Children are astonishing in a sense that their minds are like an ever growing, expanding, and curious wonder. When parents think of education for their child, it is a surprise that education can start as soon as after birth! Even more surprising is that education can expand beyond the ABC’s and 123’s during the infant years! Education, such as the Montessori Method, provides an amazing wealth of education for life! Why wait until your child reaches the preschool or Kindergarten age before thinking about what type of future you want for your children?
Dr. Maria Montessori, creator of the Montessori Method, refers the young child’s mind like a sponge, also known as the Absorbent Mind. Because the young child’s brains, especially during the infancy years, are very much like a sponge, he or she effortlessly absorbs information and feedback all around them. Children begin to gain an understanding of the world, develop themselves, and bring out their spirit as a result.
The Montessori Method can be applied almost immediately! Whether your family decides to start by going to a Montessori School that has a Montessori infant program, or implementing Montessori at home, it is beneficial to the development of your child as a whole. What does that mean, to “development of the child as a whole”? Well, let’s first think about the word, “education”. What is the purpose of “education”? Most parents would agree that it is supposed to teach children knowledge applicable to thrive in our society. So, what’s the point of “educating” a baby?
It is unfortunate, yet not uncommon, that some adults would question and underestimate the capabilities of an infant. When in actuality, given the right environment, materials, and support, babies develop intelligence that will help them blossom in creating an understanding of how the world works while simultaneously nurturing their independence and confidence.
The Montessori approach towards educating children takes into account their physical, social, emotional and cognitive growth. It is understood that not everyone learns at the same pace or rates as other, which is why it is important to follow the child as respected unique individuals. The earlier children are supported in their development by the environment and adults, the more sure they are of themselves to pursue their interests and explore their curiosity freely! This surely assists the child’s progression in growth as a whole.
The earlier children begin feeling supported through their development in Montessori, whether it is at school or home, the bigger the difference it will make in the young child’s life. There are many things parents can do to at home to add a little bit of Montessori at home! I’m sure that once we try these few adjustments, you will see their spirit of unique individuality emerge! Let’s welcome it!
Let’s give this a try:
This is the most important reminder for parents: Rescue is robbery. It is ok for mistakes to happen. It’s actually a big part of learning! Often times parents would do things for the child, rather than allowing them time or practice to develop mastery. If he is trying to feed himself, let him try it out. He might miss his mouth, or food will spill onto his clothes or the ground. But just remember, give him time, he will get the spoon to his mouth!
Let her touch it! During the infancy years, children are learning and absorbing the world using their sense of sight, touch, taste, hearing and smell. Give them something they can explore using their senses, and a couple other objects so they can discriminate and formulate their own observations of what they are experiencing.
Never too early for some responsibilities! Children, even the very young child develop a sense of independence and confidence when they feel they can contribute to the community with using their practical life skills. Feel free to give them a job that is important such as watering the plants, and at the same time, chat with them on what they are doing is not only helping the plants grow, but adds beauty to your home. They’ll love feeling they like they are helping and in turn will want to do more for themselves!
Montessori education is an education for life. Infant and early toddler aged children are very capable individuals, and if given the right environment can surprise you!
-Written by Milinh Ha Villanueva