Montessori is an education method developed by Italian doctor Maria Montessori. It was initially created to help children with learning and behavioral disorders.
However, through time, the Montessori Method was seen to be useful to every child. Its main goal is to stimulate and help them creating autonomy and the necessary confidence to learn things by themselves.
This way, kids develop self-knowledge and the learning that will help them make the most complex intellectual decisions in the future.
How did Montessori Education arise?
Maria Montessori, who was one of the first women to ever become a doctor in Italy, created it around 1907.
When she began working with children, she noticed the little ones’ development happened individually and with specific particularities.
Maria worked with students with special needs and soon founded La Casa dei Bambini (The Children’s House), which came to implement all the knowledge she acquired through working with children and inaugurated her educational method.
By closely analyzing her students’ behavior, she could formulate the famous method to help kids learn to read and write and become autonomous.
How does it work?
The Montessori Method happens through stages, known as Montessori Stages or Planes of Development. Each of those planes is thought for an age group and describes a specific learning format for them.
- The first plane (0 to 6 y. o.): Children this age have the need to explore the world and figure out how it works.
- The second plane (6 to 12 y. o.): At this stage, kids can take care of themselves, so they should get to know new things and explore their imagination.
- The third plane (12 to 18 y. o.): Younglings now have to acquire social independence and understand how life in society plays out.
- The fourth plane (18 to 24y. o.): These young adults, who are usually in college, try to understand the reason for their existence.
Another important thing to know is that the Montessori Method has principles that focus on the person’s free nature and natural instincts.Let's understand them better.
What are its principles?
This method states that children are beings that build the world and active individuals who are preparing to play a fundamental role in society.
Because of that, they should have strong and free minds to be ready for the future. Helping this mindset be developed takes understanding Montessori’s six principles.
For Montessorians, children are capable of growing freely and independently. However, they should be inserted in a healthy and adequate environment to be able to better perform in the learning process.
It is also believed that the living with other people is crucial for such learning, once it provides different situations for one to observe, experiment and learn with.
The environment the kid is in is an essential part of the Montessori Method, because through it, the child can have the ideal assistance to boost every learning stage. Despite needing freedom, they must also count with physical and psychological encouragement coming from the adults.
Adapting the environment into a more accessible one, where the kid has daily actions at reach, like drinking water or going to the bathroom, for example, is essential.
The bottom bunk of our Solid Wood Bunk Bed can be considered a Montessori Bed, since the mattress is at floor level, which allows the little one to get out of it autonomously.
Education as Science
A class based on the Montessori Education is different from one based on traditional methods. It is conducted as if it were a scientific project. Then, the mentor doesn’t rely on vertical and rigid educational formats. He/ she mediates learning, instead of possessing all the knowledge and passing it on to kids that would be normally seen as passive learners. Here they are active and their previous knowledge and background is always taken into account.
This principle helps children understand the world. In Cosmic Education, the content needs to be taught in a way that makes them understand all things are connected.
Therefore, the mentor uses stories, questions and other stimuli to keep their curiosity very much alive. This way, it’s possible to realize how the development of imagination will positively influence the kid to understand their place in the world.
For Montessorians, one of the top goals when raising a child is preparing them for adulthood. That’s why teachers and parents should guide the kids to perform every task with as much autonomy as possible.
Through that, they will be mentally prepared and holding enough conditions to face every stage of adult life and make decisions wisely.
Developing in a free and happy way is essential so the kid can express their individuality with balance.
A balanced child can develop better, thus achieving autonomy more easily. Besides, it directly affects the choices they will make in the future.
Montessori Method at Home
Conducting this method at home is absolutely possible. One example is using Montessori Beds, previously mentioned, which integrate a Montessori Bedroom, with furniture and everyday items at reach height, promoting accessibility and freedom.
Guiding daily tasks and handcrafts at home can be done without interfering too much on the children’s decisions – as long as such decisions won’t bring them harm, of course – which allows you to observe their particularities and how they can learn by themselves.
Nevertheless, adults should analyze the entire individual development process, without expecting the kid to do too much more than what is natural of their current stage.
This will allow learning the details of the kid’s performance and stimulating their growth, always bearing in mind each child’s individualities.