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The Role of a Montessori Parent as a Teacher

The Role of a Montessori Parent as a Teacher

A parent in the Montessori lifestyle  plays an important role in their child’s education. They can help to guide their children through each stage of the Montessori education system, from birth to 6 years old, and beyond that into adolescence and adulthood. The goal of Montessori education is to provide your kid with all the tools they need to function independently and excel in society as they grow older. If you’re curious about the ways you can help your little one  succeed at this early age, this article can offer insight into how you can play your part as a parent in the Montessori environment.

Montessori has always acknowledged the profound influence that parents have on their children. The key to success in Montessori education is to build strong families, where each member takes full responsibility and participates equally in the education of his or her youngsters. 

Traditional and non-traditional education, education at home and at school 

We are living in an era of constant change. Many aspects of our life have changed – our lifestyle, the way we get information, how we communicate with each other, our relationships with other people and organizations. The role of parents has also changed. Parenting is not only about delivering love to your child; it is a challenging process with serious consequences. Today’s modern parents need to be more aware of the changing needs and challenges their children are facing than ever before. 

The parent’s participation in the child’s education is vital and can take many forms. As a parent you are responsible for your kid’s education, and as such you play a key role in the development of their confidence and self-esteem.

The parent’s role in a Montessori class is to be an active participant in their education. This is accomplished through observation, knowledge of principles and practices, and supportive involvement in home and classroom environments. 

The family has an amazing power to help their little one develop into a well-rounded adult.  Your child’s education is not just the responsibility of their teachers. You have an incredibly important role to play, too! As a parent, you can help the class go more smoothly at home by:

  • studying the methods and ways Montessori schools work,
  • attending events like parent group workshops and open houses so that you understand what happens in your child’s classroom,
  • talking to your kid about school and their experiences as much as possible,
  • practicing with him/her at home every day (for example, art projects),
  • learning how to use materials that are used in school and encouraging them to do so too,
  • helping them integrate different subject areas (for example, prepare a food pattern related to geography),
  • creating a safe environment where they can interact with other children in the neighborhood.

Montessori education at home from an early age

Montessori education is based on the philosophy that children learn best through play. As a parent, you can create a Montessori-inspired learning environment at home by setting up toddler-friendly areas with developmentally appropriate materials. You can also use everyday activities as opportunities to guide your child's learning. By communicating with your kid and observing their interests, you can better support their development and help them learn in ways that are natural for them. 

Analyzing what’s going on in Montessori education at home, we can see that communication is a crucial element of an educational environment. It’s what guides the toddler according to her needs and the play activities they  choose. In the beginning, when the child is learning how to communicate with those around them, a parent should first use their own voice as a guide. The adult works as a directress for the kid and stands next to them providing protective love and guidance. As the little one  grows, however, so does their ability for self-direction. Through observing moments like this (when an adult encourages another to sit quietly in thier chair or work on a task independently), we learn that it’s communication that allows children to experience success through their willingness or reluctance to communicate with others later on in life. 

The Montessori philosophy is to provide a benevolent environment that allows the toddlers’  natural curiosity, independent exploration and creativity to flourish. This is done through providing a challenging environment that fosters independence as well as discovery and play. The teacher’s role is to guide the child’s learning by verbal instruction, example and observation to help him or her notice  and absorb information through experiences. Children learn best when they are allowed to be active participants in their own education; they learn best when they are allowed to interact with materials around them according to their own needs and desires. 

Principles of the Montessori education 

Montessori education is based on the belief that all children are born with the potential to be successful, happy, and fulfilled human beings. The role of the parent as a teacher is to provide an environment that nurtures and supports each child's natural development. In order to do this, Montessori parents must adhere to certain principles, such as respect for the kids individual needs and abilities, trust in their innate ability to learn, and patience. As teachers, Montessori parents use educational materials that present concepts clearly and at the appropriate developmental level. They also encourage their children to explore freely by giving them the freedom to choose what they want to do or what they want to play with without direct instruction or interference. 

Learning is as natural as breathing to children. In the magic space of a Montessori classroom, this little, hungry for knowledge, people are offered physical and learning materials that capture their inner drive to learn. 

The principles of Montessori education are focused on the importance of the child. The environment is prepared to support the toddler’s learning with materials and activities for children to explore that help engage their senses and guide them toward understanding. Diverse materials and opportunities for kids to learn independently are offered so they can discover their own interests and develop confidence.

Taking Care of the Child 

​​Montessori teachers recognize that children have unique needs and interests, and respect their freedom to choose what they do. They believe that every little one is capable of independent work and exercise, and is therefore not controlled or directed by an authority figure such as a teacher. 

Montessori’s philosophy is rooted in a deep respect for children and the importance of their freedom. This manifests itself in five principles that govern the relationships between educator and toddler:

  1. an atmosphere of freedom allows students to move naturally and be spontaneous,
  2. the use of materials that interest kids and let them practice whatever they want whenever they want helps them develop their interests,
  3.  an environment that allows toddlers  to work at their own pace;
  4.  correction is essential but never harsh and always gentle,
  5.  teachers shouldn’t just operate with facts and share them without any second thought, but instead lead children to discover knowledge on their own. 

They absorb everything like a sponge

In the first half of life, children rapidly develop an understanding of their culture and their world. It’s critical that we recognize the importance of this period and provide them with an environment where they can thrive. 

The absorbent mind is a unique stage of development, from birth to the age of six, when your little one has the ability to quickly learn everything from language, math and communication skills, to understanding adult behavior and culture. These foundational learnings will help them form the basis for their future success – which you can help shape by exposing them to a rich environment filled with language and opportunities. 

Sensitive periods 

Children are capable of learning specific knowledge areas and skills at specific times in their development. These periods of intense focus, repetition and concentration, give them the opportunity to become experts in their chosen field. Dr. Maria Montessori observed that children pass through these critical stages around age 4-5 years old. She termed them ‘sensitive periods,’ which essentially describe windows of opportunity for learning. The most critical aspect of teaching during sensitive periods is to present new experiences in a way that captures the child’s attention and drives them to explore and learn. 

Supporting kids in all areas 

Montessori education is different from other educational models because it is designed to embrace all aspects of your toddler’s development, from the physical and emotional to their intellectual, social, and cultural development. The curriculum not only covers language and math, but also practical life, sensorial and culture. All aspects of children's development are intertwined and viewed as equally important. 

Learning on an individual basis 

Montessori learning programs are tailored to each kid based on their unique stage of development, interests, and needs. The Montessori materials are used to present lessons to each youngster individually based on their academic progress. Children in Montessori education have a more positive learning environment and grow in a more rounded cognitive way. They are supported by educators as they progress through the curriculum. 

Moving freely and choosing what to do 

With Montessori education, every child's passions, dreams, and curiosities are taken into account and capitalized on. Children are encouraged to explore their environment and learn through hands-on experience in a non-threatening environment. The Montessori method is largely active, individualistic, often self-correcting, and tailored to the learning needs and interests of every little one. 

Motivation based on inner interests 

Children learn best when they are rewarded for the process of learning. For example, through hands-on activities and one-on-one instruction, toddlers will have the opportunity to practice the skills they need to master reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. Not every little one is responsive to external rewards like gold stars and stickers. Some of them might even lose their motivation because of these kinds of praise. Those children who are intrinsically motivated are better at achieving their objectives than those who need outside help in order to focus. 

To become independent 

​​The ultimate goal of Montessori education is to grow up your little one to be an independent person. Children learn to do and think for themselves in the provided environment that supports their independence. When granting them this freedom, toddlers are empowered to create their own knowledge and reasoning skills. Independence will naturally and quickly come into their lives- after all, children are born learners who thrive on being active and engaged in learning activities.

How to be a parent-teacher in Montessori environment 

The Montessori parent has a unique role in the Montessori education. As a parent, you are both a student and a teacher. You are there to learn alongside with your child, and to support and guide them in their learning. As a teacher, you help create an environment that will encourage curiosity and exploration. You also play an important role in modeling independence, responsibility, good habits and community involvement for your little ones. 

You need to be able to communicate well with other parents and teachers, so you all can work together to provide toddlers  with the best learning environment possible. Working together can help children become better learners because they get two perspectives on how something should be done. Communication is vital between parents and teachers because it helps each side to know what the other needs. Parents and teachers also play different roles in education – parents guide children through learning while teachers instruct kids to learn independently. 

Teachers' primary job is to educate the youth; however, this task becomes more difficult when children have unsupportive parents at home. But adult’s input should not replace teachers' instruction, but rather supplement it by providing another point of view. When people take time to listen and understand one another's needs, the benefits to the environment and especially for toddlers are better than those who do not work together. 

As a parent, you play an important role in your child's education. You are your little one’s first and the best teacher, and you need to provide them with a safe and supportive learning environment. A parent's role using Montessori methods can be challenging. It is important to remember to love your children and treat them with patience and understanding. This can be difficult at times, but it is essential for their development. 

As they grow, you will continue to be their guide, helping them to learn and grow into responsible adults. Helping your toddler learn through play is essential for establishing a better environment for developing later on. The role of a Montessori parent as a teacher is to create the right space for learning and help to guide children through playtime. It can also be fun for adults who may not have had that opportunity in school!

You…

…should focus on encouraging this growth by being present and supportive. Even if your child doesn't succeed at something or needs more attention than another one, you should never compare them to others because each kid is different and deserves special care. You also need to try not to become frustrated if they don't understand what you are trying to teach them right away; instead, allow yourself some patience while they develop their skills so that they have a positive attitude about learning new things.

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