“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child” –Maria Montessori
I was introduced to Montessori in an elective class in college. Maria Montessori’s principles on education felt good and spoke to my heart. Fast forward a few years and now like a mom, I feel a deeper appreciation for the Montessori method.
The Montessori method teaches the whole child (cognitive, social, emotional, etc) and provides children opportunities to develop their potential as they learned to be responsible, engaged, respectful and active seekers of knowledge. Here are a few other reasons why I love Montessori:
1. Focus on children as a whole.
Montessori celebrates the uniqueness of individual children. Children are taught important skills that will teach them about their capabilities of doing amazing things. This surely benefits their self-esteem and confidence.
I saw this principle taken place in my child’s celebration of life or a birthday walk around the sun, which is a Montessori celebration for birthdays that reminds the birthday children how important they are, and how much they are loved. So this is how is done: All the children, except for the birthday child are sat in an ellipse on the ground. A candle that represents the Sun is found in the center. The birthday child is handled a globe that represents the Earth and is asked to walk slowly around the circle with the globe for each year of life while the children in the circle sing: “Walking around the sun, around and around and around.” The birthday child only stops when they reach the beginning of the circle. Then, the teacher shares pictures and tells stories about some special events that happened to the birthday child during that year of life. This continues on until the birthday child reaches the new age.
2. Hands-on learning and love for learning.
The Montessori curriculum is designed around the specific needs and abilities of each child giving them freedom to explore at their own pace. The freedom to follow their interests will allow them to develop a love for a continuous learning.
3. Classroom environment
Montessori also enables children to learn self-control and independence since everything in the classroom is within reach of the little ones. The materials are engaging and their purposefulness promote responsibility, creativity and order. Also, Montessori multi-age classrooms reinforce the importance of teamwork and empowers children to be leaders and good followers.
4. Child-led learning
In a Montessori classroom, teachers are considered guides that strive to remain unobtrusive as much as possible. Their job is to facilitate the learning and to make certain that the basic Montessori principles are followed
5. Encourages respect for others
Maria Montessori believed that teaching values such as respect for diversity, personal responsibility and global citizenship were as important as learning Math, Science or Language. I have enjoyed how my child’s Montessori school promote the importance of cultures and languages, and also respect and responsibility for nature.
6. Montessori teaches to contribute to the community
The sense of belonging in a community feels strong in Montessori schools. I have been very impressed with the involvement and cooperation of parents in the school festivals and other events of the school.
Although Montessori is not suitable for everyone, I strongly believe that all children will benefit from most of their principles. I am grateful for the great Montessori schools in the area, and all the amazing people we have met there.