The founder of Amazon. Both founders of Google. Princes William and Harry. Oh and then there’s Beyoncé. Puff Daddy. Helen Hunt. Montessori teaching has some high-profile graduates. And there will be many more. It’s an approach to teaching that aims to unfold rather than mould a child’s future. What could be more important during those crucial early years?
Here are some of the key benefits of Montessori teaching.
It makes children more responsible
In case we missed something, being a kid is all about having fun. But that doesn’t mean children can’t learn responsibility. In fact it’s a fundamental part of Montessori teaching.
Children decide what learning materials to engage with. They tidy up after themselves.
They pour their own drinks and peel their own fruit. It’s a cross between autonomy and calm guidance – and children love it! Their respect for other people and interest in the world around them blossoms.
It kick-starts cognitive skills
We are yet to find a child who doesn’t love Montessori’s self-teaching activities. They are divided six ‘subject areas’: maths, literacy, creative, cultural, sensorial and practical life. With maths and language especially, Montessori seeks to illuminate abstract concepts and kick-start cognitive development through play. It’s why Montessor nurseries are such a fabulous precursor for primary school.
It transforms confidence
When children are given the freedom to make their own choices, they learn to think independently. They develop initiative. And with Montessori, little ones are taught to take pleasure in whatever they accomplish – however young they are. It’s why Montessori is such a potent way to build your child’s self-esteem and confidence.
It boosts motor skills
Tactile learning is a big part of Montessori teaching.
A mix of materials of all different shapes and sizes help to refine movement, balance, dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Many materials require children to master movements such as a pincer-grip – meaning skills such as holding a pen or a paintbrush become far easier for tiny hands.
It improves focus
Kids’ toys are great. But some are incredibly over-stimulating. That’s not always ideal when learning is concerned.
Montessori materials focus on isolating one sense at time to boost concentration and focus – precious commodities in the modern world.
It’s backed by research
A growing wave of research is beginning to support what Montessori teachers see on a daily basis: transformative learning. For example, phonics is now widely accepted as the best way to develop child literacy – a practice that Montessori teachers have been achieving remarkable results with for over 100 years.
It’s professionally audited
There’s no two ways about it. As a parent you deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing your child is safe and well looked after in a professional environment. All Montessori nurseries and schools are assessed to the same Ofsted and HMI standards as regular schools – and routinely exceed the standards required.
It’s not revolutionary
There are an awful lot of websites out there that cast Montessori as some kind of revolutionary learning approach. You could be forgiven for thinking that it’s nothing more than a new age fad. The truth is that children have been benefitting from Montessori teaching from as far back as 1907, when the movement was developed and pioneered by its namesake Maria Montessori.
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