What Is Montessori?

This may be your first-time encountering Montessori, or you may have heard of Montessori but not know very much about the philosophy nor knew that it can be put into practice from birth - or even that it can be applied at home.

Or you may be well versed in all things Montessori and here for some inspiration!

Whichever angle you have joined us from, firstly, Hello! and thank you so much for being here & bringing SensorStory into your child’s life. We’re passionate about giving you & your child the best possible start with guidance, support, & classes you both love!

So, what is Montessori?

The Montessori Method considers the child from birth to 24 years of age, divided into Four Planes of Development – Dr. Montessori believed that the 0–3-year age group was the most important period of development, & modern science still agrees.

The Montessori philosophy, pioneered by Dr. Maria Montessori, is an educational approach centered on fostering the natural development of children, not just within the classroom but throughout life. Dr. Montessori believed that every child is born with an innate desire to learn, explore, and discover, and that it is our job to help support rather than hinder the development of their natural intrinsic motivation.
As she eloquently expressed in her own words, "The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist.'"

At its core, Montessori emphasizes creating an environment that encourages independence, self-discipline, and a love for learning. It is not confined to traditional schooling; instead, it is a holistic approach that can be applied from birth, shaping the foundation of a child's development at home and extending into day-to-day life

In Dr. Montessori's books, such as "The Absorbent Mind" and "The Secret of Childhood," she shares profound insights into the child's absorbent mind and the critical role of the environment in supporting optimal growth. This philosophy is not limited to early childhood education; it extends to parenting, influencing how we interact with and nurture our children.

One misconception of Montessori is that it is an option only available to families with a large disposable income. Perhaps this misconception derives from the fact that sending your child to a Montessori school as opposed to a state school is indeed, a dear option. But Montessori education does not need to be costly – after all, Montessori education was initially developed for poor children in the slums of Rome by Dr. Maria Montessori at the start of the 1900s.

So Montessori is an eduactional method?

“the objective of Montessori education is not fill a child with facts, but to continue to cultivate their own natural desire to learn” – Dr. Maria Montessori

Montessori is far more than the classroom. Montessori is a way of life. More than activities or space, Montessori influences the way we are with our children. Montessori is based on a philosophy, a set of values & a way of thinking. In this way, Montessori is an option for every family & can be adopted effectively with little to no budget.

Montessori’s approach rests on the values of trust & respect, it encourages us to empower our little one’s curiosity, learning to really see & accept them as they are, remaining connected to the child even when we must stop them from doing something they reeeeeally want to do, showing respect to our child – as we would an adult, seeing our little one’s as their own person on their own unique path, understanding their development & supporting them as their guide & leader as opposed to being moulded.
To answer the question of what is Montessori, this is the Montessori way.

Montessori is quite unique, with practices such as the prepared environment, which is filled with Montessori materials – where each material teaches a specific learning outcome & through repetition & practice, children master the five areas of the Montessori Curriculum, where learning through play is always purposeful & engaging.

“Play Is The Work of the Child” – Maria Montessori

To take a deeper dive in to the topic of what is Montessori, check out our article What is Montessori where we take a closer look at sensitive periods, prepared environment, Montessori materials and curriculum.

To see more about Montessori for babies and toddlers in the 0-3 age period, click here