“According to a recent Newsweek article, preschool children on average ask their parents about 100 questions per day. Sometimes, parents just wish it would stop. Tragically, it does stop. By middle school, children have pretty much stopped asking, and student motivation and engagement plummets. Kids don’t stop asking questions because they lose interest. They lose interest because they stop asking questions. In a Montessori classroom, this does not happen, because questions matter more than answers; a child’s natural curiosity is welcomed, not shunned. In fact, a child’s curiosity is also what drives the lesson forward.
…Preparing children for the future demands that we encourage and inspire them to ask questions, and teach them how to explore those questions for themselves.”
Really interesting video created by a Montessori father, talking about the positive impact Montessori education has on our young children. Definitely worth 6 minutes of your time!
“The most important thing you can do for your children is to love life—and to let your children witness and share in that love.” – Melissa LaSalle, Author of “Learning Alongside our Children”
How can we expect our children to be inspired about learning, if we ourselves show no interest in the very topic we’re trying to enforce upon them? It’s easy to simply place a child in front of a television to occupy their time, or give them an abundance of books to browse through, rather than sit down with them and read the text aloud. As parents, we stress over what our children should have already accomplished at a certain age, when we ourselves might not show enough interest in the same subject at home. Take writing for example. Many families expect their children to read/write before 4-5 years (often times sooner), when they might have never taken the opportunity to sit down with their children at home and work on phonetic sounds, or draw letters in a tray of sand with their fingers, or even write a letter together to a loved one. Learning is to be incorporated in both the classroom and the home, corresponding with one another in a similar fashion. If we show interest in what our children are learning (even if we don’t completely understand the subject), imagine the difference it will make in our children’s academic career! We don’t want to push them to learn something, but rather help inspire their internal love of learning by showing interest ourselves.
In order to inspire children’s love of learning, we must show enthusiasm on the subject. Our teachers share similar Montessori training, which guides them to over-dramatize almost everything, while maintaining a realistic approach (a genuine love for learning set apart from unnecessary praise when the child does something desirable). Each lesson, such as “exercises in practical life” like sweeping, or plant polishing, or even reading books, is done so in a beautifully animated manner to show the children that they are truly interested in the subject. Rather than just acting interested, we model how to appreciate the lesson through gently handling the materials, speaking quietly with the appropriate language, and showing excited facial expressions, while not seeming “fake” or patronizing the child in anyway. Our guides strive to dramatize their lessons and interactions in order to draw upon that inspiration from the child. Continue reading →