Is Montessori Right for Your Child?
Are you informed about preschools and the basis for curricular pedagogy used at the schools you are considering?  I highly recommend a commitment to exploring this for parents, because it also helps us understand how rigorously a school supports a particular model, or whether a school practices modified pedagogical principles. Hybridization in teaching and learning styles often evolve as trends based on new information emerge about child well being.One of the world’s most recognized pioneers in early childhood development (ECD), was Maria Montessori.  To better understand the essence of the Montessori Education System, it is useful to consider her ideas within their foundational contexts.  Dr. Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian physician and educator.  She first came to her philosophy about child-rearing through medical training, specializing in problems with development and children’s aptitude for learning and socialization.In 1913, Montessori published a striking work, now dated, called Pedagogical Anthropology.  Nearly 600 pages, the compendium is a forerunner to statistical assessments in childhood development, both physical and psychosocial.  Have you ever thought about measurements your child’s nurse or pediatrician takes on your child – data that pinpoint the circumference of your child’s head, his or her height and weight within cohort range? The genesis of this tradition in assessments and benchmarks came about from Montessori’s and her peers modeling in new pedagogical theory.While this work was one of several works by Dr. Montessori, an Enquirer learns from this text, that she came to understand, for instance, the emotion in the children’s faces, through studies in the underlying muscle tissue.  When she describes body types, photographs provide details of skeletal development and articulation in very young children.  Based on this knowledge, Montessori sought to understand the experience of the young child, beginning with a Tabula rasa (“blank slate”).  Her belief was, once life begins, knowledge comes from experience and perception.From this standpoint, Montessori focused – as is well-known – on the individual child.  One of her most important works, The Child in the Family, describes how important it is for parents and educators to follow “the spiritual expressions of the child.”  A central tenet of the Montessori Method is valued, rather than “interfering” with a child’s activities and engagement.  She believed the educational system should provide children, “shelter in the storm, the oasis in the desert…” , meaning, an environment free of the burdens imposed by attitudes in the adult-centered world.Montessori was very much influenced by psychoanalysis, the development of the ego, and childhood fluorescence (and trauma). She championed the profound needs of the child in the ego’s struggle to adjust to adults and others in society, and she felt these childhood needs were not recognized by adult society, and could lead to “… an abyss of unexpected evils.”  The “repressed spirit” of the individual child therefore, finds expression in the Montessori Method. The established pedagogy, or ‘system’ for Montessori is dedicated to this emphasis on healthy ego development, and to overcoming damaging aspects of education and society. Her curriculum was an early, child-centered model that emphasizes spontaneous play and options.
Fast forward a century, and Montessori’s ego-development model may seem a little old-fashioned. But institutions continue to integrate her most influential principles into their curriculum.  Her ideas have had globally constructive influences on childhood development theory, on education and educators. Educators continue to value the individuation of the child, the challenges of separating the child from the freedoms of the natural self.  Modern educators influenced by Montessori’s ideas, teach today without being the “educationalists” that earlier critics of Montessori condemned. In a century, Montessori’s pedagogical philosophy diffused universally to cultures and nations of diverse origins.  UNICEF supports the rescue of the child from adult suffering, based on Montessori’s clarity in addressing the individual child’s needs and healthy adjustment to society.
Related Online Topics:
In Wikipedia: The Montessori Education System In  Goodreads: (Clio Montessori Series) To Educate the Human Potential, excerpts by Maria Montessori
A fond farewell to half-baked multi-tasking! A dad’s quest for simplicity

This is not a corporate blog.  Plenty of companies are already blogging. This is a personal blog about everyday problems I face at home as I teach my kids about learning.  Human societies have taught kids what is meaningful for thousands of years.  When our ancestors lived in extended families and small communities, elders and neighbors helped educate children, everyone shared wisdom.  Knowledge is taught today mostly by teachers.  We Google information that comes to us, but it’s not real knowledge, it’s based on keyword optimization, paid for by ads.

This blog is first-hand, by a parent  who wants simple, straightforward information about helping kids learn.  That’s it!  How can I teach my children colors, numbers, counting, shapes, money, measurement, weight, size, elevation, health, food, energy, animals, fruits, plants, history, how a car works, how to braid hair, and seeing constellations?  I’m looking for one simple activity at any given time, that will help my child learn.

For instance, I want exactly ONE activity for teaching my kids to count.  Surely, there are umpteen ways to learn counting, but I want simplicity.  At parent-teacher conferences – honestly – I always leave scratching my head. The teacher rattled off a dozen things to help my child learn to count. I’ve forgotten what they were. Where do I start?

From time to time here, I’ll post something about the product we’ve built, and what’s interesting about it. Every now and then you might read about my great inventions and ideas!  Mostly, I’ll write about everyday issues with my children and keeping them engaged so they learn.  I say this because we know how easy it is to put children in front of a TV or a game on the iPad/iPhone.  If we use Baby Einstein, we convince ourselves that it’s making a kid smarter.  Did my child learn anything from it? Who knows?

I’ll keep posts short and focused on one thing and one thing only.  Which is pretty much who I am.  Not only am I not a good multi-tasker, I think it is an oxymoron.  Unless you plan to do everything half-baked, multitasking results are poor and reveal that you’re distracted.  I have difficulty holding my children’s attention for more than 10 minutes. After that, my kids lose interest and I lose patience.  You might say I search for meaningful simplicity with my children!

Short on time, I’ll write frequently, seeing if I can convince others to help me out with posts. Hopefully, when I’m done with this, it will be a simple collection of things to do with your child.  Something like those books that are (or were) available in bookstores…. 101 Ways to Relax, 101 Things to Say to Your Loved Ones, 101 Activities I Will Do This Year, etc.  I hope to brilliantly simplify things into one-liners and make your day a little better when you read them!

This post is written by Azhar Khan. CEO & Co-Founder of Agnitus