Jun 25 , 2023

9 Montessori Principles for parents

Principle 1 – Observe your child

  • Maria Montessori developed a system of education based on her observations of children, their natural development, and the best times for learning.
  • You can watch your child at home to find out what he is interested in and what skills he is practising. What games and toys does he enjoy playing?
  • One piece of advice would be to get down on your child's level and watch what he is observing. Is the window ledge too high or is he able to see through it? He may want to climb everywhere because there may not be much at eye level to catch his attention.


Principle 2 – Learn about the child's natural development and set up your home according to their requirements.

Learn about a child's growth and development. A child will develop in the same way, though at his own pace, no matter where or when he is born.

You can determine what stage of development your child is at if you are familiar with the critical times and how a child develops her language, gross motor skills, and fine motor skills.

After that, you can spend some time setting up a house for your child. Too frequently, we just provide our kids a little area of the house or a playroom since our home is designed to meet their requirements rather than theirs. Naturally, make your home safe, but also make sure to let your child go on adventures.

Young children and babies must explore. They must have some discretion over what they do. They require respect, learning time, and the appropriate level of stimulus.

Needs are not the same as "wants" when I discuss them.

Our current society frequently misleads us into thinking that we "need" something when in reality it is more of a "want" thanks to media and marketing strategies.

Do your homework and be aware of the various items that bear the "Montessori" label. Contrary to popular belief, marketing does not spare our kids. The phrase "Follow your child" or "Follow your child's interests" may have been said to you.

You need to be aware of the interests your youngster has attained. Does he proceed on his normal course? Or is his interest in TV personalities a result of his exposure to them?


Principle 3 – Encourage independence in your youngster.

Little toddlers are moving towards independence the moment they are weaned, according to Maria Montessori.

To raise children who will become the adults of tomorrow is our goal as parents. You'll probably concur with me when I say that those adults ought to be self-reliant and assured of their skills. While we cannot promise kids happiness, we can provide them with the resources they need to develop emotional fortitude and, in general, self-reliance.

Giving your child the right resources and opportunity to learn crucial practical life skills like getting dressed, caring for their belongings, making a snack, pouring a drink, and many other things will help them become independent from an early age. They require your assistance in "helping them to do it by themselves" and simple access to what they require.


Principle 4 – Maintain a clean environment

Of course, this idea complements the preceding one.

Your child must be aware of where everything is kept and where to look for supplies. She will flourish in a structured setting.

According to Maria Montessori, children learn in a very precise way during the first six years of life. The youngster, according to her, had a "Absorbent mind."

Your child's brain develops quite differently from an adult's brain from birth until about age six. Her mind is like a sponge at this age, soaking up a tonne of information from her surroundings. She is effortlessly, consistently, and indiscriminately consuming everything around her. This was referred to by Maria Montessori as "the absorbent mind."

The child has a different relationship to his environment than we do; the child absorbs it, according to Maria Montessori, who described the child's absorbent mind. He retains the things he sees in his soul, not only as memories. He is the embodiment of everything around him that his eyes and ears can perceive.

The first six years of your child's life are critically vital for their growth. By the time a child reaches the age of five, 85% of their essential brain structure has already been formed. For the rest of her life, your kid will now build on this fundamental basis.

The two sub-plans of development are as follows: from birth to age 3, your child explores without a specific purpose and seizes possibilities. Due to the fact that everything he sees, touches, smells, tastes, and hears will form the foundation of his personality, it is crucial to thoughtfully prepare your home.

The child then develops his "will" and "conscious mind" from ages 3 to 6. He will arrange and group the information he has learned over the first three years. In order to make sense of the internal turmoil of his developing mind, he therefore requires an externally organised environment.

Keep in mind that a tidy home need not be spotless. You can assist your child make sense of the world as long as everything has a place, there is a pattern, and there are some rituals.


Principle 5 – When it comes to toys, less is more, and variety is crucial

Let's discuss toys. As a parent who practises Montessori, you might be eager to provide the appropriate toys or even to invest in certain Montessori materials.

Less is more when it comes to toys. To be honest, you probably don't even need toys. When they organise their homes and limit the number of toys their kids have access to, many parents who take this course will initially notice some significant improvements.

Over £3 billion is spent on toys annually in the UK. According to surveys, the average youngster owns 238 toys in total, but only plays with 12. That only makes up 5% of his toys.

As previously said, youngsters benefit from order. A world with fewer toys will also help youngsters maintain order.

Children become overwhelmed when there are too many toys available. kids can't make sense of all those toys, and kids frequently can't play because of it. Additionally, they won't respect their toys and will throw, hit, and break them.

They'll claim that they're uninterested. They will request that you lead the play so that you can help them make sense of the confusing situation. They may even feel so stressed out that they cry and lose their composure.

We will learn how to select toys, present them, and rotate them later on in this course.


Principle 6 – Use natural materials to hone your five senses.
Children learn through their five senses from the moment they are born. A infant primarily uses the senses of taste, touch, and smell, which are connected to eating, to explore the world. Then, hearing and eyesight still need to be enhanced.

Children between the ages of birth and six are more perceptive than we are.

A baby will recognise her mother's aroma among others when she is a newborn. When a baby opens his mouth, everything goes in. Therefore, it's critical to offer him stimulation for his senses.

Because of this, a baby rattle made of wood or fabric is more interesting than one made of plastic. A plastic toy feels the same as another one in terms of touch because plastic has no taste. In comparison to their wooden predecessors, they are also lighter.

Contrarily, materials like wood, metal, and various types of fabrics will evoke a range of emotions, including smoothness, graininess, warmth, coldness, and shine.

Your children will be safe when you buy toys made of materials that are either food rated or of excellent quality.

Through their five senses, children learn about the world around them in a very concrete way. It is crucial to allow kids the freedom to touch and explore because of this.

"The hand is the instrument of the brain," Maria Montessori once said. And "the senses, being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge"

In a Montessori classroom, the development of the senses is of utmost importance. The five senses of children are developed through the use of carefully created Montessori materials, which is one of the hallmarks of the Montessori education. We can offer a wide variety of sensory experiences at home. 


Principle 7 – liberty within bounds
You have probably heard that the Montessori method emphasises providing your child freedom—both of mobility and of choice. "Following the child" is the key.

You might believe that giving a child their independence implies letting them do anything they want, whenever they want.

You are aware that you must pay attention to your child and give him a house that meets his needs. You are aware of your child's innate desire to be autonomous and discover the world. He needs to be as liberated as he can be to do that.

So, no, we parents are not allowed to make every decision for our children. We need to think about if we are obstructing their desire to develop.

Do we give our kids enough time to practise putting their shoes on? Do we give kids the chance to experiment with making own snacks? Do we believe they will handle delicate items with care? Do we protect them instead? Do we help them because we're in a rush for time?

But freedom also brings responsibility and regard for the rights of others.

A thought-provoking quotation regarding freedom is given below by Maria Montessori: "To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control is to betray the idea of freedom."

Because the young child has not yet acquired impulse control and thinking, we, the parents, must set limitations and serve as role models.

While we can grant them freedom, we also need to set boundaries for them. We can normally give as much freedom as we can by carefully arranging the situation.

Young children are subject to restrictions to protect their safety, the safety of others, and environmental respect. We maintain clear and consistent limitations. We add some social norms that are significant to us as the children mature. These restrictions will be covered in the course.

Principle 8 – No incentives or sanctions

Both rewards and punishments failed to effectively control youngsters, according to Montessori.

Only internal discipline produced long-term results. A sense of accountability fosters inner discipline.

When a youngster feels linked to his parents, appreciated, and encouraged to actively participate in family life by "working" with his hands, he wants to make a contribution and take care of himself. There are extremely few conflicts in this setting.

Children will learn about what occurs when they are not courteous through natural consequences. They will break the fragile item if they throw it away. Their brother won't want to play with them if they are bad playmates.

What about accolades and prizes then?

Being proud of our children makes sense and sounds good. However, rather than as a result of your encouragement, your youngster learns to walk because he feels the need to. Because he wants to read books, he wants to learn the alphabet. If we frequently compliment our kids, they start acting in ways to win our favour rather than for their own benefit. Unknowingly, we start to nurture praise-addicted kids who will grow up to be adults who can't accomplish anything without a reward.

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