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The Montessori Theory is an approach to learning developed by Maria Montessori where the main principles are Independence, Observation, Following the Child, Correcting the Child, Prepared Environment and Absorbent Mind. Listed below are our top Montessori principles that can be used whether or not you have the traditional Montessori materials. The principles given below are relevant for any preschooler and they fit with natural learning because they meet the natural needs of young kids without requiring a specific material:
This is perhaps the most important teaching principle for any age. Individualizing the scope for learning according to your child’s unique needs and interests is extremely important. In Montessori, this is done by observing the child to see what their needs and interests are and by respecting and honouring those needs and interests.
It is also very important that you respect and encourage your child’s absorbent mind as well as their sensitive periods.
Give your kids the freedom to explore their world, both indoors and outdoors as long as your child is safe and is using that freedom in a positive manner. Self-directed learning and independence are very significant concepts of Montessori education.
Give your child as many opportunities as possible for hands-on learning. It’s important that your preschooler has concrete, hands-on experiences before learning abstract concepts.
Practical life activities like self care, taking care of the environment, having control of movement as well as grace and courtesy helps your child develop concentration, order, independence and coordination. Such activities that refine the senses give invaluable and indirect preparation for later academic learning.
Place toys and learning materials on low shelves as this allows your child the opportunity to choose his or her own work and repeat activities as often as possible. It’s also important that they have toys and learning materials that they are comfortable with using.
It’s crucial that you allow your child to develop an ever-increasing ability to concentrate so never interrupt kids when they’re playing or learning. Tests, competitions, rewards and punishments are not necessary. What is important is that your child develops a sense of satisfaction over work that is well done.
And orderly environment allows kids to develop mental order and intelligence so make sure that your child’s environment is as orderly and attractive as possible.
Don’t expect your child to automatically know and understand how to do something or to know the correct behavior without having it demonstrated first.
When you offer an activity, make sure that you check that one quality is isolated. For instance, it’s better if only the colour and not the shape is different when you’re introducing your child to colours. Whenever possible have instant feedback built into the activity so that there is a control of error.
Instilling these Montessori learning principles in your child’s early learning period will help your child to naturally develop a number of positive skills and traits that provide a strong foundation for life – skills and traits such as self-discipline, independence and love of learning.