given situation, and how to cope with a problem.
So, the basic principles of the Montessori methodology are:
- Freedom of choice;
- Special Environment.
We’ve talked about freedom of choice. The next point is the child's independence. The role of an adult is to explain, show, and ensure safety. You can't punish or ridicule a child, you can't compare him or her to others.
The third principle is that every child has his or her personality. They have special needs and special opportunities because every child is special and requires a special approach. So Montessori methodology is aimed at developing the child's individual talents.
Another point of the methodology is to create a special environment for the child. This point is one of the most important, the key. Maria Montessori believed that the environment includes not only the space used by children and where furniture and play materials are located but also other children and adults with whom the child spends time. That is, it is a combination of the room with children's simulators and the people who are in it. Therefore, the environment where a child spends a lot of time should be beautiful and tidy so children can learn order through play.
Spoiler: Wedanta offers incredibly beautiful and convenient Toy Storage Organizers in the form of cute buses where you can store children's toys, clothes, and little secrets 😊
Today you have learned what the Montessori Method is. In the next issue of the blog, we will move on to specific tips for organizing an environment for your little genius. Thank you for your time.