5 Inspirational Quotes by Maria Montessori

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Early Childhood Education - Maria Montessori Quotes

Maria Montessori, best known as the creator of the Montessori pedagogy, was also a talented physician and educator. Born in 1870, in Italy, the teaching methods during this time were based upon repression and repetition. Maria Montessori wanted to change this and developed a teaching method that appeals to the child’s senses, based upon self-experience and experimentation rather than rote learning. Her scientific writings on pedagogy provide a valuable insight into her Montessori Method, stressing the importance of self-learning for children and above all, inspiring the desire to learn.

The Montessori Method has become increasing popular over the years as its proven track record demonstrates not only enhanced cognitive skills, but also happier children who truly engage with the activities provided and are eager to learn.

Here are some of Maria Montessori’s most inspirational quotes that will help you to get to grips with the true thinking behind the Montessori Method, to help you to enable your child to progress.

The importance of Early Childhood Education

“The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six.”

What it means:

Of course, Maria Montessori is not suggesting that university studies are unimportant, what she means here is that from birth to their sixth birthday a child will develop enormously, laying down the fundamental foundations for their entire future. Just like building a house, if the foundations are solid, then the building will stand and be easier to construct.

The preschool years are the time to really interest your child in learning. Children are naturally predisposed to learn, that is how we all develop, begin to walk, talk and so on. Inspiring your child early on will encourage them to have greater self-confidence and to figure things out for themselves. It is precisely this thinking out of the box that cannot be taught which makes for successful careers and important future developments in all fields. Interesting your child in learning at an early age will make it a natural part of their life and their thirst for knowledge will grow with their years and a can-do attitude.

How to put it into practice:

Surround your child with a variety of educative toys throughout their early years to inspire their desire to learn and enable them to progress at their own rhythm. There are many important skills which cannot be directly taught. Toys like the Basic Montessori Geometric Puzzle can be used on many different levels, learning colors, shapes, recognizing numbers one through four as well as motor skills and much more.

It is important to provide your child with activities and toys that will intrigue and inspire them to develop and this is just one example of from our hugely popular range of cognitive learning toys.

Early Childhood Education - Geometry Puzzle

The Basic Montessori Geometric Puzzle and the Educational Geometry Blocks (FREE)

The importance of free will in Early Childhood Education

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”

What it means:

This is one of the main tenets of the Montessori Method, to engage and inspire your child to learn through their own input. Through actively engaging with the material that you provide, your child will learn for themselves. This is proven to be much more effective than simply learning from others, including the written word.

It is also essential in developing an enquiring mind, the thirst for knowledge and answers to questions. All of which leads on to greater understanding and successful studies in later years. The ability to think independently and to solve problems is one of the most important skills that anyone can possess.

How to put it into practice:

Stimulate your child with a range of activities and materials that will engage their minds and encourage them to develop. Remember each child is an individual and we all have our personal preferences, so make sure you regularly change what’s on offer to your child so that they can develop a good range of skills for all-round development. Many Montessori inspired toys are multipurpose and can be used by your child throughout their early development.

Take, for example, our Early Learning Counting Box. Its brightly colored sticks will appeal to even young children and they will be naturally drawn to handling them, increasing fine motor skills and their conception of quantity. Over time playing with the set, children will learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide, thanks to the visual representation of the equations, ensuring a true understanding of the operations. The number tablets also feature the alphabet on the reverse, which will add to your child’s familiarity with the alphabet and the written form. The set can also serve as a fun play set for numerous games with the almost limitless bounds of your child’s imagination.

The importance of educational toys and material

“… the entire Montessori method is based on the spontaneous activity of the child which is aroused precisely by the interest the child takes in the material”

What it means:

In order for your child to learn effectively and to learn from their own experiences, you will need to make sure that the learning materials and activities are interesting and varied. When your child is naturally interested by the material that you provide, then learning from those materials will come easily and naturally. Materials and toys that are not interesting to them will be left to one side, or will fail to fully engage their interest levels enough for them to really learn from playing with such material.

How to put it into practice:

Make sure that you provide your child with a good, interesting variety of educational toys that really do interest them. Bright colors are a good way of stimulating their interest even from an early age. You’ll probably find that most children love to pick up, organize then disorganize small items, then to repeat the process over and over. Items like our color sorting tray are ideal for small hands and instantly draw young children to their colored counters.

The Early Learning Counting Rods are another fantastic example of how inspiring your child’s interest can lead to them learning often seemingly complex ideas all on their own. The set can be used as a puzzle, to learn the colors, make patterns, about different sizes and in fitting them into the surround they can figure out which two numbers added together make up ten. You child can learn all this a deceptively simple set that will draw them in and enable to learn from their own experiences and errors.

Early Childhood Education - Counting Rods

It is also important to vary the material that you provide, we recommend frequently changing out your educational toys and switching them on a regular basis to keep your child’s interest. High quality materials, like those from our Montessori shop, are often multi-purpose in use and can be used many times over the years for understanding different concepts

Not only should you provide a stimulating selection of activities and toys, but you should also consider how you can decorate your child’s room, learning area and your home with Montessori inspired decorative and educational items. We offer decorative items that will really make the difference in helping to inspire your child. Wall Stickers will interest even young children with its enticing pictures and bright colors. Older children will ask questions and be able to point out the individual numbers, helping to consolidate their number learning, while older children will be able to test themselves and reinforce their knowledge for us with our multiplication board.

Appeal to the child’s senses

“The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.”

What it means:

Young children develop through sensory perception. Rather than limiting learning to showing them images in a book or on a screen, it is also extremely important that they are able to touch and hold items, for improved motor skills and experimentation, leading to knowledge and learning through self-exploration.  

How to put it into practice:

Open your child’s mind to learning with a variety of elements to stimulate their senses. Use bright colors and activities that involve experimenting with a variety of textures, shapes and sounds. Even items that seem simple in nature can teach your child important lessons about the world in which we live.

For example, stacking blocks or shape sorters teach your child observation and applied logic skills. How can you build a tall tower that doesn’t fall? Why won’t the square block fit into that round hole? All of this we as adults take for granted, but to a child, it is an exciting journey of discovery where anything could be possible. Providing them with educative toys will inspire their journey of learning, making it more pleasurable and giving them an appetite to learn. All of our Montessori-inspired educative toys have been carefully developed to appeal to your child’s senses, making them want to reach out and touch, to understand how they work and how they can improve upon their first efforts, without making the basics too complicated.

Don’t overhelp the child

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

What it means:

If a child gets too used to you doing everything for them, then they are not going to develop the confidence or attitude to learn for themselves. Learning is all about making mistakes and we tend to learn much more when we put in the effort ourselves and correct our own mistakes.

Of course, you will want to help demonstrate how to solve a problem to a child that is having difficulty, or who asks for help. However, you want to avoid doing it for them. Rather, it helps to suggest and to show them the way forward. For example, you could suggest trying out new ways together. You could suggest an alternative that you know won’t work, to let them see that its ok to try out new ways. It is through trying out alternatives that new developments are made and this is the real lesson behind a lot of educational resources. It’s not so much the end result, but the process of thought that gets you there.

How to put it into practice:

When you want to try out new activities with new material, it’s important to strike a balance between helping your child to get the most out the material and leaving them to learn at their own pace and level. For example, take the Wooden Computation Beads Set. It’s so intuitive, that you can let your child play with it and learn straight off without having to show them how it works. You may want to count out loud with them or ask them about the colors and different numbers, but your input is not essential for them to figure things out for themelves. It’s a great example of an educational toy that will interest and inspire your child to learn on their own.

Easy Learning Counting Rods - Wooden Computation Beads

 The Wooden Computation Beads

Other sets such as our Early Learning Counting Box will require you to guide your child in order to show them how the various operations work. However, once your child understands the process, you should leave them to work out the answers for themselves. If they are struggling, you should help them to get the right answer by showing them how and not by doing it for them. There is a huge difference and once again, it is focusing upon the child’s ability to think independently and experiment rather than simply memorizing the correct answers, that really matters.

Maria Montessori and Early Childhood Education

Maria Montessori’s teaching method has to some degree effected all types of modern teaching as we become more open to the idea of learning through play and privileging experimentation and independent thought. Whether your child attends a Montessori school or not, they can still benefit hugely from Montessori materials, activities and educational toys around the home.

Rather than allowing them to build up too much screen time, invest in some good quality Montessori resources and allow them to develop their independence of thought, self-confidence and experimentation through play. You will be surprised at just how much of a difference this can make.


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