In today's society, the development and well-being of children has become a priority. And this is done first and foremost through their learning. Indeed, as children go through sensitive periods during their learning process, it is important to put their development and awakening at the center of attention. Moreover, in recent years, new pedagogical methods have increasingly focused on children and their autonomy. Among these methods, the Montessori Method stands out. It is therefore important to know more about this pedagogy and how it works with young children!
What is the Montessori method?
Montessori education is a method of education based on the research of Maria Montessori, a 20th century Italian physician and educator.
Through her observations, Maria Montessori developed activities to help children in their development. This pedagogy is based on a global educational approach, from birth to adulthood.
Indeed, Montessori learning accompanies the child from a young age and all those moments of life.
Prepare the child to become a responsible and balanced adult
The Montessori pedagogy aims to shape the young human being on all levels (physical, social and spiritual). Its first mission is to help the child to build himself fully, autonomously to become a confident and responsible adult. The Montessori Method places the child as an actor in his own life. They become responsible for their own actions, an individual who has all the keys to success.
What are the principles of the Montessori Method?
The Kidlee team implements this pedagogy within the hours of care for your children. Indeed, we believe that what this educational method seeks to develop in children is beneficial for their personal development. But what does it really mean?
The absorbing mind
Maria Montessori uses the metaphor of the sponge a lot. This is to explain the way in which the child absorbs information about its environment. For example, a young child learns his or her mother tongue without formal rules and without conscious effort.
To do this, he uses all his senses to study his environment and acquire the information he needs. The absorbing mind is at the heart of Montessori pedagogy!
Montessori materials: learning through experience
In developing its specific material, Montessori has developed specific tools. They allow children to practice meaningful activities. Each tool, each piece of equipment, each exercise and each material is related to a particular skill. In this way, the child will learn naturally.
The child's hand
In her book, Maria Montessori explains the importance of the hand in the development of the child. The idea is to let the child touch and manipulate as many things as possible around him. Thus, he will use his hands to acquire knowledge about the environment in which he evolves.
Stimulation and learning through the senses
Through all her research, Montessori shows that a young child uses all his senses to learn. Touching, smelling, weighing, licking, shaking... all these gestures are part of the learning process. This reflection allowed her to understand that our intellectual development is linked to that of our senses.
The importance of movement
As children grow, they need to move. Movement allows them to learn and memorize certain concepts more easily. In the Montessori pedagogy, physical activity and mental activity are intimately linked. In fact, in the learning centers, the child's environment is designed to be as independent as possible.
Silence, a concentration simulator
In order for children to listen to their bodies and explore the world, Montessori emphasizes the importance of silence. It allows children to concentrate more easily and to control their movements.
Observation and the role of the educator
The Montessori educator, in this pedagogy, facilitates movement, observes and establishes a climate of confidence and well-being. He/she is a guide for the children and his/her role is to prepare the environment for their learning.
Just as Maria Montessori based her pedagogy on observation, this is a key element in the educator's role. This includes observing with an open mind while remaining calm and passive to understand each child. In this way, the educator will be able to identify where they are in order to propose a new activity if necessary. The educator must respect the rhythm of each child and not stigmatize any child based on his or her performance.
How to apply the Montessori Method at home?
After seeing the theory, it's time to see how to put it into practice with the kids.
So here's what a day inspired by the Montessori method looks like:
The rising :
No more screaming and crying from the child who demands to be taken out of bed! As soon as he becomes a little independent, the child sleeps on a mattress on the floor, lined with thick carpet. This way, when he wakes up, he can stay in bed or later access toys stored on low shelves.
The breakfast :
The kitchen is set up in such a way that the child, from 2 years old or even before, will be able to find what he needs to prepare his breakfast. He will learn at an early age to pour and decant to serve himself a drink, put cereal in his bowl, etc...
The toilet :
A step in front of the sink will allow the child to reach the materials needed to do things on his own without having to show him what to do.
Dressing Montessori method:
Arrange the clothes in the order that the child will need to put them on so that all he or she has to worry about is putting them on correctly.
The activities :
The Montessori method proposes the majority of its activities still in the form of trays in which the necessary material is found. The adult shows the child how to use it and then lets him/her do as much as he/she wants.
The meals :
Once the child is trained with these famous trays, he will be able to participate in the preparation of meals. The emphasis is on sensory experiences as much as on autonomy: touching and smelling the food before it is cooked will stimulate the child's senses and curiosity and help him or her to appreciate the meals.
Montessori Method: The bath
The presence of the adult is obviously necessary, but as soon as the child knows how to sit up by himself, it is possible to prepare miniature bottles containing soap and shampoo. This way, the child can use them by himself without the risk of causing a "catastrophe".
After the evening ritual is done, the child, quietly on his mattress, can leaf through a book or play a little before falling asleep because here again he is autonomous and responsible for his sleep.
For more details on how to implement this pedagogy at home, just take a look at here.
What are the benefits of the Montessori method for children?
Thanks to Montessori's pedagogy, the child acquires very early practical skills for everyday life. He also participates in the tasks of daily life: tidying up, clearing away, helping, etc...
One of the other advantages is that it can easily be implemented at home, allowing for true continuity.
With the different methods used, the child quickly becomes independent and self-disciplined. Indeed, by being free to choose their activities, children rarely encounter discipline problems. Moreover, they do not get bored because they do what they want to do at any given time.
In addition, the child acquires improved self-confidencewhich is one of the fundamental objectives of this pedagogy.
By respecting each child's rhythm, their interest in the chosen activities will further develop their concentration. In this way, children are not "forced" to do things that do not interest them. Their intelligence is stimulated, whatever it may be.
Finally, artistic activities take an important place so that each child can express himself freely.
This pedagogy developed by Maria Montessori, which is centered on the child, will help him/her to progress in his/her own way.
The team of Kidlee has put in place targeted notions of the Montessori pedagogy with the baby sittersparticularly in terms of sensory activitiesof awakening and development. This allows us to offer the best environment for children. This is the best way to promote their personal development and their daily awakening!