Choosing a Montessori environment for your child at an early age empowers a child throughout life. The Montessori Method fosters independent learning, self dependence, self-direction, collaborative efforts and empathy to perform different tasks in life. The early years are a time when there is a great development in their lingual, physical, and academic development. Based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood, the Montessori Method has been a success in almost all the countries of the world for more than a century with all its positive aspects.
In this post, we will discuss how Montessori Method proves beneficial for the early years of learning. Let us explore its benefits:
1. Child-centered Learning :
Montessori pedagogy encourages all ways to perform each activity with a child centered approach. The child is the focus and he/she should be taught to be self sufficient in all walks of life. Freedom within limits is the key feature of its hierarchy. It is important to consider a child with unique abilities and individual learning styles.
The setting of a Montessori classroom is designed according to the child’s point of view:
- The furniture is child-sized so that the child fits in comfortably
- The material is within the reach of the child so that it can be accessed easily and without the adult’s help
- The classrooms have mixed age children to mentor the younger children with their experiences, the teacher is the guide and a directress, not the helper to interfere with each error
2. Self-discipline & Self-correction:
A Montessori approach to self-discipline helps to create a balance between freedom and discipline. Like any other aspect of Montessori education, it requires respect for the child by improvising the element of discipline in life from practical life and using the material in a well-mannered way. It prepares the child gradually for a disciplinary approach as:
- Montessori Method allows the child to choose the material or activity as per their own choice and this thing prepares them to be more confident, disciplined and responsible towards decision making.
- It trains the child to tidy up the place by arranging the material back on shelves after the activity is done.
- The exercises and sensorial material teach the child to measure the flaws and make self-correction by mastering the skills.
3. Creative thinking & Sensory Experiences:
The Montessori Method aims to develop creative thinking by responding to different sensory experiences that a child analyzes by his five senses i.e. sense of sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste. Montessori sensorial exercises are purposefully designed to sharpen these senses and ultimately they help to raise a child who can react to sensory calls and become a creative thinker in future. The child performs to undergo many opportunities to sharpen five senses in these ways:
- Visual sense: Visually discriminate the thing by exploring the dimensions, size, and weight of sensorial materials like Cylinders, Pink Tower, Brown Stairs, Red and Long Rods, metal insets, etc.
- Auditory sense: Develop auditory sense by experimenting with the bells & sound cylinders.
- Olfactory sense: Sharpen olfactory sense by smelling different herbs, scents, aromas etc.
- Tactile sense: Develop a sense of touch through Baric Tablets, Thermic Tablets, Sensory Cushions, Rough & Smooth Tablets, etc.
- Gustatory sense: Helps to develop a sense of taste by tasting different foods and their tastes.
4. Individualized Set up:
The class is set up in a Montessori way and caters to each child’s needs. For achieving this purpose it focuses to make sure:
- Lessons are conducted in groups but each child has to perform his task practically with plenty of patience and time-lapse.
- Spending individualized time to observe the demo lesson from the directress and working on material independently each student developed a personal learning space and enjoys learning thoroughly.
- There are no annual exams in the Montessori Method but the directress makes individual evaluations, records the progress of each child, and monitors all the areas of learning to help the child to grow and reach the target going from “easy to complex”.
5. Social Skills and Peace Education:
Peace education and social skills are incorporated in Montessori learning through mix age group sitting plan, this set-up proves to be much support for the younger children as:
- The older children play roles as mentors and the younger ones live a feeling of support which assists them in overcoming the challenges coming ahead by acquiring problem-solving techniques from their elder fellows.
- The role play and cultural activities promote collaborative efforts among the children to promote inclusive education.
- Peace and cosmic education exercises familiarize the students with mental health control to live in society as positive supportive beings and happy healthy individuals blessed with inner peace and encouraging sustaining habits to support mother Earth.
6. Discipline & Order:
The Montessori philosophy believes in shaping children’s minds from a young age and right from birth. It has a firm belief in positive discipline and sense of order. It emphasizes on guidance through activities and materials (sensorial material is a great example of sense of order) to help children become independent learners and responsible citizens throughout their lives. Montessori-inspired routine and schedule is always a good idea to start-up in the early years. The sooner you opt for this beneficial learning method, the better your child will be trained to be a disciplined, confident, self-sufficient, happy and peaceful being with better decision power.
7. Practical Life Skills:
Practical life skills (EPL) are an integral part of Montessori learning areas. These daily life skills prepare the children for being self-sufficient and independent in their daily routine work. These are some ways how this area benefits the child:
- Self-grooming and dressing: The activities like combing, shoe polishing, button/unbuttoning, zip/unzip, hand washing, etc.
prepare the children to take care of themselves independently.
- Preparing food: These skills like cutting and peeling vegetables, preparing own food, squeezing oranges/lemons, etc. help the child to take part and help in kitchen work and boost their confidence and self-sufficiency.
b) Care of environment:
- Care of surfaces: Cleaning and washing exercises enable them to learn to keep their surroundings clean and teach them self-help.
- Care of plants & animals: Exercises like watering indoor plants, trimming, flower arrangements, care for the animal, all these practical activities contribute to preparing a child for upcoming life where he/she will be playing the role of an adult and can play it well if trained for these life skills well in time and there is not any better time other than the Early Years!
These are some of the benefits that the Montessori Method of teaching contributes to your child’s development; but on a broader level, there is much
more that reflects and shines through this globally renowned system of education. Its advantages are much more fruitful and cater to a child’s creed for learning by preparing them unconsciously for the whole life skills like cognitive, social, emotional, language, psycho-motor, and overall development.