Maria Montessori was Italy’s first female doctor, and her legacy is Montessori schools, small private educational establishments that work quite differently from conventional schools. Instead of rows of desks, children are encouraged to play or study subjects they choose, while a qualified teacher looks on, and guides where necessary. A focus is given to creativity, and computers are not used for several years.
However, children soon catch up (proving there is no need to put 5-year olds on laptops). Montessori children have a better than average university education level, and many go on to become teachers. This could be due to the fact that classes are often made up of different age groups, so older children coach younger ones. As Montessori schools are private (and expensive), here are some useful resources to take their knowledge, to apply it to your own children.
- How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way is a practical book for parents with children age 0 to 6, from the President of the Montessori Foundation, based in methods used in schools. It includes tips on children’s use of digital media, along with covering a child’s first steps in reading, writing and mathematics. Children can then discover the world at their own pace, fostering independence.
- The Book of Montessori Coordination & Lifeskills is a fun practical book for children age 2 and up, to develop a greater understanding of the world, based on sound principles of early childhood development. Children will learn over 70 home activities to equip them for life, with the help and support of loved ones. Author Maja Pitamic has taught young children for many years, and holds degrees in Art History & Montessori Teacher Training.
- The Montessori Toddler can help to turn life with a ‘terrible two’ into a mutually rich and rewarding time of curiosity, learning, respect and discovery. It features 100s of practical ideas including 5 principles for feeding your child’s natural curiosity, including ‘trust in the child’ and ‘fostering a sense of wonder’. Learn to cultivate daily routines with ease like brushing teeth, toilet-training, dealing with siblings, losing the dummy. Includes creative Montessori activities for your 1 to 3 year old.
- The Montessori Baby is a parent’s guide to raising a baby in the style of this popular form of child-rearing. Co-authored by a Montessori expert with an expert in infant care & education, this book shows how parents can interact with babies in ways to assist development, and foster a respectful relationship.
Establishing lasting peace is the work of education. All politics can do, is keep us out of war. Maria Montessori