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Saturday, 6 June 2020

Moving towards Montessori: Our Journey

I have to admit, for me, the Montessori approach to play is what first stood out to me. Not knowing much about it, I decided to dig a little deeper. I have been researching and learning about the method for some time now and I have to say, the more I learn the more I fall in love with it! I was so inspired by everything it offers, and I realised I already practiced some of the key principles and those I didn't really resonated with me. 


I'm not going to explain everything about the Montessori approach here, firstly, I'm not qualified, and secondly, there is so much to it, I don't think it could be explained in one blog post. This post is about our journey and how and why we are starting to use the methods in our daily routines. If you are interested in learning about the method, I suggest research, a whole lot of research. I have listed some resources at the end of the post.

As mentioned above, the approach is play is what drew me in, and this is what gets the most 'attention' on social media, and while it is a big part of the Montessori method, there is so much more to it. More than I imagined. Its all in the way we see our children, how we talk to them, and how we follow their lead. The method teaches us how to see things from their eyes, it helps us to see things the way they do, in turn helping us understand them better.
Everything is based on learning and every activity has a purpose, children are constantly learning, without even trying, they take everything in. And each child is unique and develops in their own way, one child will enjoy one thing and another child will enjoy another. The Montessori method teaches us as parents how to follow our child, understand what they enjoy, what 'sensitive period' they are in and this in turn, allows each child to develop in their own way, and in a way they will enjoy. We don't teach them, they learn themselves, from what we set up from behind the scene. 

Toddlers are very independent and have a great sense of wanting to do things for them selves. I know I often hear Lake say 'Me do it.' It wasn't until I learnt about the Montessori method that I learnt how to embrace this and let her do things for herself. She wants to do them herself, so now I dedicate a lot of time into setting things up for her so she can do things for herself and she loves it. And I love to see the sense of satisfaction on her face when she does.

This is why I love the 'practical life' aspects of the method. After observing Lake I realised the main thing she was interested in doing, is what I was doing. Now she loves to help, and yes, it takes longer to set things up to allow her to help, but the benefits definitely out weigh this. Its amazing to see her learn and grow.
I love setting up the activities just as much as Lake loves doing them, it allows me to be creative. We have set up a Montessori shelf in our play nook and started our journey. I have created a range of activities on the shelf and will continue to observe how Lake gets on with each and adapt accordingly. We are new so I fully expect to be switching these up regularly as I learn more about Lake.
We have created little spots in our home, set up just for Lake. Already these have helped Lake start to establish a 'routine,' she knows where they are and she know she can access them herself. This is the beginning of our journey and I have literally never been so excited...

Find Resources:
As mentioned I'm not qualified to teach about the method but I hope this has inspired someone to do their own research. Here's a few to help you get started...

Pinterest is your best friend here, not only full of activity ideas but so many great links to resources. 

Books...
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