Homebodies Guide to the Montessori Method
Welcome to the first of Homebodies’ Nanny Styles blog posts, where we’ll be talking about the various different styles of childcare. Stay tuned over the coming months to read about Steiner, RIE, Pikler, and Reggio styles. Today, it’s all about the Montessori style.
The Montessori nanny style was introduced by Maria Montessori who was an anthropologist and physician from Italy. It’s known to be one of the most successful methods of learning for children, which makes it very popular for parents. Many of our nannies have done Montessori training and truly believe in a hands-on learning and collaborative play approach to their planning.
1. It’s completely child-led (within reason!)
The idea of the Montessori style is that there is very little (if any) instruction from the teacher or nanny. Everything the child does is self-directed with only support from the adult. Instead of directing the child, the nanny simply observes the abilities that the child has.
2. Being at one with nature is a great option.
A Montessori nanny might organise for the child to go outside to see nature, allowing them to learn from the natural world. Children love exploring and getting the opportunity to touch, see and feel objects. Autumn is a great time of year for this, especially with all the falling leaves, conkers and the spectrum of colours all around us. Each season brings wonderful changes which children can learn and experience so much from.
3. Preparation is key with Montessori nannying.
The nanny will put a lot of work into the space that the child will play in. The environment must include plenty of age-appropriate items that allow the child to feel in control and trusted.
4. Creativity builds confidence
There is often a chance to allow the child to be creative and communicate their feelings, such as through art or literacy. By doing this, the child feels a greater amount of self-confidence and accomplishment. It’s also important for any of the child’s creations to be praised and displayed to allow the child to see their worth and feel confident. It’s suggested to encourage the child to show visitors to the home what they’ve created to feel accomplished.
5. The senses play a huge role
The Montessori Method focuses a lot on the senses – allowing the child to experience the way that things feel, smell, touch, taste, and hear. A selection of different materials allows for this. The nanny simply provides the materials and allows the child to experience them through whatever method they like. If they simply want to observe then they can, or they can pick up the items and see how they interact with one another. Items like pebbles, water, marbles, rice, beans, or toys are great for this (with supervision and age-appropriate objects).
Some parents choose to send their child to a Montessori nursery or school when their child gets older and if you live in London you will have many to choose from.
Meet our Montessori Nanny, Andreea
One of our nannies, Andreea has been a nanny with Homebodies for almost five years. She’s currently doing an Early Years Education Level 4 course part-time at the Montessori Centre International in St John’s Wood, one of the UK’s leading providers of Montessori and Early Years training. Here’s what she had to say:
“What I love about Montessori is that it teaches the child how to be independent. Children learn best through hands on experiences. That’s why it is important to create a favourable environment where everything is real, where everything has a reason and it supports the child’s development.”