If you have not heard of Montessori before, it is a teaching method that was introduced by Dr. Maria Montessori. The Montessori learning experience centred around the child’s learning abilities, interest, and understanding. This child-oriented approach encourages development more wholly than the standard teaching method that we are aware of.
Montessori In Schools
In a lot of schools, children is introduced to a topic in the curriculum and everyone will be learning the same thing at the same pace. The Montessori way is more flexible, and your child will have more freedom in exploring and engaging with their curiousity. It also encourages the child to take active part in the learning process through independent learning. Compared to the school that we know, schools that implement the Montessori method also have a different classroom setting. A lot of Montessori classes, you can observe that the children are actively engaging with the materials and tools rather than sitting down and listening to their teacher.
The Pros and Cons of Montessori.
Benefits of Montessori Approach.
The Montessori curriculum are aimed to develop not just the cognitive skills of a child but also the social, emotional, physical skills. This makes it exceptionally best for children in the foundations of their development. It can also help your children to prepare better for school learning and peer sharing. Here are some outcomes that your child can attained through Montessori learning.
Key Developmental Skills
Montessori’s method can be applied to children in the crucial developmental years and allows them to refine important set of skills like language skills, and fine motor skills from a very young age.
Given the freedom of a Montessori classroom, the children will learn to cooperate and respect one another as they play and use the materials and stations together. Mixed age group environment also teaches peer mentoring.
Key principles of Montessori curriculum promotes a lot of concentration, self-control, and self-motivation.
The Montessori classroom sets for an orderly learning environment. This lets the children to be able to engage in their creativity and curiousity.
Better at Certain Skills
Being able to learn at your own pace until you master a certain skill or tasks makes the children engaged in Montessori learning more capable in certain skills like reading, mathematics, or social skills compared to their non-Montessori peers.
Why Montessori May Be Bad?
While your children may benefit a lot from Montessori learning, there are some cons to it that you may have to consider.
- Montessori schools tuition fees can be costly because it requires a lot of materials and training.
- Some may say that the curriculum is too loose.
How To Create A Montessori Environment At Home?
First of all, you will have to understand the concept or principles of Montessori teaching method which is;
- Freedom to explore
- Encourage Child’s Interest
- Independent Learning
When you understand the principles to go by, you’ll know how to adapt and create a Montessori environment in your home. Here are some things that you can consider:
Make It More Accessible For Your Child
When we think about kid-friendly environment or child-proof home, we always thought about the safety. However, in this case, the goal is to make sure your child are able to reach items without much assistance from you. This will let them to complete tasks on their own. Examples:
- Placing your children’s clothes in low drawers or boxes so that they are able to get to them by themselves
- Have step stools placed in the kitchen and bathroom so that your child can wash their hands or help with meal prep
- Place cups, beverages or snacks at a reachable locations so your child can help themselves
Organize Your Home
Now that everything is within reach, you have to also make sure that everything has its own designated places like all books on the shelves, toys in the box, etc. Having a specific place place for specific items can help in training your child to be responsible of their stuffs and messes. When everything has its own place, it helps your child to understand where everything goes more easier.
Keep Things Fresh
Support your child’s interest in learning by keeping their resources fresh and in tune. Observe what is your child is currently engrossed in and then place the materials related to it at their play or learning area. These materials can be books or toys. The Montessori way is to rotate or change the children’s toys and books weekly to prevent boredom and loss of interest to discover.
This method does not emphasis solely on learning academically but instead it also encourage to nurture life skills in children. Allow your child to take part in doing work around the house like watering plants or wiping the table after meal. This can train them to be more considerate in the future at the same, it helps refine their motor skills. It would better if you are able to provide tools that matches their size and age.
While it is true that children may have shorter concentration span than adults, you may encourage to improve their concentration by providing the correct materials and environment. The environment that you set up for your child does not necessarily need to be quiet and secluded. For this, you will have to observe your child. Find out which area of the house promotes your child’s concentration best.
Encourage learning motivation rather reward motivation. Don’t motivate your child to learn something or complete a certain task in order to get something, stickers or snack for instance. Instead, instill in them to enjoy the pleasures of learning something new or when they managed to complete a task.
Essentially, You can apply the Montessori approach on your child from infancy stage because its method is very flexible. Best part, this method benefits your child in the long run. The development covers not just academically but also develops your child as a whole independent individual. Alternatively, if you do not have the budget for Montessori materials, the method is still applicable at home and in everyday life.