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What the heck is Montessori?

montessori tower

Montessori pedagogy is based on the observations of Maria Montessori, an italian doctor who completely revolutionized the educational philosophy of the last century.

According to her pedagogy, when a child is in a stimulating environment and acompanied by adults who stimulate him and adapt to him, he learns on his own and at his own pace.

As parents, we try to remember the following quote from Maria Montessori whenever our 2 years old Justin wants to do the dishes or our 5 years old Felix tries to tie his shoelaces.

«Never help a child with a task at wich he feels he can succeed»

The Montessori method allows the child to accomplish a task that he thinks he can succeed, regardless of his hability to do it. Maria Montessori created an educational environement in which the child is assumed capable of and treated that way rather than the other way around.

The Montessori method is based on these main principles :

Environment : The furniture and environement should be suitable for the child and not the other way around. Everything must be at his height and at his disposition to promote de development of his autonomy.
Order : The child must be free to take the objects around him and move them.
The adult is a guide : The role of the parent and the teacher is to follow and observe the child. Their interventions must always be indirect.
Freedom : The child is free to choose the activities he wants to do.
Self-discipline : The child is encouraged to identify his own mistakes and to improve himself.
Respect of the child’s own pace : It doesn’t matter if the child is fast or slow to complete a task, as long as he is focused.
Learning by experience : To integrate the concepts, the child must manipulate and experience in a tangible way, by stimulating his 5 senses.
No reward and no punishment : These methods of reinforcement are not encouraged by the Montessori philosophy.

Yes, this method takes longer. Yes, sometimes, you will have to redo de dishes or to fix a broken plate. But the gift of giving your child a chance for self-fulfillment is so worth the extra time to let them tie their shoelaces on their own before leaving the house.

If you still doubt this philosophy of education, here is a list of famous Montessori educated people :

- Jeff Bezos – Fonder of Amazon
- Beyonce
- Sean ¨Diddy¨Combs
- Taylor Swift
- Jimmy Wales – Fonder of Wikipedia
- Julia Child
- Princes William and Harry