To people with no prior knowledge of Montessori education, it may seem strange that I have set up my whole house to reflect Montessori values. Many of the things we do that are Montessori are different from the mainstream culture of raising children in the U.S. — we use floor beds instead of cribs, playthings are called “works,” and our children do many things for themselves that are usually done by adults. Why be different? Why Montessori?
I was first introduced to Montessori education when I graduated from college and needed a job. I knew I wanted to teach. I thought I would spend a few years teaching at the elementary level in private schools before going to graduate school. A Montessori school hired me as a toddler teacher, and my entire future changed.
After two years as a toddler teacher, I decided to complete my AMS certification as a Montessori Infant and Toddler Teacher. I had seen all of the benefits of the Montessori method. It just made sense. Montessori education is education for the whole child — not just academics. It is based upon years of observation, and teachers must observe their students in order to develop curricula that is most beneficial to them. Independence is valued. It is about allowing the child to do for himself all that he is able to do. My job as a teacher was to set up the classroom environment in such a way that my students’ greatest potentials could be realized.
When I had my own children, it never even occurred to me to follow the mainstream child-rearing practices. I’ve seen the Montessori method work. I believe it is the best. Of course I would want the best for my own children. I quickly “trained” my husband, and we dove right in. Montessori became not just a form of education, but a lifestyle for our household, and my children are thriving in it.
Why Montessori? Why not Montessori?
Still have questions? Check out my post on Frequently Asked Questions About Montessori at Home.