Developed more than 100 years ago by Dr Maria Montessori, the benefits of the Montessori method of teaching and learning are innumerable, both at school and at home. The method is based on the belief that children can initiate and direct their own learning experiences. With sensitive adult's support, they can express their incredible potential within a carefully prepared environment.
Why should a parent decide to follow the principles of the Montessori method at home? The benefits of the Montessori method are many, some evidence in the short term, such as the positive effect on children's well-being and others that are expressed in the long term, such as preserving the innate desire of children to learn.
Let's see in detail what are the benefits of the Montessori method.
Emotional and mental well-being
Through the Montessori method, adults learn to understand children's needs and respond promptly. Growing up in an environment that values their uniqueness, surrounded by adults who respect and support them with kindness, children develop a positive self-image that directly reflects their emotional and mental well-being.
Harmony in the family
The Montessori method at home promotes the culture of listening and mutual respect, bringing harmony to the family. Traditional discipline is based on an adult's relationship of superiority over children and resorts to the use of punishments and rewards to impart discipline, causing anger in children and negatively influencing their parents' relationship. The Montessori method starts from the assumption that every behaviour, especially the negative ones, is motivated by a need that is not satisfied and focuses on finding solutions together, gently directing children towards behaviours deemed acceptable by the adult.
Development of self-esteem and independence
Children are born completely dependent on adults and are motivated by an innate desire to do things for themselves and become physically independent. The Montessori method recognizes and values this need, creating an environment, at home or at school, that allows children to dress, eat, wash, put on their shoes, use the potty on their own, and contribute to the housework. Doing things by themselves creates great satisfaction in children and supports the development of their self-esteem.
Development of self-discipline
Among the countless benefits of the Montessori method, this is often forgotten. Montessori dedicates many of her writings to the evolution of discipline and internal motivation. When we persuade children to follow the rules through punishments, rewards and bribes, we offer extrinsic motivations that lead children to base their choices on the adult's reactions or the possibility of obtaining a reward. The Montessori method at home encourages children, on the one hand, to take responsibility for their actions and to make amends and, on the other hand, guides the parents in seeking solutions together with the children.
Sense of dignity and belonging
The Montessori method starts from an assumption of respect towards children and encourages parents to include them and make them protagonists of everyday life at home. Involving the children in arranging, preparing the table, clearing out, emptying the washing machine and all the activities called "practical life" help children feel valued and find their own place in the world.
Improvement of creativity, curiosity and originality of ideas
The Montessori method supports children to discover for themselves rather than passing on information, stimulating their curiosity, creativity and the ability to solve problems independently.
The ability to concentrate is fundamental to learning and one of the most valuable benefits of the Montessori method on cognitive development. We can support children's ability to concentrate by allowing them to engage in an activity chosen autonomously for as long as necessary.