The Ten Secrets of Montessori – #10 Spontaneous Joy!
Social grace, inner discipline and joy. These are the birthright of the human being who has been allowed to develop essential human qualities. - Maria Montessori
The Ten Secrets of Montessori
Maria Montessori uncovered secrets–ten to be exact. Lucky for us, Mary Ellen Maunz, M. Ed., founder and Program Director of Age of Montessori, is willing to share the treasure of information within these secrets, and to explain exactly what they can mean to you and your children. With these ten secrets, you will gain a rich understanding of the framework beneath the Montessori Method. Maria Montessori developed more than a revolutionary educational method; she discovered the true inner workings of the child’s mind. These ten secrets are based on her lifetime of observing children and recognizing what they really need to thrive.
Secret #10 - Spontaneous Joy!
As parents, we all want our children to be happy.
Ask any parent if they want their child to be happy…actually never mind... I’m willing to bet I already know the answer. My money’s on a resounding “yes!” every time. As parents, we all want our children to be happy. Trouble is, we don’t always know what it takes to make that happen. But rejoice!, Maria Montessori did know! Again and again, Maria Montessori observed little children experience what she called “spontaneous joy.” How does that work, you ask? According to Montessori, a (developmentally-) fulfilled child is a happy child. In other words, when children are learning naturally and developing to the fullest of their potential, the result is a spontaneous state of pure joy.
Filling those Little Cups of Joy!
Cup of Joy!
And how do we help our children reach this joyful state of mind? Ah, well that is what “The Ten Secrets of Montessori” are all about! Please read more about these ten secrets here. To summarize, the process goes something like this (quotes below are by Maria Montessori):
Step one is to understand your child’s stages of development, including the absorbent mind stage, sensitive periods, and individual differences.
“It is the child's way of learning. This is the path he follows. He learns everything without knowing he is learning it, and in doing so passes little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love. "
Once we have garnered this knowledge, we can customize the child’s environment--at home or in the classroom-- to offer maximum learning opportunities.
"...his abilities give him great satisfaction, and he smiles with a sweet and joyous smile."
"A three-year-old educated according to Montessori pedagogy, becomes a master of his hand and undertakes with a joy a variety of human activities. These activities allow him to develop the power of concentration."
Within this carefully-constructed environment, the child is given the freedom to choose his or her own lessons or activities. Children are naturally drawn toward tasks that “speak’ to their developmental needs.
"It is through appropriate work and activities that the character of the child is transformed. Work influences his development in the same way that food revives the vigor of a starving man. We observe that a child occupied with matters that awaken his interest seems to blossom, to expand, evincing undreamed-of character traits; his abilities give him great satisfaction, and he smiles with a sweet and joyous smile."
Through careful observation of the child’s interests, we can continue to offer the right tools to fulfill the child’s inner need to learn.
“A child who has become master of his acts through long, pleasant and interesting activities in which he has engaged, is a child filled with health and joy and remarkable for his calmness and discipline.”
When the child’s needs are met, he or she becomes ‘normalized.’ The normalized child loves to learn, create, invent, think, and wonder. School is fun, fulfilling, and, yes, joyful!
So that was a very simplified way of explaining the Montessori Method’s fundamental concepts. Now I’m guessing you’d like to learn more? If so, we’ve got a course for you!
Montessori Training for Parents (and Grandparents!)
Parents and grandparents are learning to use the Montessori Method at home.
Montessori training for parents teaches you how children naturally learn and think. It will give you practical tools to help you meet the daily challenges of parenting, along with a greater awareness of why children do what they do.
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The Montessori Method is education with heart. And it’s now available online!