The Montessori Method is a 150-year-old educational approach that is still growing in popularity around the world. Developed by Maria Montessori, a doctor, scientist, and educator, this method of teaching and learning focuses on the belief that children are capable of starting their own learning experiences. While some parents choose to start their children in Montessori from infancy, usually between 8 weeks and 18 months, it's never too late to develop Montessori as a lifestyle. To help parents understand when and how to start the Montessori Method, it's important to first understand what it is.
Maria Montessori's work dispelled the notion that children are “formed beings willing to recover the knowledge given to them by an omniscient adult” and instead advocated that “we follow the child after discovering how capable children are when they are provided with an environment that activates their curiosity, agency and concentration.” She believed that the first 24 years of life were crucial in helping children to become well-adjusted citizens of their time and place. Montessori schools serve children of all ages, from infancy through adulthood. To get started with the Montessori Method at home, parents should first invest in their practice. There are several books available on the subject, such as Montessori from the Start by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen.
Additionally, there are subscription services like Monti Kids that provide comprehensive ways to introduce Montessori into your home. Once you have a better understanding of the Montessori Method, you can begin to design your home environment so that it works with beauty, order, respect, and peace. This includes actively listening to your child and respecting their choices and needs, creating a relationship of mutual respect between parents and children. As your child grows and develops, you can expand on what you have already started.
It's also important to note that implementing the Montessori Method for your child at any age requires some advance planning. To get started, I highly recommend visiting a Montessori school to see how it works in practice. You can also visit an open house or a workshop for parents or attend a Montessori class for parents and children if there is one nearby. In conclusion, the Montessori Method is an effective way to foster empathy, a passion for social justice, and the joy of lifelong learning in your child.
With some advance planning and understanding of the method, you can successfully implement it at home no matter what age your child is.