Using the Montessori Method With My Toddler Engages Her Creativity — and Lowers My Stress
I first learned about the Montessori method when I was in grad school for my master's degree in marriage and family therapy. This was well before I had my first child, so I wasn't looking at this way of learning with a parental lens, but even then, I knew I liked this holistic approach.
Years later when I became a parent, I delved deep into the research that examined Montessori schools vs. non-Montessori schools. What I took away from these studies was that children who are taught using the Montessori method tend to have higher levels of creativity than their counterparts in non-Montessori schools. Other studies have noted that children who attend Montessori schools are more likely to experience intrinsic learning, meaning they are engaged in what interests them, and feel personally motivated to learn more. This is typically not the case in conventional schools, where grades and structured progress reports make it clear what the expectations for learning are without allowing much room for exploration. Children who attend Montessori schools tend to exhibit higher levels of confidence in their abilities to learn and master skills, with the majority of them stating that they are happy to attend school. In other words, children who are exposed to Montessori ways of learning tend to feel more confident in themselves, enjoy facing new challenges, regularly engage their creativity, and have higher levels of emotional intelligence.
The Montessori method focuses on providing infants up to kids who are 18 with an open, interactive environment conducive to learning typical school subjects, as well as music, art, and life skills, with the ultimate goal of developing healthy adults. Some of my favorite aspects of this method are that it introduces new and exciting ways to look at mundane activities and that it views play as the child's work. With little ones, keeping them engaged and curious in their environment is especially important as they can easily get bored, which can lead to frustration and agitation on their part. As for parents, we all know how challenging and stressful this can be.
There are a few ways to implement this type of open learning in your home that can lead to an increase in your child's creativity and engagement and therefore a decrease in your stress level as a parent. Keep reading for what we do and how we do it!