This week is Montessori Education Week, and so I thought I would take the opportunity to write about a few of my favorite things about Montessori!
“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”
-Dr. Maria Montessori
This is one of my favorite quotes. So often we could do something faster, or better, or more efficiently, but when we take that opportunity away from the child, we are taking away an opportunity for independence.
We set up our environments with endless opportunities for the child to develop their independence. Furniture is made to their size. Activities are set up with all of the materials they need right there. Expectations are set for them to try things on their own before asking for help. All of these things help a child develop independence.
In each level of Montessori, the children are grouped together into environments with mixed ages. In Children's House we have children age 3-6.
Mixed ages helps the children develop as a community, and learn to rely on each other. The older ones are role-models for the younger ones, not only with their behavior, but also with the work that they do. The younger children see what the older children do, and with the ability to "observe" are able to watch work that is beyond their capabilities and become familiar with materials and concepts that they will learn later on down the road.
The older children also benefit from the opportunity to mentor the younger children. It helps build their self-confidence, leadership skills, and re-affirms their prior learning.
Love of Learning
“The essential thing is to arouse such an interest that it engages the child’s whole personality.”
-Dr. Maria Montessori
Love of Learning is such an important outcome of Montessori. It's something that we don't have to "make happen." Children are naturally curious and want to know about everything. If you have ever spent any time with a toddler, you have probably heard the word "why" more times than you can count. They don't ask this question to drive you nuts, but rather to learn about the world around them! In Montessori we create environments that provide opportunities for curiosity, exploration and discovery, and with that comes a love of learning. The children learn because they are interested, not because someone tells them they have to learn.
I have three Guidelines in my class: Respect yourself, respect others, and respect the environment. Everything really comes down to those three things, not only in a Children's House, but in life. We want our children to grow up to be people who care about themselves, other people, and the world around them.
What are your favorite things about Montessori? What made you choose White Bear Montessori School? What has surprised you, or what have you learned since sending your child to a Montessori School? Share your answers in the comment section below!