Your child’s mind
Did you know that your child has a superior mind to adults? You may have noticed how your child from birth is always looking around and staring at whatever is in their sights. You may have thought all those times they were doing this with a blank mind, but one day they surprise you by knowing something you thought they wouldn’t know. So all those times when you thought they were looking around with a blank mind, they were not, really they were taking in everything. In the first 3 years of a child’s life they will be absorbing everything just like a sponge without choosing or discriminating. This to me is why we think of children especially in these years as so innocent.
From 3 to 6 years old the child begins to understand, they start to know now what they are doing, seeing, speaking etc. In this age their mind is still very much superior to an adult where their capacity to learn is much greater than ours. We see this in how they learn a language so easily but as adults we need to put so much effort into learning language (even then we don’t learn it so well) or with anything else.
You may see why now these early years are very important for a child to be exposed to exactly the right things (for them) so that they can take advantage of this incredible mind of theirs. What they will learn in these years is not just remembered but they form a part of their personality, which later in life is very difficult to change. Montessori schools are aware of this and help the child develop their characteristics and attitude together with their intellectual faculties (knowledge).
Important periods in a child’s life
We now know that the child’s mind is exceptional in comparison to ours. But also with this the child has certain time periods where they have a greater interest towards specific things i.e. order, movement, language etc. In these periods they will learn and develop themselves better as they are following the natural timetable within them. These periods can vary in time and intensity for each child. Our teachers are aware of the signs that show the child is going through this important period of learning. When identified, we can expose the child to the right activity so they utilise this period to develop that skill naturally rather than any other time in their life.
Your child’s environment
I’m sure from (or even before) the day your first child was born you had in mind that you would have to make many compromises to your current lifestyle, one in particular being your home. Your home is probably now filled with their toys, their things and maybe gates etc to make it child safe. So you had to go from an environment which was perfectly made up for you as an adult to giving up some of this for your child’s needs. As a parent you wouldn’t have minded doing this, however, you may have thought is this exactly what your child needs? You might be always trying to second guess what you can do with your child in your current slightly adapted home. You may have an idea for 1 or 2 hours but then you run out. Why? Because your home isn’t 100% what your child needs. It is more catered to your needs. The Montessori environment however is created and thought through only from the child’s perspective and that is why it can keep your child comfortable, stimulated, build his confidence and of course lead them to happiness.
To learn more about your child and how to help them at home go to: www.aidtolife.org