Dr. Montessori’s focus on the “whole child” led her to develop a very different sort of school from the traditional teacher-centered classroom. To emphasize this difference, she named her first school the “Casa dei Bambini”or the “Children’s House.”
Children are born with self-motivation, creativity and tons of love. If we are able to hold ourselves back and watch them blossom, they will surprise us all with their beauty, ingenuity and innocence. However, if we ignore these qualities in our children, and let them know how we think they should bloom, they will never be good enough for us, or for themselves. In traditional education facilities the child is shown what he/she should become in order to succeed. By doing this, we make the process external from the student, dependent on others and causing them to be disempowered instead of empowered by their own discovery, increasing their learning AND self worth with each tiny success. In Montessori Schools, through careful observation and the use of the Montessori environment (prepared to meet the needs of a child’s internal development), we are shown who the child is, not the other way around! In this way, our children can grow to their full potential, and will have the chance to amaze all of us with their fantastically, original qualities! It is much better to watch a flower take its time and blossom, than to kill the flower by rushing it and guiding the way it blooms. Most importantly, we must give our children the kind of love that allows them to be themselves.
The Montessori classroom is not the domain of the adults forcing agenda ; it is, instead, a carefully prepared environment designed to facilitate the development of the children’s independence and sense of personal empowerment. This is a children’s community. They move freely within it, selecting work that captures their interest. In a very real sense, even very small children are responsible for the care of their own child-sized environment. When they are hungry, they prepare their own snacks and drinks. They go to the bathroom without assistance. When something spills, they help each other carefully clean up.
Five generations of parents have been amazed to see small children in Montessori classrooms cut raw fruits and vegetables, sweep and dust, carry pitchers of water, and pour liquids with barely a drop spilled. The children normally go about their work so calmly and purposely that it is clear to even the casual observer that they are the masters in this place: The “Children’s House.”
The Montessori method allows your child to learn the way they learn best and easiest – by doing things themselves. Basically, they learn how to teach themselves. Within certain limits, your child can choose work that appeals to their own inner interests. The child exercises their sense of freedom and spontaneity; they feel joy and enthusiasm in learning because they are doing what they want to do instead of what someone else tells them they must do. Gradually, the child builds a strong sense of independence and self-confidence as their skills increase. The Montessori method is built on your child’s natural love of learning and instills a life-long motivation for continuous learning. It helps your child remain in touch with their natural growth and development and avoids forcing an individual to meet requirements of others. It’s Individualized whole child learning.