If you haven’t seen the 12-minute video Montessori: Planting the Seeds of Learning by the Montessori Foundation, I highly recommend watching it. If you’ve seen it before, I recommend watching it again.
In the video, Tim Seldin, president of the Montessori Foundation and author of How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way, and other Montessorians give insight into Montessori philosophy. The video also shows children at work in a Montessori school – something I always love to watch.
This video is great if you’re thinking about Montessori education for your child, are the parent of a Montessori student, or want ideas for teaching and/or helping your child at home. Here are some of the Montessori principles highlighted in the video:
- “The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which we can sow the seeds of learning.” Maria Montesori
- “By allowing children to develop a meaningful degree of independence and self-discipline, Montessori sets a pattern for a lifetime of good work habits and a sense of responsibility.” (narrator)
- “People call Montessori an education for life.” (Tim Seldin)
- “There is an atmosphere of kindness and respect in which children discover that they are capable and independent human beings.” (narrator)
- Children have the freedom to choose materials from open shelves.
- Children work at their own pace.
- Classrooms often extend to the outdoors.
- Children learn to read phonetically.
- “Students who learn math by rote often have no real understanding or ability to put their skills to use in everyday life. Montessori students use hands-on learning materials that make abstract concepts clear and concrete.” (narrator)
- There’s a mixed age group and children serve as tutors: “Younger children experience the daily stimulation of older role models, who in turn blossom in the responsibilities of leadership.” (narrator)
- “The key to success for children is the preparation of the environment and the setting of clear ground rules which the children internalize.” (Mary Conroy, Montessori Educator)
- “In an atmosphere of self-directed work, children compete only with themselves and learn not to be afraid of making mistakes.” (narrator)
- “These children present themselves in the world with a passion for learning. They haven’t lost it.” (Tim Seldin)
Here are just a few of the activities shown in the video that you can apply at home:
- Make lots of practical life activities available, such as transferring water with a sponge, cleaning windows with a squeegee, and caring for plants and animals.
- Allow your child to prepare and clean up his or her own snack.
- Punching out shapes using a large push pin with a carpet piece underneath is a popular activity in Montessori schools and can be used for any shape, including map shapes. UPDATE: Even though Montessori schools and homeschools have been using push pins for pin punching for years, I think it’s time to change. Please read this sad post and consider an alternative to push pins, such as Montessori Services’ wood handled puncher.
- You can create an activity in which your child feels and identifies geometric solids.
- Study history and world cultures.
What was your favorite part of the video?