When researching daycare options in your area, you want to find a daycare center whose pedagogy coincides with your own personal education philosophy. One philosophy you'll come across over and over again is the Montessori philosophy. Learn the 5 principles of Montessori pedagogy to learn if it's right for you and your child.

1: Respect for the Child

Years ago, children were expected to show respect to elders but didn't necessarily receive respect in return. In a Montessori school, teachers make an effort to respect each child as they expect to be respected. This methodology instills self-respect into the child as well as a general respect for all others. 

2: The Absorbent Mind

Montessori schools believe that children learn at all times, not only during formal lessons. The young mind is constantly learning through play and social interactions. Therefore, Montessori schools encourage productive recreational time during lunch and recess. Young children in daycare will be encouraged to learn through playing. 

3: Sensitive Periods

In the Montessori philosophy, children go through six sensitivity periods, when children best learn certain concepts. Teachers in Montessori schools work hard to identify these sensitive periods and nurture children through them. 

While children learn at different paces, there are six basic sensitive periods most children go through by the time they reach six:

  1. Order
  2. Language
  3. Walking
  4. Social aspects of life
  5. Small objects
  6. Learning through the senses

4: The Prepared Environment

The Montessori pedagogy emphasizes the importance of giving children the tools that they will need to succeed. That's why the fourth basic principle is a prepared environment. 

Montessori schools aim to provide all of the tools a child will need to learn, including books, puzzles, art supplies, musical instruments, and additional resources. It's not just enough to provide children with the tools, though. Montessori schools ensure that the environment is kid-friendly and conducive to learning. 

5: Auto Education

Montessori schools encourage children to learn what they want to learn, the idea being that children learn best when they're passionate about the topic. Therefore, Montessori daycare centers create a flexible schedule that allows children to create their own curriculum. Instead of forcing children to learn multiple topics each day, a child can choose to focus on one topic, such as reading or painting, as long as they want.

Curious children who have internal motivation do very well in Montessori schools. However, children who learn better in a more structured environment may benefit from a more traditional education when they get older.

Reach out to a local daycare or Montessori program near you to learn more.