Jul 13 , 2023
How to Use the Montessori Method to Observe Your Child
What kinds of toys may I give my baby? What activities are appropriate for my two-year-old? These are often asked questions in my Facebook group or by parents at my playgroup. However, what activity or toys to offer is determined not by age, but by what a youngster is interested in or working on. As a result, it is critical that you observe your youngster to learn this.
Why is it vital to keep an eye on your child?
You may have heard the expression "follow the child," but in order to do so, we must first get to know the child.
The first step is to educate yourself on your child's development so that you can understand why they are behaving in a certain way or are preoccupied with certain toys or activities. We talk about sensitive periods and play schemas in Montessori language.
This is when your child focuses on one area of their environment for an extended period of time and shows little interest in anything else. This is entirely normal and natural, but you can only detect these sensitive periods if you pay attention to your child.
Maria Montessori was a researcher. She began by observing youngsters and then developed her strategy based on her findings.
A directress is the teacher in a Montessori classroom. To direct is also synonymous with to guide. The teacher, like you as a parent, is a guide.
What part do you play in observing your child?
My formal education is as a clinical psychologist. Observation was crucial to my education and subsequent profession as a child and family therapist. The scientific approach of Montessori teaching initially drew me in. I was already used to observing children.
However, being a parent is not the same as being a psychologist or teacher. Observing my own children was a whole other experience. I felt obligated to document my first-born's progress and developmental milestones because I felt driven to monitor her. As she matured and I was studying Montessori, I enjoyed watching her adjust to her surroundings. That was a lot of fun.
But there is something more vital to notice - you, the parent. You will have an impact on what happens, and you must maintain a scientific and detached approach to your observations.
It is difficult not to pass judgement on what your child is doing, not to intervene, and not to want to assist. Maria Montessori compared an inexperienced instructor to an elephant trampling a flower bed.
Sit near by, but don't comment or interact with what they're doing. It's tempting to ask them questions, but instead, simply observe what your youngster accomplishes silently.
This can be much more difficult than it appears! We frequently add our own judgements or worry to what we perceive. For example, you can think, "she's going to hurt herself," "not that noisy toy again," or "I wish she'd play with that expensive toy we bought." Allow those thoughts to pass and concentrate solely on what you see.