You’ve Come a Long Way, (Montessori) Baby!
Six Generations Later, The Montessori Method Is Still The Same…It’s America’s Moms Who Have Improved The Way We Raise Kids
When Maria Montessori published her lifelong observations about how to raise what’s now called a Montessori baby via the Montessori Method, America’s news and views were not aligned.
Dr. Montessori’s work focused on treating children with respect; recognizing that children were nearly fully formed by age three; and recommended that children ‘do for themselves.’
The Montessori Method was slow to develop in our country because we were not ready for its visionary ideals.
Financial Independence Creates Female Freedom
During the next 40 years, second-class female citizenship continued. Boomer women, however, changed the playfield.
Having just graduated college, women began entering the workplace in the late 1960s. Immediately, they were no longer reliant upon men for financial support. And as they spent less time at home, questions concerning ‘how to raise our baby’ finally shone a new light on the Montessori Method.
Although Dr. Montessori’s philosophies had been here all along, they were not re-discovered until America’s morals, ethics and practices changed. But once they did, the gates opened! Enter the Montessori baby.
What Is A Montessori Baby?
Maria Montessori advocated for children. She began with a startling concept-respecting children-and pushed forward from there. Urging a quick start with children, she focused on their abilities to absorb knowledge; communicate what they felt but could not say, and let each child act as an individual.
By that, she meant observing each child from birth. Then, setting up activities for their discovery, absorption and insight. From sensorial learning to letters, words, numbers and language, she allowed them to be what they seemed to be from the get-go.
So, letting them go at their own speed, their own pace, and giving them the freedom to follow their passions created an internal ability to act as their own best advocate. Once self-aware, children could look both inside and outside themselves and create their own sense of self, the world at large and their place in that world.
Female Boomers Have Driven The Modern Montessori Movement
Dr. Montessori observed that children were nearly fully formed by age three. Today, Millennial parents start preschool-not daycare, but preschool-at 18 months of age!
Right away, toddlers ‘learn by doing’ by watching and imitating the behavior of older kids; absorbing everything, and all the while being nurtured by expert teachers.
Thus, the outdated American concept that formal education began with Kindergarten at age five was kicked to the curb by Boomer women who saw children as Dr. Montessori had.
From Equal Rights to Equally Raising Each Child
Additionally, Boomer women changed parenting from one parent’s job into a two-parent partnership. ‘Girl power’ enjoined fathers to participate and share in their child’s life starting at birth-unlike 1940s dads.
Today’s Millennial parents make dual decisions about their child and what each next step is. Importantly, children are both ‘seen and heard’ and by both Millennial parents. This parenting style is enabling Millennials to partner up and choose educational options based on observations of their children’s personalities and how to harness their finest traits.
The Sea Change Dr. Montessori Created, Your Mom Enacted and You Can Continue
It may have taken six generations to herald Dr. Montessori, but her thoughts are well suited to America’s Millennial parents. She was far ahead of her time in describing a child’s needs.
Certainly, Boomer women played a huge part in the American development of fostering early learning and individualism on the road to learning. Now, it’s up to Boomer’s kids to see it through. Millennials, it’s your time!
A Montessori baby is designed to create, build and sustain a lifelong respect in self; receive academic, social and emotional learning; and focus on how to think conceptually via trial, error, practice, perseverance and ultimately, mastery.
Now more than ever, the 110 year old Montessori Method provides the right education for independent and modern parents. To illustrate that, just look at how women have risen from stay-at-home housewives to leaders in the corner office. As best stated fifty years ago in a world-famous slogan, “You’ve come a long way, (Montessori) baby!”
Originally published at https://lifetimemontessorischool.com.