Learning more about Montessori is probably one of the best decisions of my life. It has greatly changed my outlook about education and about parenting.
I remember what Kara’s pediatrician told me (because I’m such a worrier): “Babies are meant to survive new parents. Chill, Karen.”
Of course, I didn’t chill. LOL. It wasn’t until I read the Absorbent Mind and started embracing the philosophy that I began to relax (a little). It was such delight to see how Kara has become such a confident, enthusiastic, and self-directed learner.
Indeed, children are more capable than we think. These are my favorite lines from the book:
“We cannot know the consequences of suppressing a child's spontaneity when he is just beginning to be active. We may even suffocate life itself. That humanity which is revealed in all its intellectual splendor during the sweet and tender age of childhood should be respected with a kind of religious veneration. It is like the sun which appears at dawn or a flower just beginning to bloom. Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life.”
For us to fully adopt the philosophy at home, we started preparing Montessori activities and materials.
So, what makes a material or activity, Montessori?
Here are the top qualities based on AMS (American Montessori Society):
Montessori materials and Montessori-inspired toys are very simple yet beautiful, mostly made of polished wood. They can be made of breakable objects too.
So how can a child be trusted to handle fragile little items independently? Montessori teachers believe that children learn from their mistakes. If nothing ever breaks, children have no reason to learn carefulness. Children treasure their learning materials and enjoy learning to take care of them “all by myself.”