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How The Montessori Method Helps Children Complete—Rather Than Quit—Their Tasks
"Our focus is about helping students overcoming problems and challenges to reach answers. Because we teach children in such a way as to build their self-motivation, self-worth, self-esteem, self-awareness, independence and leadership, we help them overcome their fears and frustrations via our positive teaching and guidance. In other words, we aim to build the whole child."
She further explains, "Some children are full of enthusiasm to start but they pull back when they realize how hard learning can be. Maybe they become frustrated or apprehensive because it doesn't come naturally. So, much of our focus is teaching that 'practice makes perfect.' Only by participating can we get better."
Exploring With Your Child
When parents are faced with a situation where their kids are letting themselves down, it is often helpful to place new, exciting options in front of them.
For example, does your child have a hobby that engrosses him or her? How can
we as parents ensure and encourage a 'get up and go' attitude as it relates to academics, art, music or sports?
Well, what if the two of you visit an art gallery or attend a musical event together? Can you find an instructional camp in music or chess where students can learn and focus together? Can you help your child see that the back-end of their efforts are well-worth how many missteps it takes to get there? How can we build a child's character by splitting 'an immediate task' from an 'ultimate goal?'
Exposing Children to the Steps to Success
As parents, we are constantly guiding our children onto the road to success. From Day One, our children are always top-of-mind in how they are managing their world.
For us, then, whether our child plays first violin in the Junior Symphony or learns at a much lesser pace is not the focus. Our focus is: help them find what they love and teach them to work hard at it when they do find it.
The Montessori Method: It Takes Mistakes To Build Success
"We want children to understand the process of learning," Edwards says, "and we do that by making mistakes."
We try. We make mistakes. We try again. And, ultimately, we get it right.
In a Montessori preschool, teachers start with that philosophy from the beginning. Whether the child is a toddler or Pre-K, the Method start with skills that are interesting to them--tying their shoes, pouring water--things kids want to do themselves.
For example, a teacher will show a two year-old child how to pour just the right amount of water into a cup. Then, the child does it. The first time, they may over pour. Some kids may panic from that initial error. But, a Montessori teacher will reassure the child rather than instill fear. Gently, we teach them how to clean the spill with a mop and a cloth.
"We don't want kids to think about the mistake because they'll put the work away and not try it again because it's too hard," Edwards says. "Instead, we focus the child on seeing the success of some water landing in the cup and not the mistakes of what was spilled. Even though we use mistakes as a tool for success, we're focusing on the success."
Let's look at another great parental moment--your child learning to walk.
When babies take their first steps, what happens?
They fall down.
But the baby is driven to get up. The baby just wants to walk. He'll keep doing it until he is walking.
A child has that same drive.
In Montessori toddler or preschool, we're just giving the child the materials, the time and a positive teaching attitude to do what is natural to them...to do it again.
Then, one day, the child goes home and proudly pours milk, juice or water. The child might reference the teacher who helped, but odds are, he'll say, 'I did it.' The teacher showed me the materials but I learned how to pour.
"That's a big part of Montessori. I'm shown how; I work on it. Then, one day, I get it right without mistakes. After spilling water on the desk, floor and my shirt, I'm empowered to try again," Edwards says.
First Water, Now Reading
One day, the Montessori teacher will write something on a piece of paper, hand it to the child and say, 'read this.'
The first time they'll not be able to read it. But, via the Montessori Method, and the steps we've taken, it's fun to learn! It's not a mistake, not a problem, not hurtful and not overly frustrating because the child has had a year or so to understand that it takes time to learn the process.
That, in a nutshell, is learning through mistakes. You need time, the right materials and a positive teaching influence to get your child to the next step…success.
This is the approach we're seeking: focus on building self-driven kids by continuing to honor what they love best and get the most satisfaction from doing.
One of the great things about the Montessori Method is that each child has an internal beauty we hope to unlock. That beauty is often in the passion of their pursuits and how that passion translates itself to the child's self-worth, self-awareness and overall respect for other people's passions.
To schedule a group tour, visit: https://lifetimemontessorischool.com/