What’s so special about Montessori anyway? Is this one of your boujee ideas again?
These are some of the questions I’m asked whenever I mentioned we incorporate the Montessori approach into our daily life. So let’s clear some things up.
First, Montessori is not boujee! It’s a way of living through the senses. Montessori philosophy was created by an Italian physician, Maria Montessori based on her extensive research with “special needs” children with an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.
The Montessori philosophy was created to help children learn through their senses, which has been proven to create a life long learning. After doing a lot of research of my own, I knew that I wanted to really be intentional in my parenting. Did you know 85% of a child’s brain is fully developed by age 3? 85%!!! That alone hit me pretty hard because that’s not a lot of time if you think about it.
When Yannis was born, I knew I did not want to put him in front of the television all day. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate a good episode of Paw Patrol, but I didn’t want that to be a staple in our daily routine. In fact, we wanted to raise him the way we were raised: hands-on learning and activities. Experiential learning is incredible, and I truly believe most children (if not all) thrive from it.
Though a Montessori approach was our desire, the truth is how were we going to achieve this? We’re first time parents and don’t have any immediate family local to us. Did I mention that I did my research on this? I spent two long nights doing research. I even started looking at homeschooling my infant (yes a bit much? I agree). Yet, one of those nights I came across an article on Dr. Maria Montessori.
Reading about the Montessori philosophy opened a door that I didn’t realize was available to us in terms of our parenting approach. I couldn’t encourage you enough to look into it. It’s been our guide currently in fostering curiosity and independence.
So to answer my original question, here are three reasons why Montessori:
It fosters independence and creativity
These are such key tools that kids already have but sometimes are stifled unintentionally in other educational settings
supports growth and genuine interests,
rather than imposed expectations. Being able to see what he is interested in allows us to help Yannis focus on what he enjoys, and not necessarily what we desire for him.
It fits into our practical life.
Involving Yannis into our daily activities has been proven to help with discipline, concentration, and motor skills. It’s also helping us establish good habits for his future. For example, he takes pride in helping us around the house with small tasks like putting his diaper in the trash can.
As my baby’s first teacher, the best way to support his development is to prepare an environment full of learning opportunities. Not only am I his guide, but I’m also the link between him and his environment. I truly believe that I am vital in carefully creating an environment that will help him developmentally. Just as any mom, I want the best for our son, and I’m confident that choosing a Montessori approach gives me the freedom and the tools to be the best teacher I can be.
What’s your developmental approach in parenting? Do you have any? I would love to know!