What Is Montessori?
What Is Montessori? (& Why Do It?)
Montessori is an educational philosophy that gently nurtures a child's natural impulse to learn. This educational style carefully balances the relationship between adult and child to thoughtfully guide children through the process of learning.
The overall goal of the Montessori method is to avoid arbitrarily controlling a child's education and instead allow a child to naturally develop their innate desire to learn. Ideally, Montessori education should start at birth and continue throughout a child's schooling years.
Who was Dr. Maria Montessori?
Upon graduating from medical school in 1896, Maria Montessori became one of Italy's first female physicians. Initially focusing on psychiatry, Dr. Montessori's academic focus gradually shifted to education.
Maria's observations of the era's dominant educational methods led her to question whether the default approach to educating children was the most effective. In 1907, Dr. Montessori gained the opportunity to put her theories to the test when she opened the first Casa dei Bambini in San Lorenzo, one of the poorest districts in Rome.
The initial approaches that Dr. Maria Montessori took in San Lorenzo compose the basic framework of today's modern Montessori method. By carefully observing the behavior of children, Dr. Montessori discovered, it's possible to construct educational environments that accommodate their natural inclinations toward learning.
Montessori classrooms feature organized, calm environments and child-sized furniture such as miniature desks, chairs, and shelves. Children are encouraged to do as much for themselves as they can, whether it's engaging with toys or making healthy snacks.
How is it practiced in the home?
Montessori homes are not remarkably different from Montessori classrooms. Whether it's at home or in the classroom, Montessori children are surrounded by clean, organized, child-sized environments filled with high-quality, durable toys and learning tools made with natural, non-toxic materials.
Instead of micromanaging their engagement with activities, Montessori parents allow their children to explore open-ended toys that can be played with in dozens of different ways. The aim of Montessori education in the home is not to divert children with endless distractions. On the contrary, excessive screen time and toys that are designed specifically to entertain are discouraged.
Every toy and activity has its place in a Montessori home, and children are encouraged to actively engage with toys throughout the day. Children dress themselves when appropriate and they spend as much time outside as possible to explore and learn about the natural world around them.
Why is it important?
Why should you try Montessori? Because it unlocks a child's true potential within an atmosphere of love and mutual respect.
Following the Montessori method makes daily life smoother and calmer, and the sense of personal responsibility and respect for others instilled by Montessori parenting generates an environment that's suffused with love, kindness, and warmth. A child who grows up in a Montessori home becomes a confident and independent adult, and their enhanced sense of curiosity and love of learning equips them to effortlessly discover their ideal life path.