What Parents Should Know about How Children Learn
Every parent wants to bring forth their child’s maximum potential.
We want to say and do all the “right things” to bring out the best in our kids. If you are a parent seeking information about how children develop and learn, you have come to the right place. Maria Montessori understood the child’s cycles of development and how to unlock his or her inherent gifts. A child’s learning process can and should be joyful: resulting in a confident and balanced young person.
The first six years of life are some of the most important years for development. Children’s minds are like absorbent sponges and they want to learn. What we parents must discern, is what they are receptive to learning, and when. The Montessori Method understands that children have “powerful sensitive periods” during which they will grasp certain information easily and naturally. To tap into these sensitive periods is to maximize the natural desire to learn in young children. Montessori refers to this as “spontaneous learning.”
“And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.”
When the child’s cycles of development are understood, and the right activities are offered at the right time, the child will spontaneously take interest. Children will settle down for extended periods of time and concentrate fully and happily, on a single task. There is no need to force a child to endure uninspiring lessons. Once the spark has been lit, the child will seek out more information on her own. She (or he) may repeat the same task over and over to quench their need to understand it fully.
For example, it is a warm summer day after a light morning rain. Your child discovers a puddle. It is not enough to look at the puddle: she touches the water with her hands. The water is warm from the sun. She watches the water change color when it is disturbed. As the soft mud underneath fuses with the water, she notes a loamy smell. She splashes, the sound is like laughter. She pulls her hand out and inspects closely, the water and mud roll down her little fingers and drip back into the puddle…more sounds, more sights, wow! This goes on and on until she has gathered all the information she is craving. You cannot tell her how the mud smells or how the water feels, she must learn through doing: and she does so spontaneously and naturally. This is when you will know that your child is fully engaged in spontaneous learning.
Parents can benefit from the profound discoveries made by Maria Montessori regarding the way young children develop and learn. Montessori isn’t just for the classroom; it is about understanding how children think, play, and grow into well-adjusted, bright adults.
Age of Montessori has shared ten essential secrets about how children learn. To read about The Ten Secrets of Montessori Education and find out how these secrets can enrich the lives of your children, please follow the link below: