For some the word Montessori means respect and freedom. Whereas for others it’s a method of education. Then there are those that have never been exposed to Montessori and I have heard a couple of them say, ” is it a cult?”
Dr. Montessori in 1907 opened the first Montessori school in Italy. She took a group of children from the slums and from aggressive/violent children they became calm and respectful human beings. The children that society had disassociated from were able to sit the Grade 1 entrance test and to everyone’s shock were able to pass the test and access education! That was the beginning of Montessori Education and has since gained immense popularity. So what makes Montessori so special. Foremost it nurtures the child’s spirit. Respect for everyone and everything is fostered at a very young age. The method also responds to the child’s natural tendencies and needs. The need to move, the need to do and be in action and the natural desire to learn and progress from one skill to the next. Freedom to choose activities is offered empowering children to eventually make positive decisions.
When the child first enters the program Daily life skills are introduced. These set the foundation. Very simple and yet have a profound impact in calming and grounding the child. These activities offer the child the movement they yearn, the muscular coordination that they need to develop while building concentration which is integral for future learning. In addition, children develop a sense of belonging and acceptance. Through these activities they become focussed, independent and self disciplined individuals. Most importantly they develop a love for learning!