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5 Things Montessori Newbies Should Know

I'm I feel so lucky to have discovered Montessori, and even luckier that I've been able to incorporate it into our home while our children are still young. There's so much I've learned about Montessori and so much that I still have to learn. I'm not sure I'll ever feel like we have a perfect environment. I have, however, learned a thing or two over these years of study. And, I want to pass them on to anyone just discovering the joys of Montessori themselves. So, here are 5 things Montessori newbies should know.

If you are just starting to learn about Montessori, it can feel overwhelming. But, here are 5 things that Montessori newbies should know!

Montessori is not about the "things." 

One of the first things that attracted me to Montessori was all the beautiful little work trays. I was a bored mom with a bored kid looking for things to keep us busy and this seemed to fit the bill. The beauty of the materials and the quality of Montessori friendly toys really sucks you in, but it's not what is important. That is secondary to the shift in how you see children, how you treat children and how you educate your children. "Follow the child" is important. Observing and delaying your reaction is important. Treating the child as a whole being is important. The things come next. 

Following the child doesn't mean there are no limits. 

While Montessorians are famous for reminding the world that we must follow the child, this does not mean we need to follow the child as he or she runs off a cliff. In the words of Maria Montessori, "To let the child do as he likes when he has not developed any powers of control is to betray the idea of freedom." In other words, Montessori environments need limits, and those limits need to be set by you. 

If you are just starting to learn about Montessori, it can feel overwhelming. But, here are 5 things that Montessori newbies should know!

It's not always about learning. But, it's a lifestyle. 

While Montessori started in an academic setting, it has become so much more than this. Montessori is not about having children that are constantly doing academic work. Again to quote Montessori, "Play is the work of the child." Montessori in a school is different than Montessori in a home. The attitude towards children is the same, but children need play as much as they need academics. Children should not be pushed to pursue academics at all times, especially before they are ready. 


Montessori children are {kinda} different, but not perfect. 

I think Montessori children can sometimes be more independent, detail orientated and observant. I think they also often have a beautiful cooperative nature to them. But, they are just like other children. Blogging and the internet has made it easy to just see snapshots of children at their best. But, remember Montessori children have energy, they can be wild, they make mistakes, they make messes and they throw fits. It's often how we as adults deal with these issues that sets Montessori apart. 


Little changes can go a long way. 

Montessori does not need to be an all or nothing transition. Just stopping yourself from intervening when your child is busying working -- even if it isn't perfect -- is a great place to start. There are changes that you can make without spending money, without changing your things, without waiting. We've spent years slowly changing our home, it doesn't have to happen over night to be a step in the right direction.

If you are just starting to learn about Montessori, it can feel overwhelming. But, here are 5 things that Montessori newbies should know!

I hope you take that step! Montessori has been an amazing journey for us, and I know it can be for you. 



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