Many parents are under the impression that Montessori is just a type of schooling, but in reality it’s a parenting style. The principles and practices of Montessori have been designed to help children be more successful in school, and they also do the same for our family lives too.
What is Montessori?
A method of education developed by Dr. Maria Montessori that believes in developing your child’s potential through individualized activities and guidance. There are two main components to her method; first, children learn through self-directed work, where they are encouraged to explore and observe the world around them. Second, children develop their “critical spirit” through their own self-discipline and practice.
How can I apply the Montessori Method?
Parents need to embrace that they are their child’s first teacher. Giving your child independence at an early age can have tremendous benefits; not only in becoming more self-sufficient, but also in setting the tone for future habits of independence and good work ethic. This can be as simple as letting them pour their own milk or serving themselves at a family dinner.
This can be achieved through the use of a variety of different materials and tools, that can be chosen according to age and child’s interest. While some models will have smaller animals or abstract shapes for learning about counting, etc., most children will find it more stimulating to have things that are more tangible (like wax crayons, buttons or string).
While many parents let their children choose from a limited number of items in the first year or so, it should start out with a large selection of essentially everything that they could want to use.
Watch them as they work at their own pace, noticing how they handle each tool. As the child finds something interesting, encourage them to explore further. This will provide you with a deeper understanding of your child’s interests and help them in their future educational pursuits.
Montessori has been a great fit for our family! We are all very happy with the ways it’s allowed us to raise our son. We’ve seen and read many articles, books, etc., but they don’t really cover every aspect of it, and they don’t come close to what you feel as a parent. In this post I’m going to try and explain in detail everything we’ve learned about Montessori. Perhaps along the way we’ll think of some new ideas for us and for other parents too!
Before I go into the whole process, let me start with some basic questions that are always asked about parents that are interested in going for the Montessori parenting style.
- Will it work for us?
With a regular playgroup or a good friend, you are going to have your issues when it comes to temper tantrums and power struggles. With Montessori, the first thing that is going to have issues is your own ego.
It works perfectly fine with some kids, so it will theoretically work for any parent and child combination. The problem isn’t the method, but with parents letting go of their egos and doing what is best for their children. Assuming this goes well from the outset, you are going to have a happy kid!
- How do I know if Montessori is for me?
Well, the easiest way to find out is to just contact any school affiliated with the Montessori method and inquire about their particular approach. There are many benefits of using this method and it’s going to change what you learn about parenting and raising your child. This can be from a financial standpoint too, because you are not limited by any local or state laws; you can provide your child with everything they need (which is almost everything.)
- Why should I use a Montessori course?
Well, there are many reasons that parents choose this over a regular daycare center. For one, there is an established curriculum for your child’s specific age. You will be given techniques on how to prepare the environment, as well as setting up the best conditions for learning and full development. If you have a lot of things that you want to teach your child, you will not have to worry about coming up with a course and learning materials all on your own; they are already there.
Not only that, but it is also outlined how much time should be spent on each of these subjects (usually from 15 minutes up to an hour). This way you can be sure that your child is getting the correct amounts of screen time or play time.
- What does it cost?
To be honest, it all depends on the location. Montessori schools are usually not free, because they are usually in a prime area and with prime locations comes a high amount of school fees. A course for your child can run from several hundred dollars to over $1000 per semester. This is just for the tuition though; any additional materials may add to the overall cost of your program. This can get expensive in a short period of time due to how fast your child grows and how much material you will have to purchase. The great thing though is that most children will use the same materials all throughout their education (from preschool up until college.)
- How do I find a place?
Well, the good thing is that you can always contact the schools directly. You can also check from the state board of education’s website ( which is pretty much like any other organization or company out there- will take a few days to respond) or go to any Montessori school near you and ask about enrollment. This way you will get exactly what you want, and there are plenty of options for finding one that best fits your needs.
- What should I be looking for?
Well, the first thing is to look at their facilities: size, age of the building (is it an old building that needs updates?), cleanliness, safety issues, etc.. This will determine what your child can expect from the program. The other things you want to look at are their course of studies, the safety measures and if they offer any special childhood development programs. If you have any questions, go ahead and ask them (most school directors are more than happy to help).
- What equipment should I buy?
Well, there is not much equipment you will need to buy except for some things like paints, paints, paints and more art supplies! However, a good way to save some money is by taking advantage of used items.
- What should my expectations be?
Well, the good thing is that your child will not just sit and watch while they are in their own private work area. They are going to use a large variety of materials and instruments to learn how to do things by themselves. They will be able to turn into a little Montessori creature- sorting, counting and working with their hands. This technique makes it so that kids can develop all of their mental abilities when they are in an environment that is safe. There really is a lot of freedom going on here!
- Will it work for our family?
There are a lot of families out there that are interested in this method and it is slowly growing. If you’re ready to understand what your child needs, Montessori can be the answer. For us it did not work, but that doesn’t mean that it will fail with you and your child. You should take the time to learn more about the philosophy and specific details of this method before making any decisions. There’s nothing like “real life” experience after all!
As we have seen, Montessori is not just a random method. It is a precise way of teaching children in a very personal way. This is something that you and your child will get the most out of, so it’s best to find a well-reputed school that uses this approach.
Montessori education combines nature, play and hard work to give your child the best possible brain development possible. They will be able to create the best path for their own future, and it has proven itself to be highly effective. It’s a great way to bring up your child, so why not give Montessori a try?