The Montessori Toddler | Simone Davies

Summary of: The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being
By: Simone Davies

Introduction

Welcome to the world of ‘The Montessori Toddler’ by Simone Davies, a guide that delves into the dynamic development stage of toddlers as they learn to navigate the world around them. Dive into a comprehensive exploration of the Montessori method, focusing on principles such as self-mastery, encouraging exploration, and embracing a toddler’s interests. This engrossing book summary will provide insights on how parents can foster a safe, encouraging environment for their growing little ones, while setting essential boundaries, inspiring a love for learning, and nurturing creativity.

Toddler Learning through Self-Mastery

Toddlers learn new concepts like self-mastery through navigating the world around them. This was likened to playing video games, where one slowly masters the game and overcomes even the toughest sections. This self-mastery approach means providing guidelines for important things and allowing toddlers to discover their world at their own pace. The author believes that toddlers can figure out new concepts when they have the freedom to discover, unlike video games, and move on to new challenges at their own time. This approach allows toddlers to learn in a safe and comfortable environment while still having the ability to test boundaries and negotiate for some things.

Encouraging Toddler’s Growth

Toddlers should be allowed to explore their world at their own pace and interests while parents take on the role of encouraging their curiosity. Encouragement implies offering toddlers opportunities to gain new skills and learn without pressure. When toddlers take interest in learning about plants, animals, and other outdoor elements, parents can expand that growth by exploring places like public parks or zoos. The early years are crucial in shaping a child’s learning capability as they learn quickly without the pressure of deadlines or milestones. It’s essential to let toddlers learn at their pace, ask questions, and make mistakes while ensuring their safety. By allowing children to discover things on their own, parents display trust in their problem-solving ability and offer guidance whenever the child desires it.

Montessori Method for Toddlers

Giving Toddlers Responsibility for Positive Growth

Dr. Montessori, while developing the Montessori method, discovered that young children wanted to assist with classroom maintenance, even when the tasks were tiresome or dull. From this knowledge, she believed it best to give those toddlers with the motor skills and knowledge the opportunity to perform some duties with minimal help. This responsibility helps the child appreciate their environment and their role in taking care of it. Toddlers should lead the way in choosing which activity to engage in, as long as they use the provided tools appropriately. Parents should only interfere if help is requested or safety is compromised. Parents should give toddlers only tools they can tidy up to minimize the chance of an accident.

Davies discourages the use of closed-ended questions in favor of open-ended ones that foster confidence. Focusing on right and wrong answers during a forced situation can hurt a child’s spirit. Instead, parents should name objects and discuss them with their child to give them the freedom to select when to proceed. For example, if a toddler identifies a shape, a parent might encourage them to tell the parent the name of a different shape to cement the child’s knowledge.

Redirecting Toddler Behavior

Toddlers engaging in destructive behavior is inevitable, but parents can redirect their kids to non-destructive activities. Establishing designated areas of the home for different skills, crafting, and quiet time helps children understand their environment better. Parents can make these designated areas more appealing for kids by setting up child-sized furniture and fixtures. Allowing children to express their creativity while using items responsibly enables parents to say yes to their child’s desire for exploration.

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