The principles of the Maria Montessori Method of Education apply to everyone, even at home and there are no teaching materials available in the school method.
According to Maria Montessori, the learning center is the child himself, who, with his natural curiosity, explores and gives even more ventilation to his need to learn if he has an appropriate, varied and stimulating environment at his disposal. Children should be free to choose the materials, toys, and tools they prefer to use at each stage of their growth, as each experience is a learning opportunity.
Here are some ideas on the Montessori Method to inspire parents, educators, and teachers.
1.Environment and order
Maria Montessori believed that children learn best in an orderly environment. The advice is to create different sections on a shelf to store books, puzzles, games, dolls, strollers, etc., all separately.
It is advisable to choose containers such as baskets and boxes that should be placed at an easily accessible height for children. It is also important to teach your child how to pack each toy in its place after it has been used. Parents should only have age-appropriate toys available and let the child be free to choose what they want, but keeping order and playing with one thing at a time is very important.
2 movement and learning
According to Maria Montessori, children should focus on some activities that require the use and movement of their hands. Think of the classic scene in which a child learns to stack cubes on top of each other. In this game-like activity, the child not only has fun, but also learns the importance of concentration and coordination.
Maria Montessori believed that freedom of choice was the most important mental process of the human being. Children learn much more and absorb more information when they are left free to make their own decisions.
Freedom of choice does not mean freedom to do whatever you want without rules. It is a freedom that leads the child to the ability to choose the right thing. And for the child, the right thing to do is decide what to do to meet his own needs and take a new step in his growth process.
4 stimulate interest
Children learn best if they live in a stimulating environment full of interesting objects that attract their attention. But that doesn't mean buying the whole toy store. Children love our everyday objects like sieves, pans, wooden spoons.
Be careful not to give out objects that are too small that could be dangerous to "little ones." If you can, offer several different books, materials for making new small craft objects (such as a toilet paper roll, pots of yogurt, etc.), make drawing and coloring tools available to the child, and anything else that can stimulate their creativity. Even classical or relaxing music can be helpful during play and learning.
Maria Montessori did not like educational systems based on rewards and punishments because she believed that the best reward for the child was learning to do something new on their own, thanks to their curiosity and willpower.
According to the Montessori Method, the real prize is being able to reach the goal: completing a puzzle, watering the plant without letting the water run.
In this, a word of caution: let the child make mistakes and get it right alone. The current problem for parents is not being able to maintain anxiety and wanting to help the child complete his homework. Let the child do it alone, he is much more capable than he thinks.
Children's learning according to the Montessori Method takes place especially through hands-on activities during the preschool years. Hands-on activities help your child stimulate the senses of touch, sight, and hearing that are essential for learning order, concentration, and independence.
Let your kids help clean the house, cook, garden, even sew, poke a button with a blunt needle.
7.Groups with children of different ages.
In the Montessorian school, the children are divided into different classes according to age, but Maria Montessori very much liked forming mixed groups with children of different ages because she felt that this was a stimulus for learning.
For example, younger children are intrigued by what older children do and ask for your help. In turn, the older girl is happy to teach what she does and has already learned. This tip is very important for parents who have children of different ages.
Activities that can be done within a mixed group may include: drawing, gardening, sports, street games, etc. One of the principles underlying the Montessori method is to allow children to interact with their own children of different ages to learn from each other.
8. Importance of context.
According to the Montessori Method, it is important that the topics and concepts that are learned are placed in the correct context. In this way, children will understand and remember them better. Concrete examples are easier to understand than abstract concepts.
This principle further preaches that it is essential that children learn by doing rather than (trying) to learn simply by listening to the lesson.
9. The role of the teacher.
For Maria Montessori, the role of the teacher is to manage and facilitate the activities of the students. He is not a person who gives a talk talking about the topics he teaches, he is an aid in the learning process that the child can achieve alone.
10.Independence and self-discipline.
The Montessori Method encourages children to develop independence and self-discipline. Over time, children will learn to recognize their passions and inclinations and will make you understand their preferred learning style.
Some children enjoy reading, while others are more likely to engage in hands-on activities. Maria Montessori sought to bring together all aspects of learning in a balanced way so that everyone can apply the basic principles of her method. However, in Italy, the country of origin of Maria Montessori, to be a Montessori teacher, it is necessary to go through a Montessorian environment, but this does not prevent many teachers from mixing or using the method in the way they believe. Many of these aspects can also be applied at home. The Montessori Method is excellent and goes beyond school learning because living is learning, right?
By Daia Florios, article in Portuguese