QUESTION: Is every child a Montessori Child, what sort of children best suit Montessori Education? 0

Montessori education is most definitely for every child. Dr. Montessori felt that her greatest discovery was that children like to work as well as play. Children have a natural drive to work in order to develop. Children are not content unless they have an opportunity to learn.

Parents need to read and learn about the Montessori method and implement it in their homes so that when children are at a Montessori school it is an easy transition, also if you learn and understand the philosophy behind Montessori then you will understand that it is for every child.

In a Montessori classroom children learn from the very beginning that they have freedom with boundaries, so they are able to understand what is expected of them. A child starting a Montessori education at a very young age is able to learn this concept from the very beginning and develop his learning around this. A child who starts later can still learn, but needs to be shown for quite sometime how the class is run and how to be calm and quiet when doing an activity. They will learn this as they watch the other children around them and want to do the same. Also the teacher gives the children one on one lessons so they can learn the different materials and how to use them properly.

The classroom has many different activities so the child can choose which one they would like to work with. The room is set out in different sections; they are Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math’s, and Culture. Every child has the drive to learn so all the different activities will give them that chance. Therefore all children’s needs are catered for, one child may want to learn how to do up buttons, and another might want to learn the number rods, a child may want to go outside to plant seeds in the garden, another to do sandpaper letters.

The teacher in the room is a silent member, she is not standing out the front talking to children at a board, rather she is sitting with individual children on a mat or child sized table teaching them how to do an activity they have chosen. Every child is busy; their minds are focused on their activity and their desire to learn. If a child is not working well with an activity they place it back on the shelf and choose another one. This helps their independence to grow; every activity in the room is designed for the child to learn so nothing wastes their time.

The Montessori program teaches more than just the basics, it has exercises to develop the child’s basic capacities, his or her ability to control movement, to use senses, to think, to decide and to feel and have emotions. Because of this the child becomes a competent learner. It develops their independence and responsibility; it also helps the child develop a strong foundation in language and math’s, physical and cultural geography, zoology, botany, physical science, history and art. Children also learn practical life skills for everyday life such as cooking and sewing, how to dress themselves.

Most important they learn how to be a contributing member of a social community.

Children have an amazing mental concentration; we have all been told that children have a short attention span.  Dr. Montessori observed that very young children have a longer attention span if they work on tasks that interest them. A child on their own will practice things they are trying to master over and over again, they have a love of repetition.

Children love order, we normally think children are messy but Dr. Montessori found that children have a natural inclination for organization and orderliness. This natural inclination needs to be helped and developed by the parents and teachers. 

Children love to choose their own things they do. If a room is set out for the child they will choose, take and replace the activities without assistance from an adult.

Children prefer work to play, she also says there is no need for rewards and punishment, children are intrinsically motivated to work, what they do need is help. As the adult we show children how to do what he or she is trying to accomplish. Accomplishment, competence, and being a contributing member of a society is rewarding in themselves, this is reward enough.

Children love silence, we may think of children as being noisy, Montessori discovered that children enjoy finding out how quiet they can be. The children like to listen to silence and to soft sounds. It is a game to see if a child can move a chair without making a sound.

Children have a deep sense of dignity just as we have as adults. They want to be capable and held in high regard, they want to do things for themselves, they can get embarrassed and feel ashamed.

Maria Montessori learnt that children showed such an interest in reading and writing that she provided some beginning materials. She was astonished by how the children seemed to “burst spontaneously” into writing and then reading if provided with the right materials.

So as you can see all children suit the Montessori method, it is built on all children’s needs and learning, it helps them to become a productive member of society.

“The role of the adult is to respect what the child can do for himself.”

5 Facts every parent should know about Montessori... 0

The reason we exist... 1

Welcome to I AM Montessori

 

Have you been searching the net trying to work out what Montessori is? How it benefits your child? Or even how you can implement the method into your own house?

 

Found it overwhelming?

 

There is a lot of information out there, different sites, differing opinions and ideas. It can become overwhelming. Instead of answering your questions, it may have you asking more and frustrating you when you cannot find the answer.

 

This happened to me.  I am a parent of a two year old who just over twelve months ago was handed a book by my next door neighbour – Montessori Madness.

 

This was my introduction to the amazingness of Montessori and after reading from cover to cover, it left me wanting more. Wanting this education for my son, for every child out there. I went home and I googled, and read thousands of different pages, blogs, forums, etc. and became increasingly aware I wasn’t the only parent feeling the way I was. Overwhelmed, confused, disappointed.

 

Disappointed that there wasn’t an easy way to get your head around Montessori. An easy way to give your child access to this incredible method of learning. I also learnt I wasn’t the only one frustrated with the contradicting opinions of vocal Montessorians, that these outspoken few were holding back a beautiful education method from becoming mainstream, by putting people in boxes and creating an ‘elitist’ mentality within the online community.

 

After looking at the options available around me it became evident there was a whole lot of people like me that weren’t having our questions answered. That were craving Montessori but were being left out in the dark. Nobody had made Montessori easy.

 

Noone was listening to the loud screams for help from us parents who wanted so badly to be given the information we needed to give our child the best start in life. And if they were listening, no one was doing anything about it.

 

So we did. We started I AM Montessori as a place for parents to be heard, for parents to learn all they need to know about Montessori and how it works, in a structure that doesn’t require a degree to decode the jargon and big words.

 

I AM Montessori was created to make Montessori easy for the rest of the world.

That is our goal, and we believe we have achieved this.

 

For an introductory price of $79 a year, you can access our incredible tool online and all in one place, as well as ask questions to qualified teachers, chat to other parents around the world and access free activities for your child from newborn to 6 years of age.

 

It’s a very small investment for a very large return – your child’s love for learning.

 

I AM Montessori ONLINE - coming soon!

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED: MY 6 YR OLD SON IS STARTING MONTESSORI - DO KIDS ADJUST OK AFTER BEING AT A PUBLIC SCHOOL FOR THE PAST YEAR? 0

Any Montessori program is ideally based on the observation of the child and their abilities, strengths and weaknesses, interests and drives. The teacher makes these observations and assessments before presenting a curriculum to the child. In a 6-9 program, a new child will be paired and grouped with children who provide a range of abilities to both support his exploration and provide a challenge level for them to attain.

Many Montessori programs at this age level will have regular consultations with each child to both get feedback from the child and work collaboratively to plan their projects. This process supports the nature of the children working independently at this level. If necessary, a child new to the Montessori method may be given lessons that are ideally provided between 3 – 6 years, but usually these materials may already be at hand in the 6 – 9 classroom and are not seen as remedial.

The amount of time spent on these materials will provide a suitable foundation for future exploration within the three-year period; your child will be free to accomplish his goals without the interruption of an end of year shift. As his guide at home, it would be ideal to become familiar with the way the 6 – 9 classroom works and ask the teacher for the language that is used in the classroom for such things as the materials, the ‘consultation process’ used in that classroom. Using similar language to that used at school will support a child new to the independent approach of Montessori.

 

PRACTICALLY IMPRACTICALLY 0

Just as the kitchen may be the centre of family life in your home, Practical Life is the soul of the Montessori Curriculum. A child’s first experiences in a Montessori environment are those in the area of Practical Life.

These are the first exercises that the child sees that are familiar to their past experiences in the home. The Practical Life experiences centre on the three fundamental needs to care for oneself, to care for the natural and built environment, and to care for other people. The area of Practical Life should be prominent in a Montessori environment and entice the children to return to these exercises that meet the needs of the sensitive periods for movement, order, and language.

What activities could you provide for your child in the home, that will allow them to contribute to the care of themselves, look after the house, or do something nice for a family member without being asked?

When there are activities aplenty in the area of practical life, there is no need for arbitrary rules for behavior in a classroom. This is possible because children are engaged in work that is contributing to the development of themselves and those around them, while contributing to the care of the physical and natural world as well.

Here’s the challenge for us as adults, to make these activities accessible to our children… We need to set up activities that are practically impractical!

Rather than having children use our tools, we need to have equipment that is the appropriate height, weight and that function well for small bodies.  We need to demonstrate first for our children in a way that is not efficient or ‘the best and fastest’ way to get something done. We need to slow down and break down an activity into small manageable parts, so that a child may see each step clearly and be able to replicate it successfully. We should provide children with real tools, not plastic or mock tools that don’t serve a real purpose. 

Children may happily pretend to use a plastic shovel for a short amount of time, but give them a real shovel and a real mound of dirt and they will do so for hours and have picked up a skill along the way.

The activities in practical life mirror activities carried out by adults in their direct cultural communities, but are reproduced in such a way to provide a multitude of benefits to the child: functional independence, concentration, self-confidence, development of sequential thought, social relationships, development of ordered work cycle, self-discipline, integration of personality and character, develop choice making skills, harmony of mind/muscles/will power, attachment to reality, encourages inclusivity among peer groups, development of coordination of movement.

With these outcomes available to the child, why not set up a few activities in your home today? Whether it’s preparing food, practicing with utensils, having cleaning up tools on hand for your child to care for the home. Perhaps craft activities available on a tray with all the materials needed for the child to work independently without the need for you to set it up or clean it up for them. Stay tuned to I AM Montessori to learn many more ways you can make Practical Life more practical in your home.

The benefits of Montessori 0

Dr Maria Montessori placed great importance on the mental development in the early years of childhood.

When we are born, physically, our body only needs to be nourished to grow. However, the mind has to not only grow, but has to be constructed. It needs an environment that is conducive to mentally develop. 

Montessori education encompasses every area of life. The child must firstly become independent, able to look after themselves. We do this through practical life exercises, which are then followed by the cultural, social and moral aspects of life.

Dr Montessori refers to the mind as the “Absorbent Mind,” it can learn so much without effort or fatigue. Dr Montessori saw the mind of the child as being like a camera, they observe everything in the environment, then something happens in the dark room of the unconscious, and the perfect record is fixed forever. We as adults must help and not hinder this development. Dr Montessori believed that movement, manipulation and the isolated training of each sense develops the capacity for thought, and all her methods and materials exemplify this.

When referring to babies of 0-5 months, their environment is broken up into two parts, physical and psychological. The physical environment has four areas, feeding, sleeping, physical care and movement. Black and white, dark and light are initial contrasts that infants are attracted to. They love to watch a mobile of these tones moving in a breeze.

At around 6-8 weeks you can start to introduce colour. At 10-12 weeks mobiles that highlight more movement and that are varied in shapes and colours can be introduced. At around 3 months babies are reaching and using their hands as an extension of their arm. As the child develops we have activities that aid in their eye-hand co-ordination, placing objects in and out of closely fitting containers.

When a child is able to sit in a chair or stand at a shelf we can offer a new range of challenges. These challenges not only develop their eye-hand co-ordination, but also develop their visual discrimination and control of movement. After we present an activity to a child, we will say, “your turn.” If the child makes a mistake we never comment, we would just say, “I’ll have another turn,” or, “now it’s my turn again,” and will then present it correctly so they may see it again.

In Montessori education we are always careful not to criticise, as the child might lose interest in the activity or feel a sense of incapability. In this age group the children are learning to develop their pincer grip, they start with the palmer grasp and with different activities they develop their fine motor skills to be able to use a pincer grip. The children also learn at 5-12 months the cognitive development of object permanence, the knowledge that an object exists even when it is out of sight. These are also described as mathematical concepts. We use an activity to help with this called the Box with Automatically Returning Balls; this has varying levels of equipment for the children to learn with. Gross Motor development is of course paramount in a child’s early years, the vital importance of unrestricted movement cannot be over emphasised. A mirror that is large enough for the baby to see his body in, is an essential tool for the body development scheme and image.

As the children get older the materials need to correspond to their developmental needs. The materials need to have an intelligent purpose, they should be beautiful and incorporate different textures and substances such as wood, metal, glass and natural fibres.  The Montessori classroom consists of different sections of learning. They are sensorial, language, mathematics, culture and science.  There are many different activities that the children work on to help them learn and understand. The Montessori materials are designed for the children to be able to completely understand how to achieve a positive outcome. There are activities that prepare the child for writing and to gain control of the pencil, there are many extensions of this activity. The next is the sandpaper letters, these are introduced by a three period lesson. The child learns the sound and shape of the letters of the alphabet and will gain a muscular memory of the shape of the letters as a prelude to writing. There are many amazing activities for the children to learn language, they are beautiful which insures the children will love to work with them. They have an insatiable desire to learn to read. 

When learning mathematics we have a number rods activity where the children learn to count to ten and understand the value of each number. Next is the tactile numbers where they learn the numbers by feel. The number rods and numerals are then the next step, they associate numerals 1-10 with actual quantities. We have two aesthetically beautiful activities called the spindle box and the golden beads. These materials are so aesthetically and texturally interesting that the children love to hold and work with them, making learning enjoyable and exciting. 

As you can see Montessori is truly an amazing way to learn. Children are in a calm environment and become very involved in their activities and are intrinsically rewarded. This kind of learning aids children intellectually, physically and in their everyday life. Montessori helps children to always strive to be independent and will give them the best start to life.

 

If you have any questions, please email us at info@iammontessori.com.au or call us on 0409 649 321 and we can assist. 

 

BRIDGING HOME AND SCHOOL WITH A METHOD THAT MATTERS 0

“Education is not what the teacher gives; Education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual”

 (Education for a New World, Dr. Maria Montessori, p2}

 Here at I AM Montessori we believe that the home is a child’s first classroom.

I AM Montessori will share with you and your child the fundamentals of the Montessori Materials, scientifically designed to meet the needs of the child at each stage of their development.  But these materials are nothing without the guidance of a knowledgeable and nurturing adult guide.

The method reaches much farther than the materials we see on the shelves of a traditional Montessori classroom!

When you are home with your child, or out exploring the world with them, the Montessori ethic challenges you to rethink the role that children play in our society. Long gone are the days when children should be seen and not heard. Centuries of academics and psychologists have lead us to know that children construct knowledge from their direct experiences with the world, an observation over a century ago which led to the Montessori approach to education. Never again will a child absorb and construct so effortlessly the amount of knowledge that is acquired from birth to age six. Let us here at I AM Montessori share ways to make the most of this extraordinary age in your family’s everyday. 

Welcome to I AM Montessori 0

I AM Montessori was created to fill a major gap in the market for parents looking to provide an alternative form of education for their children in the critical early years of their lives.

The Montessori method is a gorgeous form of education, which is not only something that stays in the classroom but transcends into the everyday life of the child.

The children who attend Montessori school or classes are given the ability to direct their own learnings and discoveries, connect with the world from their own eyes, learn to respect themselves, others and their environment giving them confidence, independance, and joy.

Here at I AM Montessori, we run classes for children from 0-3, and 3-6, with qualified guides (teachers) in a true Montessori inspired environment.

Our goal is to empower and assist the parents to implement the Montessori method easily at home and in play, giving access to quality and affordable materials that can be purchased online or at our premises.

We are all about giving children the headstart that the Montessori method can give them, in a way they can implement in the real world environment and at mainstream schools.