Recently, many parents have embarked on the odyssey of teaching their young children at home. While a few hours of Sesame Street seemed like enough at first, the length of the pandemic demanded new solutions. Suddenly mommies and daddies everywhere had to become experts on early childhood pedagogy, and fast.If you’ve done cursory research, you’ve likely heard about the Montessori Method. It is a time-tested approach to teaching children independence and critical thought. While Montessori teachers have special training, you can use aspects of The Montessori Method at home.
Are you interested in what Montessori techniques can do for your child’s education? Read on to learn a bit about the history of this method, and how to successfully implement aspects at home.
Who Was Maria Montessori?
Italian physician Maria Montessori developed the Montessori Method in 1906. At the time, there was a great need for a new educational approach in the slums of the city of San Lorenzo. The children were living in high poverty, and most had experienced no education in their young lives.
Dr Montessori took what she understood about human psychology and created a curriculum. She prioritized hands-on, real-world experiences.
The children worked on puzzles but also learned to clean and prepare meals. The most essential element was a sense of order, with each student engaged in an appropriate task.
The more she observed her students, the more she wanted to give them. Her bespoke educational materials teach specific developmental skills through playful engagement. Over time, children would learn to solve problems, and later put that new learning in context.
What Is the Montessori Method of Teaching?
The Montessori Method of teaching began with the program that Dr. Montessori put in place in San Lorenzo. The average Montessori program mixes real-world tasks and independent learning activities. The goal is to create a full and fulfilling day of learning.
A key to quality Montessori programming is the use of high-quality learning materials. This is why Montessori schools have similar materials and even physical space. Many of the materials developed by Maria Montessori are still used in these programs today.
Sensory materials are any tools or toys that engage a child’s five senses. This is because sensory experiences encourage brain development in young children.
Practical Life Materials
Many of the materials found in Montessori classrooms are already in your home. These include materials used to cook, clean, or dress oneself. Child-sized materials are appropriate as long as they work – pretend play is not the goal.
Academic materials should allow students to engage with the alphabet or numbers in a tactile way. Sandpaper letters and movable alphabet toys are popular. Other popular materials created by Montessori include golden beads, spindle boxes, and number rods.
Montessori in Your Living Room
Maria Montessori set out to empower the most disenfranchised children. She wanted all children to have successful experiences in academics. With its focus on real-life experiences and high-quality materials, The Montessori Method transformed Urban education.
Montessori’s passion for child development lives on in modern progressive pedagogy all over the world. Do you have a passion for education? Check out the rest of our blog for more ideas about enriching your child’s world.