Montessori : A story of learning, freedom and parenthood
"Without freedom, it is impossible for the personality to develop fully. Freedom is the key to the whole process, and the first step is when the individual is able to act without the help of others and becomes aware of himself as an autonomous being.
- Maria Montessori -
The freedom to learn
The freedom and individuality of the child are at the heart of the Montessori method. Independence and fulfillment are gradually acquired through discoveries and experimentations. To learn, the child must explore on his own in a setting suitable to his good development. In doing so, the child will learn effectively and at his own pace. But not without conditions!
A child framed
"Letting the child do only what he wants while he has not yet developed any control capacity is a betrayal of freedom."
- Maria Montessori -
Freedom is certainly a primordial notion, but it must be acquired over the years, until emancipation occurs in adulthood. Indeed, during play and learning times, the child must not do everything and anything. It is up to the parent (or supervisor) to create a calm, harmonious and safe environment, favorable to the development of the child. Everything is within reach of the child, allowing him to evolve in space according to his desires, in perfect autonomy. The adult is present, but must respect the child's personality, his own space and his own pace.
The adult as a guide
In this context, the parent must of course be present. First for obvious security reasons. But also because the child, from an early age, is a real sponge ! The latter also learns from adults around him, reproducing gestures, attitudes and mimicry. By slow and methodical actions, the adult will allow the child to integrate new skills more easily.
Thus, the adult must observe and guide the child, without imposing himself. Very often, our fault as a parent is to always wanting to everything for him instead of letting the child learn on his own. However, the adult must absolutely contain himself, to intervene only when it is necessary.