Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My interest in Montessori

The first time I heard of Montessori was in May 2009. We had just moved house and I was frantically trying to find a new daycare centre for my son. There was a new centre that had recently opened not far from our new home, however the only places they still had availability in was in the Montessori stream. I took the spot and asked them to keep my name on the waiting list for 'normal' daycare just in case I decided that Montessori was not for us.

I've never looked back.

Before discovering Montessori, I'd always thought of child care as somewhere to send my child while I was at work, where he would be well looked after and kept entertained. I never really thought about the education aspect and what I expected him to be learning in this environment. However, once he started at the Montessori centre, I decided I had better find out exactly what it was so I could be sure it was something I was comfortable sending him to. In a very basic description, Montessori can be explained as a method of education that is based on the principles drawn from the natural development of a child. These include practical life, sensorial, mathematics, language and culture. It aims to teach children skills at particular points of their development (referred to as sensitive periods...more about that next week!).

The more I learned about the system and how a child's naturally curious nature is actively cultivated to explore different situations to encourage learning, the more I was certain I had chosen the right path for my children's education. Montessori claims to teach children to love learning and that is a philosophy I want to give to my children. When attending school myself, I was not a bad student, but I certainly did not particularly enjoy learning, only doing the bare necessity to get by. It is only now that I'm older I can see the value in really wanting to learn. Being able to provide a great foundation for learning is something I feel very passionate about providing for my children. Having now been exposed to Montessori, I am no longer comfortable with the thought of the mainstream education system. While the children still need to learn the same things, pass the same tests, it is the way in which they learn how to achieve these things that differs.

I definitely feel that Montessori has opened my eyes to the possibilities that are before my children and has given me the opportunity to really make a positive and valuable contribution to their education.

No comments:

Post a Comment