Dr. Maria Montessori, and Italian physician and educator, observed the interaction between the child and her environment, taking note of the eagerness with which young children engage in the world around them. She also recognized the ease with which a child could learn during the first 6 years of life. She referred to this time as the “Absorbent Mind” stage because of the sponge-like ability of the child to take in new information. Many of Dr. Montessori’s scientific observations and theories are being supported by brain research being done today, nearly 100 years later.
You should be taking advantage of your child’s absorbent mind and feeding it regularly. You can provide your child with hands-on materials and experiences that refine their senses in their every day environment. Giving your child the opportunity to participate in day to day activities–for example, cooking dinner, watering household plants, making their bed, filling a bird feeder–are just a few examples of the kinds of experiences that engage a young child’s mind and body. Active participation in life gives the child the opportunity to think logically, sequencing the steps needed to perform a given task.Order now
Each task completed builds self esteem. When the child’s mind and body are active his intellect is able to develop fully. Allow your children to explore the world around them, follow their interests, and learn how to delve into new experiences. As a Montessori teacher with 16 years experience in the classroom I have had the opportunity to guide 2. 5 to 6 year old children in learning to tie their own shoes, read their first book, count to 1000, bake bread, learn the names of shapes, countries in Africa, notes on the C-major scale and much, much more.
None of those individual accomplishments compare to what a former student of mine recently wrote to me. “I learned how to learn with Laura,” wrote Emmanuel Verret (now 14 years old). No teacher could be given higher praise. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher, and they can learn much from you. As you think about how your child spends her day you may want to ask, “Is my child having a five star day? Have I created a bountiful experience? Have new connections been created in that incredible brain? Is my child learning how to learn? “