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What Is Montessori Parenting?

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The Montessori method is an educational philosophy and approach to teaching developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator, in the early 20th century. Montessori parenting encompasses ideas drawn from the studies of Maria Montessori and the famous Montessori movement. Montessori parenting is a relaxed parenting approach where toddlers are left to play freely, are not punished for being naughty, and are encouraged to sleep on the floor instead of in cribs, among other things.

The method is based on the belief that children have an innate desire to learn and that they learn best through self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. The Montessori method emphasizes individualized learning and allows children to work at their own pace and level of development.

Montessori parenting mainly focuses on children’s need for learning through play and their desire to take on responsibility. In her book, Maria Montessori urges parents to foster their children’s desire to learn and only to intervene to provide toys and safe playtime.

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One of the main ideas underlying the Montessori system was that education should fully develop children’s positive potentials, so they can become happy and useful members of society. Like some of her eminent predecessors (e.g. Hume and Rousseau), Montessori believed the best way to achieve this was to see that education suits the child’s nature and inclinations. — Roland A. Lubienski Wentworth in his book Montessori for the New Millennium

Montessori Parents Guide

Most parents are not sure how to enforce Montessori parenting strategies, but Montessori parenting is an art that can be learned and practiced by any willing parent.

  1. Follow the child. As toddlers, children really do know what they want. Montessori parenting requires the parents to only prepare and provide a guideline for their children and then let them choose what they want to do and how they want to play. This instills a sense of self-worth at a very young age.
  2. Parent-child time. Montessori parenting believes that the only thing children want is to spend time with their parents. Therefore, parents should make an effort to spend time with their children, whether indoors or outdoors, and stop to watch them play and experience the world around them. They should play with their children when necessary, walk with them, eat with them, and by so doing, parents will learn their children’s needs and desires.
  3. Child desires. According to Montessori parenting, all that children need is inclusion and involvement in their parents’ schedules. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about good toys and good playrooms. Parents should not focus so much on what their children should do or cannot do. Rather, they should involve their children in the parents’ activities, such as reading, cleaning, and playing, and let the children take part in all they do. This will help develop the children’s sense of belonging and make them feel wanted and cared for.
  4. Child safety. Montessori parenting advocates for safe playtime for children. Create a play space that allows children to go in and out as they desire without getting hurt. This will help boost their confidence and allow them to make their own decisions.
  5. Freedom and discipline. This study states that a child is like an empty box that needs to be filled with positive things and positive thinking. Too much punishment will cause children to withdraw. Too much discipline will make home feel like a prison. Instead, as a parent, create boundaries and consistently focus on the children until they naturally opt for positive and desirable behavior.

Montessori FAQs

Q: What age range is the Montessori method designed for?

A: The Montessori method is designed for children from birth to eighteen years of age, although the primary focus is on the early childhood years, from birth to six years old. Montessori schools are often divided into different age groups, with classes for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary-age students.

Q: What are the main principles of the Montessori method?

A: The main principles of the Montessori method include respect for the child, individualized learning, hands-on learning, and the importance of the prepared environment. The method also emphasizes the importance of freedom within limits, and the role of the teacher as a guide and facilitator rather than an authority figure.

Q: How does the Montessori method differ from traditional education?

A: The Montessori method differs from traditional education in several ways. Traditional education tends to be teacher-centered, with the teacher as the authority figure and the focus on imparting knowledge to the students. Montessori education is student-centered, with a focus on developing the child’s natural curiosity and love of learning. Montessori classrooms are typically designed to be hands-on, with a variety of materials and activities available for the children to explore at their own pace.

Q: What does a typical Montessori classroom look like?

A: A typical Montessori classroom is designed to be a prepared environment, with a variety of materials and activities available for the children to explore. The classroom is typically divided into several areas, including practical life skills, sensorial exploration, language, math, and cultural studies. The materials in each area are carefully chosen to be developmentally appropriate and to help the child learn through hands-on exploration.

Q: Is the Montessori method effective?

A: There is evidence to suggest that the Montessori method can be effective in promoting academic achievement, social skills, and other positive outcomes in children. However, like any educational approach, its effectiveness may vary depending on a variety of factors, including the individual child, the quality of the program, and the support of parents and caregivers.

Q: Are there any drawbacks to the Montessori method?

A: Some potential drawbacks of the Montessori method include the lack of emphasis on structured academic instruction, the potential for children to become too self-directed and not learn how to follow the rules or work within a group, and the cost and availability of Montessori programs.

Q: How can I find a Montessori program for my child?

A: You can find Montessori programs in your area by searching online, contacting local Montessori schools or organizations, or asking for recommendations from other parents. It is important to visit the program and speak with the teachers and administrators to determine if it is a good fit for your child and your family.

Useful Resources

  • Montessori, Maria. The Montessori Method. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2013. Retrieved from https://amzn.to/2RaNmm0
  • Lillard, Angeline, and Nicole Else-Quest. “The Early Years: Evaluating Montessori Education.Science 313, no. 5795 (2006): 1893–1894. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Wentworth, Roland A. Lubie, and Felix Wentworth. Montessori for the new millennium: Practical guidance on the teaching and education of children of all ages, based on a rediscovery of the true principles and vision of Maria Montessori. Routledge, 2013. Available to buy from Amazon
  • A Professor’s Guide to Writing Essays: The No-Nonsense Plan for Better Writing by Dr. Jacob Neumann. Experts are available on https://www.customwritings.com essay writing service to help you with your needs.

2 Comments

  1. Great article! I can’t believe I just now discover this website. What a great resource! Thank you for pointing out that Montessori parenting isn’t about toys and learning materials. It’s hard not to get hung up on those things!

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