Give me the time….
Give me the time…. This is the request of our children to us - adults - to respect their individual pace of development and the right to gain independence.
How often does it happen that we - adults interrupt an activity of our child saying “ let me do it, I will do it more quickly”? We must remember that our chilid performing simple self-service activities (buttoning-up, putting on clothes, washing hands, eating) gains independence and new experience builds up his/her character.
In our nursery, first of all, we give time to children… so under supervision of experienced nursery teachers they have a chance to build their independence in harmony with individual pace of development.
Have you noticed the moment, when your child masters a new skill, for example, when a baby found out how to catch his/her foot, or a toddler for the first time walked? Have you noticed this concentration and joy that accompanied a new accomplishment? Have you noticed that a single success makes a child repeat this activity many times with the same rate of delight and engagement?
If the answer is 'yes', that means that you have observed a phenomenon that Maria Montessori called a ‘sensitive phase' - this special moment in a child’s life when it has open and absorbent mind to master this one specific skill or activity. The process of learning in this phase follows spontaneously and effortlessly, giving lots of joy and satisfaction to the child.
The advantage of Montessori method is using natural development potential that lies in each child.
A Montessori teacher observes children and follows an individual course of development of each child. S/he notices sensitive phases emerging in individual pupils.
Teacher’s role is to demonstrate a Montessori development aid, game or exercise that supports a skill, that at this particular moment the child is fascinated by.
Basic rules of Montessori Method respected in Montessori Nursery are:
- The rule of freedom: free choice of material for exercises and games, place and time. This allows the child to undertake an independent activity that is in harmony with its development phases and needs. This rule is limited only by meal times and after dinner rest.
- The rule of Order that completes the rule of freedom says that each object in the room has its own place, and a child knows that after finishing an activity the object should be put back (toys, development aids) to its place. Each child has also his/her own place (a chair, a bed, a drawer, etc) in the nursery.
Maria Montessori said that children love order. It is confirmed by observations of Montessori teachers. There is no chance to make the child sit on his friend’s chair, even if s/he is absent. Children would protest. They like settled order and routines, especially the oldest children - three years olds.
- The rule of compliance with limits. A teacher does not help a child against his/her will. A teacher gives a child a chance to expierience his/her limits, s/he knows that unwanted help blocks development.