Montessori Primer: Core Philosophies, Part 1

We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master. We then become witnesses to the development of the human soul; the emergence of the New Man who will no longer be the victim of events but, thanks to his clarity of vision, will become able to direct and to mold the future of mankind.
Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, 1949

Wow! That’s quite a profound statement. To implement this Montessori principle requires setting aside traditional viewpoints on childrearing and adopting a more Montessori way of raising children. Implementing Montessori principles and practices in the home provides benefits for both the child and the parent. Children reap the rewards when, at home, parents are consistent in their expectations and styles of parenting. In addition, children thrive when there is consistency between the home and school.

Here are two Montessori core philosophies parents can implement at home – these best practices will help you understand and appreciate why children thrive in a Montessori classroom.

Recognize Your Child’s Authentic Nature

We are challenged with raising children who are emotionally, socially and spiritually healthy – achieving these goals requires knowing who your child truly is. When parents understand the personality and temperament of their children, children feel their inherent worth. With this understanding, parents are better equipped to aid a child’s development. The child, with the appropriate support, will begin saying, “I can do it myself,” more often. This self-assurance allows the child to become a teen who does not bend to peer pressure, and an adult who has a healthy self-image and owns his intrinsic goodness.

Help Your Child See Himself As Part of a Bigger Picture

In Montessori terms, this vision is termed unveiling the authentic child. Montessori believed it was important for humans to understand the interconnectedness of all living things. Children learn this truth by discovering their own personal interests and capabilities. It is important to know that children’s behavior is directly related to their basic needs. When a child’s basic needs are met, their learning can occur naturally with joyful determination. Children are wired for success. Maria Montessori uses the term “normalization” to describe the stage when a child has internalized the freedom to choose work, work independently, and follow the rules. A transformation takes place within the child. He becomes enthusiastic, focused, and self-disciplined. Maria Montessori warns in her writings that parents should not do for a child what the child can do for himself, as this occurrence communicates to the child that that he is incapable and weak. Preparing an environment that is both ordered and interesting allows the child to discover his unique interests.

Join us Friday as we continue our Montessori Primer with Core Philosophies, Part 2!