What do you already know about Montessori?
Do you know much about Montessori? A lot of people have come across the word, and some of the principles, but there are far less of us who offer the full AMI Montessori package.
I’d like to dispel a few myths about Montessori, based on some comments made by friends and families I’ve worked with, and explain more about what I do, and why I do it.
What is ‘authentic’ Montessori?
A truly authentic Montessori environment encompasses the fundamental principles of the discipline, including respect, exploration and freedom. An AMI Montessori teacher has been thoroughly trained to guide children towards productive and challenging experiences.
What’s the difference between AMI Montessori and other branches of Montessori?
When Dr Maria Montessori first began training teachers, many people took bits and pieces of the practice, and started to use them in a variety of ways. AMI Montessori goes back to the founding principles, and combines every single aspect of the practice to ensure that children get the most out of their experiences.
Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) was founded in 1929 to maintain the integrity of her life’s work and to ensure that it would be perpetuated after her death (Maria Montessori Timeline).
I’ve heard that Montessori is just letting children do whatever they want…
That’s certainly not the way I do it! Because I have been trained in the AMI Montessori method, I am able to properly guide children towards beneficial activities.
It is true that Montessori is about giving children a choice, treating them as individuals, and encouraging them to explore and make their own mistakes and observations. But, and this is important, it is not about letting them run riot. In fact respect for others, grace and compassion are all key parts of what we do.
Dr. Montessori learned, as I learned, and as every teacher must learn, that only through freedom can individuals develop self control, self dependence, will power and initiative. There is no education except self-education. There is no effective discipline except self-discipline. All that parents and teachers can do for the child is to surround him with right conditions. He will do the rest; and the things he will do for himself are the only things that really count in his education. (Helen Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan Macy)
Why should I look into Montessori experiences for my child?
Montessori promotes hands on, collaborative learning that gives children a real sense of joy in learning – something that will go a long way for their future and enables them to develop the capacity to become happy and fulfilled adults. Our goal for education is to create a peaceful world with respect, love and acceptance of everyone.
Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war. (Maria Montessori)
Who attributes their success to attending a Montessori school?
Nobel Laureate author Gabriel Garcia Marquez: I do not believe there is a method better than Montessori for making children sensitive to the beauties of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life.
Julia Child: credited the Montessori method with developing within her an innate curiosity to learn everything she could about what she loved to do.
Anne Frank: enrolled as a student at a Montessori school in Amsterdam, shortly after her family arrived from Germany.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ mother reported: young Jeff would get so engrossed in his activities as a Montessori preschooler that his teachers would literally have to pick him up out of his chair to go to the next task.
Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page: credited their successful collaboration to their similar experiences and educational development at Montessori schools.
Princes William and Harry: attended a Montessori program at their prep school in London. Prince George also attended Westacre AMI Montessori school in Norfolk.