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Montessori

What if we lived in a world where people respected children deeply and unconditionally? What would that look and feel like? How would those same children act as adults? How would they think? If children are given the opportunity to deeply know and follow their own interests and are respected from birth, I believe the world can be a better place. Montessori provides these opportunities for children and adults all over the world. Read more about our personal journey to Montessori here...


Montessori Origins


Maria Montessori was an Italian doctor and researcher at the turn of the 20th century. Through her observations of children across the world, Dr. Montessori made groundbreaking discoveries about child development and education. Her work found that children have unique and powerful brains that work completely differently from adult ones. She argues that through each stage of childhood, children should be respected deeply, their interests should be followed, and that when placed in a specially prepared environment children thrive. Maria Montessori’s observations and work led to the creation of Montessori schools that incorporated these ideas and specially designed materials aimed that help children to teach themselves. Read more about some of the essential Montessori concepts here...


These discoveries continue to be upheld as best practices in early childhood and elementary educational settings today. For example, modern brain science has confirmed just how important it is for young children to learn through their sensory systems. More specifically research has shown that when tactile impressions (like Dr. Montessori's sandpaper letters) are matched with letter learning, children learn to read more easily. Read more about Montessori language development here... 

But, most importantly Dr. Maria Montessori argued that by changing our adult interactions with children, we could change the world. She was an advocate for strong peace education. When we eliminate punishments, control, and start to respect and love children, the world can become a more equitable, and peaceful place. It is the "spiritual energy," the life-force of the child, that she was hoping to preserve and respect. The academics always came second to the love, respect, and dignity of the child in front of the adult. 

What is Montessori Parenting?


While Montessori became most famous as a method of education, Montessori's own principles, writings and ideas go so far beyond a preschool or elementary school curriculum. Montessori's own words show us that her ideas are a way of life, and a way to structure all of our interactions with children. Montessori in the modern world has evolved into a way of life. Her words, ideas and principles structure the nature of our parenting decisions, consumer choices, and how we prepare spaces in our home. Read more about Montessori friendly toys here...


Montessori from Birth


Montessori parenting can begin even before a baby is born. As we prepare to welcome a baby, we can shift out mindset toward the child led ideals that Montessori promotes. As we prepare our home for the arrival of a new baby we make special preparations based on our child's age, interests, and needs. Read more about Montessori Babies here...


Montessori Toddlers


Babies don't get all the fun! The toddler years can be extremely challenging for parents without the right tools and understanding of their unique needs. Montessori helps us understand what toddlers are and are not ready for. Montessori and gentle, responsive parenting techniques can help us approach common toddler challenges like potty training and discipline. Read more about Montessori Toddlers here...

The Prepared Environment 


Montessori homes look and feel different then many mainstream or traditional ones. While a home should never feel like a classroom (Montessori classrooms are actually modeled to feel like homes), there are specific things we try to incorporate in our home environments. They should be simple, accessible and encourage independence. Low tech toys, child sized furniture, and practical opportunities abound in Montessori homes. Read more about Montessori homes here...

Montessori For Life


My goal here on The Kavanaugh Report is to provide education about Montessori at home. But more importantly, I want to provide a practical example of what Montessori looks like in a real family, in real life. The stories you'll find here, are ones meant to inspire and encourage. From babyhood to elementary and beyond, I hope you'll find a way to incorporate Montessori in your day to day life. Read more about Montessori in the elementary years here...




Ready to Dive into Montessori at Home? 


If you're ready to get started with Montessori at home, have a look around The Kavanaugh Report, you can find posts organized by category at the top of the website. Click a category to find all the articles on that topic. Listen to an episode or two (or ten!) of my podcast Shelf Help. Join my membership community for even more individual support. And, sign up below for weekly inspiration in your inbox.