NOTE: This is the fifth guest post from mom blogger, Emma Lawson, for FertileBrains readers. Today, she is sharing some valuable insights into the Montessori Method of early childhood learning. This post is close to my heart as I have recently started homeschooling my son and reiterates my beliefs that children should be allowed to experiment and learn at their own pace. Please give it a read and don’t forget to share your views in the comments section below.
Neuroscience has seen rapid progress in the last few decades and some revolutionary discoveries have been made about the way our brains work. We now have insight into how our brains grow and develop from birth and even before birth. The general conclusion is that the early years of childhood are fundamental for the brain development, and it seems that the Montessori method of early education is the best approach since it addresses all the stages of development in the most effective way.
Dr. Maria Montessori was an Italian doctor and teacher who developed a specific approach to education by observing how children learned and how they interacted with their environment. She identified the first six years of a child’s life as the “Absorbent Mind” stage during which they absorbed information like sponges absorb liquids. Dr. Montessori’s approach from 100 years ago matches the results of modern brain research and helps little brains develop in the best possible ways. Here are some of the benefits of Montessori.
Children learn by experiencing
In this educational approach, children learn by experiencing things for themselves which turns out to be the correct way to let the synapses in the brain grow. Namely, neuroscience has found out that children’s brains grow rapidly until the age of two and they are completely malleable forming new brain connections or synapses according to the experiences the child is having. They learn by seeing, touching, feeling, smelling, and hearing things in the world around them and accept these experiences as reality.
Children learn at their own pace
One of the best things in the wonderful Montessori method is that it views the child as a whole being and an individual. Each child is different and learns at his or her own pace, without being forced to follow strict curricula and master skills they might not yet be sufficiently prepared for. The individualized approach does not force the brain to develop in a certain direction or at a certain speed, on the contrary: it adapts to each brain’s development. This has proven to be more effective and Montessori kids learn how to read and write before other traditionally educated kids.
Children learn according to their interests
Early childhood brain development is very much dependent on the outside stimuli: children are born with a big potential in the form of ‘empty’ brain space and it grows in areas that are stimulated from early childhood and shrinks in areas that are not. Since all children are naturally predisposed to enjoy some activities more than others, they learn by being able to choose their own activities. They are offered a wide selection of self-correcting learning materials, games, and tools, and they can choose whatever draws their attention the most thus stimulating and growing the parts of the brain that will be conduits for their biggest talents.
Montessori honors and caters to the individuality, uniqueness, and creativity of each child providing the space and means for the free development of children’s natural abilities and talents. It is the right combination of nature and nurture where children are supported to learn according to their own personalities, interests, preferences and at their own pace. Phases, when the brain is most absorbent to information, are well recognized and a wide selection of appropriate information is offered to children but not forced on them.
About Post Author
Emma Lawson is a busy mom to two wonderful boys. She is passionate about writing and her boys are her inspiration. She loves to explore, learn and share about parenting techniques. She is a regular contributor to High Style Life Website: http://highstylife.com.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this post are solely attributed to the guest post author. Unless explicitly stated in the post itself (with a FertileBrains watermark), the images used in the post are provided by the post author and have been used as such.