When my bundle of joy started exploring the world around him, it became evident that he looked at this world differently from the way I was used to seeing it. Mundane things that we feel unworthy of our attention would seem attractive to my little boy. His beautiful, brown eyes became bigger out of wonder, and little arms and tiny feet would find their way to the source of curiosity. As a result, my feet and mind raised alike. I would be amazed at his ability to learn things naturally. Albeit, after some struggle. Time flies, and before I knew it my curious, little boy was ready for school. Suggestions poured in from near and dear ones about the kind of schooling and curriculum that would benefit the child. A few of them suggested the Montessori method of learning and I am so glad they did.
Upon doing a bit of personal research, I learnt that the Montessori method of learning revolves around a child’s natural way of learning things. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my son’s future classroom will be a place of learning where his experience and interaction with the Montessori environment would play a pivotal role.
Unlike a regular school, a Montessori classroom or environment is devoid of desks, benches and even a black board. In the environment, children sit on mats and work with Montessori material of their choice. Doesn’t it sound refreshing? Contrary to most people’s opinion that Montessori method is all ‘play’, Montessori method is a highly disciplined method of learning. The discipline is not on the lines of conventional idea of discipline where children sit quietly with fingers on their lips and with rapt attention towards the board, but the discipline that is integral to learning and absorbing knowledge.
To give you an example, one day when I visited a friend’s house, I noticed that my son removed his shoes, paired them together and kept it neatly along with the other pairs of shoes in the room. This small action made my heart swell with pride and joy alike. When I asked him if his daddy had taught him to do that, he said he had learnt it at school. The method of learning at his school was moulding him into an independent individual. As a child becomes more independent at managing his/her personal chores, there is a surge in their level of confidence and self-worth.
However, many parents seem to think that Montessori method is about playing with ‘toys’. In a Montessori environment children work with Montessori material, which have been scientifically designed to enhance fine and gross motor skills. Various activities such as rolling mats, folding cloth, stringing beads may seem like games to us, but these activities prepare them to handle complex day to day activities and improves spatial intelligence. The impetus is given on methodically and systematically pursuing the goal of holistic growth of a child.
Among many things, the art of parenting involves making difficult choices and one of the most difficult yet imperative decision to be made is that of schooling. I am glad I chose the Montessori method of learning to enable my precious child bloom into a confident, independent and knowledgeable individual, and I hope you would too.