Being a parenting is truly a privilege. Yet whilst learning the world anew with your child is not continuously easy, there is always something to be joyful about.
For parents beginning preparations for welcoming a child into the world and for parents transitioning to Montessori at home, it is key to ensure this includes preparing yourselves as much as the family home. It is important to understand and appreciate the Montessori Method at home as a joyous lifestyle with an engaging approach to life-long learning that encourages freedom, independence, exploration and self-discipline.
Maria Montessori spoke at length on the topic of ‘joy.’ Within all aspects of life there is joy to be found leading to genuine happiness. The joy of choice, discovering, concentrating and the spontaneous joy and fulfilment of completing a task without interruption or intervention. This joy is contagious and spreads quickly amongst family members with calmness and productivity.
In a Montessori home this involves including a child as a true equal and partner in family life. When parents are cooking in the kitchen, there is always a place and valued role for a child to be invited in pouring, cutting or stirring. Montessori helps us observe the joy in everyday moments and value the process of learning and development rather than purely focusing on an end goal. It helps us to appreciate the calm rhythm of the ordinary because here there is innate joy and occasions for true growth and development. In our fast paced modern lives, joy in simple moments is often overlooked or considered mundane and opportunities are missed.
For Montessori parents there is pure joy in trusting and following the child. Through careful observation, a child will show you their true needs. You only need to respond within your prepared environment of materials, daily rhythms and space where you can model, invite, practice, adapt and repeat. A simple yet effective method that renders joy for all. Without the need for rewards or punishments, everyone is both independent and part of the greater family unit.
Admittedly, sometimes we all get it wrong at some point. This may be a response to an incident where we react rather than respond to a child or with an activity that we thought they would love but they show minimal interest. The good news is, everyone can all learn from these experiences. With a secure foundation of respectful relationships in a Montessori home, we can always start afresh.