What is Montessori?
Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It has been a known pedagogy for over a century.
It is based on the belief that children learn best in an environment that is tailored to their individual needs and interests.
Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. It encourages children to explore their environment and discover their own interests and abilities.
Key Areas of Learning in Montessori
Montessori education is designed to foster a student’s natural curiosity and desire to learn. It seeks to cultivate the student’s ability to think critically and creatively.
The key learning areas in Montessori are language, practical life, sensorial, culture, and math. Students are encouraged to explore and discover for themselves, rather than simply memorizing information.
Montessori education also covers grace and courtesy, cosmic studies, arts, and science, among others, within these key areas.
Different Planes of Development
The Montessori approach is divided into four main planes of development, each with its own unique characteristics and learning objectives. These include:
- Infancy and toddlerhood (0-3 years): During this stage, children are focused on developing their senses and motor skills. Montessori education emphasizes the importance of providing a safe and stimulating environment that encourages exploration and discovery.
- Early childhood (3-6 years): In the early childhood stage, children are focused on developing their language and social skills. Montessori education emphasizes the importance of hands-on activities and collaborative play in helping children develop these skills.
- Elementary (6-12 years): The elementary stage is focused on developing a child’s imagination, creativity, and critical thinking skills. Montessori education emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary learning and encourages children to explore a wide range of subjects.
- Adolescence (12-18 years): During adolescence, Montessori education emphasizes the importance of self-directed learning and encourages students to pursue their own interests and passions.
Key Montessori Principles
The Montessori approach is guided by several key principles, including:
- Respect for the child: Montessori education emphasizes the importance of treating children with respect and dignity. Teachers are encouraged to create a safe and nurturing environment that supports each child’s individual needs and interests.
- Freedom with responsibility: Montessori education emphasizes the importance of giving children the freedom to explore and learn at their own pace.
At the same time, children are also taught to be responsible for their actions and to respect the rights and needs of others.
- Hands-on learning: Montessori education emphasizes the importance of hands-on learning and encourages children to use all of their senses to explore the world around them.
- Collaborative play: Montessori education encourages children to work together and collaborate on projects and activities. This helps children develop important social and communication skills.
- Self-directed learning: Montessori education emphasizes the importance of self-directed learning and encourages children to take responsibility for their own education.
- Prepared environment: Children learn best in an environment prepared to be safe, stimulating, and inviting, with a wide range of materials and activities that encourage exploration and discovery. These materials should be readily accessible to children and complete.
At home, providing access to essential parts of the house such as the sink and bathroom, is part of having a prepared environment.
Read more about preparing the home without spending unnecessarily.
- Prepared adult: It’s important that as the adult, we equip ourselves with the necessary knowledge and practice to create a safe and nurturing environment that supports each child’s individual needs and interests.
We also learn how to observe and guide each child’s learning, providing support and encouragement as needed.
Overall, the Montessori approach is designed to help children develop independence, creativity, and a love of learning that will stay with them throughout their lives.
Homeschooling Using the Montessori Method
Montessori homeschooling is a great way for parents to give their children a personalized education. It allows them to teach their child in a way that works best for them and allows the child to build different skills and pursue their interests.
In Montessori homeschooling, parents can create a safe and fun place for their children to learn and explore that is easily accessible and often always available. There are Montessori albums with scopes and sequences that provide necessary guidance for the adults, so they can provide lessons to their children even without undergoing expensive training.
As for us, we follow the AMI and Keys of the World Montessori Albums for our homeschooling. Each lesson has instructions for presentation and more!
What We Love About Montessori
Montessori education is great because it encourages hands-on learning and independent exploration, which helps students enjoy learning.
It also provides individualized learning, so the children can learn at their own pace and in their preferred way, which makes learning more enjoyable.
Finally, Montessori education teaches respect and encourages collaborative play, creating a safe and nurturing environment that accommodates each child’s unique needs and interests.
Overall, we love Montessori because it promotes independence, creativity, and a lifelong love of learning which are very valuable to our family.