Have you heard of the Montessori method of teaching? Are you trying to figure out if it’s the right choice for your child?
One of the best ways to understand a style of teaching is to know the history and intention behind it. The good thing is that the Montessori teaching method has a rich history that illustrates its amazing capabilities.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you learn more about Montessori and how it can be a great benefit for your child’s education!
Who Was Dr. Maria Montessori?
It’s impossible to start talking about this method of teaching without first talking about the visionary behind it all. Maria Montessori was an Italian woman who never allowed the old prejudices of the 1900s to keep her from living her educational dreams.
She spent her life seeking to improve herself and the world around her. As a student, she was full of curiosity and drive. She joined an all-boys institute with the intent of beginning a career in engineering but eventually turned her attention towards becoming a doctor.
She persevered until she was accepted at the University of Rome, from which she graduated as one of the very first female physicians in all of Italy.
It’s from here that she began her work towards bettering the way we teach children.
Casa dei Bambini
For several years, Dr. Maria Montessori helped train special education teachers. During these years, she spent a lot of her time observing the children as they learned.
She tried several different styles of teaching, taking note of what worked best. She paid attention to how the children interacted with their lessons.
As a person who disliked the idea of traditional teaching, she wanted to find a way that would give children far more freedom to explore their individuality.
When she had the opportunity to open a small school in an impoverished area of Rome, Montessori put all of her findings into practice. Instead of following classic methods, she designed her own classroom and filled it with learning materials that she felt would work best.
This Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House, catered to children who had never before had the chance for an education of any kind.
This new hands-on approach worked, and it worked well. The school was a big success, with the children having little trouble jumping into the education Montessori laid out for them. Instead of getting distracted at every turn, the children had great concentration and enjoyed the lessons.
Due to this, the Montessori method grew in popularity. In no time at all, schools began teaching the method all over the world.
Even to this day, the Montessori way of teaching continues to give children an education that helps them thrive as individuals.
What Is the Montessori Method?
Now that you know about the woman behind the method, it’s time to look at the specifics of how it works.
A Montessori classroom is different from traditional classrooms. It has an open feeling, with few walls or barriers to stop children from accessing anything that makes them curious. Children have the chance to work with any material they desire.
This method focuses on letting children make their own decisions, choosing their own learning pace. The teacher is there to offer support and guidance, but natural curiosity is the main driving force in a child’s education.
Of all the different teaching methods, this is the method that understands that each child is an individual. It wants to encourage each child to develop their unique perspective.
Because there are no barriers prohibiting children from exploring, there’s always easy access to every single learning material inside the classroom. Children don’t need to stay in place and they get to feel as though they are the ones in charge of the classroom.
This creates a strong bond between them and the lessons they’re learning. Instead of being a bystander in their own education, they’re the instigator.
Due to the easy access to all the learning materials, children no longer need to be forced to engage in their education. Traditional schools hand-feed children all of the information, expecting the children to memorize the lesson.
The Montessori method takes a different approach. It asks children to have a hands-on relationship with their education. They get to experience what they’re meant to learn rather than being told the information.
It’s a great way to inspire a child to think outside the box.
Most Montessori classrooms avoid hanging posters or other things that might distract children from their learning experience. Instead of materials with flashing lights or sounds, children work with simple materials that allow them to explore without distraction.
The most traditional of Montessori learning materials are made of wood. This gives children a tactile feel while remaining simple and easy to use.
Without any distractions, it’s easy for children to become curious and more engaged in their lessons. They’ll want to look around and see what the materials can do.
It keeps a child interested in their education far more than other teaching methods.
Benefits of the Montessori Teaching Method
With such a rich history, it’s easy to see why many families turn towards the Montessori method for their children’s education. The best thing is that there are even more benefits gifted to a child while following this method.
Make sure to read this for more information on how a Montessori school guides children to reap all these wonderful benefits.
Freedom to Explore
Most traditional teaching methods force children to sit at their desks and never leave unless instructed. They feel trapped in place because they’re not allowed to leave their desks without permission.
In a Montessori classroom, children are allowed to move around as much as they want. They’re encouraged to explore the classroom and the materials, talk with their peers, and see where inspiration takes them.
This creates a stronger bond between the child and their role in the classroom.
This bond helps children feel more relaxed and comfortable with the learning experience as a whole. It’s a benefit that carries on for years to come, leading a child to be inquisitive their entire life.
Since children explore and initiate their education, it inspires confidence and independence. They work towards a goal and they stick to it. Children receive guidance from their teacher and peers, but also learn how to rely on their intuition to solve a problem.
This boosts their overall self-esteem since they learn that they’re able to trust their judgment and intelligence.
Despite this focus on independence, children are also encouraged to work in small groups. This gives them ample opportunities to make friends and learn important social skills.
There is no need for absolute silence in a Montessori classroom. This method understands that children need the chance to work with others from time to time.
Creativity is a natural skill that often doesn’t get enough credit in a traditional school setting. There are too many rigid rules and expectations to allow a child to follow their creative impulses. Throughout the years in traditional schooling, many children lose their love for creativity.
The opposite is true when it comes to a Montessori school. Instead of forcing children to follow strict standards, children have the freedom to allow their creativity to flourish.
They’re encouraged to find new ways to solve problems, break out of the mold, and follow their hearts.
Learn in an Intuitive Way
Since there are no rigid schedules or expectations, children learn in a way that’s both intuitive and engaging. The Montessori method tackles learning in a way that makes it feel as though it’s not learning at all.
Instead, children work through problems with a sense of curiosity and fun. They’re able to go the whole school day without feeling drained because they enjoy what they’re doing. It’s the perfect solution for a child who dislikes traditional schooling.
Incorporate Play With Learning
Many Montessori learning materials serve multiple purposes. They’re learning tools, but they also have the tactile feeling similar to wooden toys. Children have the freedom to play with the materials while they learn their lessons.
Playing is such an important part of childhood and it’s through this natural tendency that the Montessori method thrives. Children want to play and they end up learning at the same time.
It’s a great way to inspire a love for learning and exploration at an early age.
The Montessori Teaching Method Gives Children a Unique Education
By following the Montessori method, you’ll ensure that your child gets to focus on their natural strengths and curiosity. There is no ‘one size fits all’ mentality with this method. Instead, your child gets to explore their education in a way that keeps them interested the entire time.
If this sounds like a perfect match, then it’s time to search for Montessori schools!
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