Written By: Shefun Jiwani-Ali
New parents struggle with the idea of letting their baby be raised by others. Whether it’s a daycare program, a nanny, or even family members. This decision is a big one, as infants are sponges to the world around them. Baby brains and bodies are still developing and these formative years are vital to proper development.
In 1996 at the age of 37, neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor suffered a stroke. She lost her ability to speak, read, walk, write, or remember anything from her life. Basically, she was reduced to a baby again. She spent 8 years recovering these skills, a venture that culminated in a book entitled “My Stroke of Insight, A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.” From this experience, we have gained a deeper look into how babies learn.
She explains that her environment could easily overwhelm her. The energy people brought into the room and their body language had a huge effect on her. The blaring TV or radio bombarded her senses. She wanted activities to be broken down into smaller steps of action and for others to realize that she wanted to be proficient at one level before moving on to the next. Essentially, she explained the world as it affects babies and toddlers.
All too often, babies are put into “containers” such as swings, high chairs, floor seats, and playpens. These may help to put a parent’s mind at ease, but they limit the ability to explore. This behaviour also begins a sedentary approach to life – a habit that they may take with them to adulthood.
Babies who are immersed in the Montessori lifestyle are allowed more freedom to explore the world at their fingertips. The classroom is outfitted with appropriate sensory stimuli in a safe environment, giving infants a chance to explore movement, touch, and sound in a manner that suits their natural learning thirst for learning.
Toddlers are just beginning to internalize the rhythms of the world around them. They begin to mimic adult work and eavesdrop on adult conversations. It is this stage of life that these children begin to care for themselves through simple tasks such as tidying their space or putting on their own shoes and jacket.
Montessori teachers facilitate this stage of life by speaking at an appropriate speed with proper articulation. They inform the children about what they can expect to happen later and discuss shared activities. They help children with basic tasks so they can learn to do them on their own. This helps toddlers experience independence within suitable parameters.
The Montessori method has been widely used across the globe. It has been proven as an extremely successful way to help children develop into strong, rational, independent adults. For those seeking childcare in the infant and toddler stages, we feel the Montessori philosophy is beneficial to their beginning.
If you feel like this method suits your child and family, start by contacting us at Mosaic Montessori.