Maria Montessori stresses the importance of a rich environment that provides the necessary sensorial experiences to a child. What is a rich experience? Something that provides sensory stimuli, introduces something new or helps practice and helps form neuronal connections with older knowledge.
Why rich experiences?
Everything children see, hear, feel, touch, or even smell impacts their brain and thus influences the way they view and interact with their world—including their family, neighbors, strangers, friends, classmates, and even themselves.
Daniel J. Siegel
Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is one of my many favourites. While he observed that infants actually seek environmental stimulation that promotes their intellectual development, he thought that their initial representations of objects, space, time, causality, and self are constructed only gradually during the first 2 years. He concluded that the world of young infants is an egocentric fusion of the internal and external worlds and that the development of an accurate representation of physical reality depends on the gradual coordination of schemes of looking, listening, and touching.… Click to read the rest
Remember the days your house is filled with clutter or you visit an overbearing relative, or the time your parents restricted you from doing something? How did you feel then? The point I’m trying to make is, one cannot flourish, work with purpose or think effectively in an environment we don’t feel completely comfortable of free in. Now that we have established that the child flourishes in a rich environment that she explores and learns from, herself, we realise that the child, a lot like adults needs freedom. Guided freedom or freedom within a framework of limits.Freedom and discipline are two sides of the same coin, and scientific freedom invariably leads to discipline.
“To let the child do as he likes, when he has not yet developed any powers of control, is to betray the idea of freedom.”
Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
We do a great disservice to the developing child if we do’t provide her, some clear boundaries within which she can explore freedom.… Click to read the rest
Before we proceed into the topic of montessori space at home, let’s do a small exercise.
Imagine, you’ve just joined (or re-joined) work. Today is the first day at work. You are excited, anxious and happy. You cannot wait to explore all there is and establish your talent and prowess. Once you enter, however, you realise that your manager is a giant, literally. The table you work at is humongous, you cannot reach your files or the regulator or coffee machine or AC remote. Every time you need to switch on or off your PC, need a coffee break, feel too hot or cold, you need to ask your manager to help you. At one point of time, your manager gets tired of you asking, and snaps at you, ” You know what, let it be! I’ll make your coffee myself! And I’ll switch off your PC myself!”” But I want to do it”, you think.… Click to read the rest