M is one of my favorite letters … it includes both mom and Montessori. Two of my most meaningful and important roles in life have come from becoming a mom and making Montessori education a huge part of my life! I’ve created a word art freebie for “M is for Montessori.” To download the “M is for Montessori” word art (without watermark), click here, then right click on the image and choose “Save Picture As . . .”
M is for Maria Montessori
M is for Maria Montessori (1870-1952), the first female physician in Italy, who founded a system of education based on observation of and respect for the child.
Dr. Montessori started the first Montessori school in a housing project in Rome in 1907, calling it “Casa dei Bambini” or Children’s House. Today, Montessori schools can be found throughout the world. There are both public and private Montessori schools. While Montessori preschools are most common, Montessori schools can go through high school.
M is for Montessori Principles
The most important principle you’ll hear from Montessori philosophy is one that you can use throughout your child’s life: follow the child. “Help me to do it by myself” is another of the most commonly heard– and important – principles from Montessori education.
Many Montessori principles can be applied to any preschool situation, whether it’s at home or in a school. Parents can create a Montessori-friendly home if their child attends a Montessori school, any other type of school, or is homeschooled.
Some Montessori principles that can be applied anywhere:
- Follow the child.
- Respect and encourage the child.
- Give freedom of movement (as long as children aren’t in danger or misusing that freedom).
- Encourage independence and decision-making.
- Provide as many opportunities for hands-on learning as possible.
- Emphasize practical life (daily living) and sensorial activities during the preschool years.
- Prepare and maintain an orderly and attractive environment.
- Provide child-size materials and real child-size tools. Low shelves with materials on trays and child-size tables and chairs are important features of Montessori early-childhood education.
- Don’t interrupt a child’s work cycle. Allow children to choose their activities and work uninterrupted to develop an ever-increasing ability to concentrate.
- Demonstrate how to do activities.
- Isolate the difficulty in an activity whenever possible. For example, when introducing colors, have materials that vary in color but not shape or size.
M is for Montessori Method of Education
Montessori as a method of education can be used in homeschools as well as Montessori schools, and elements can be used in other school environments.
Anyone who has young children or works with young children can relate to Maria Montessori’s words:
“The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age six; for that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement, is being formed. . . . Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be.”
Cylinder Block image for word art by Hificonic imagery.
Maria Montessori photo from Wikimedia Commons.