“Montessori” is the term given to describe the teachings of Maria Montessori. Her principles of early education remain very popular today, largely because they are based on following your child’s natural lead in their development.
Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian physician and educator. She developed an interest in the needs of children who were classified as “ineducable” and developed a teaching programme that enabled ‘defective’ children to read and write. Montessori sought to teach skills not by having children repeatedly try, but by developing exercises that enabled them. The exercises would then be repeated, hence ‘looking becomes reading’ and ‘touching becomes writing’. The ensuing success of her methods led her to question ‘normal’ education and focus on self-determination and self-realisation. “The essential thing is for the task to arouse such an interest that it engages the child’s whole personality” (Maria Montessori – The Absorbent Mind: 206).
Today, it is Maria Montessori’s legacy of creating a stimulating environment in which participants can learn to take responsibility that has a particular resonance.
When our son Benedykt was born in 2016, it was clear he had a strong streak of independence, which, as we encouraged him, led us naturally to the Maria Montessori system of learning. Now, he and brother Sylvester (2018), enjoy a child-led environment at home, following a Montessori ethos as much as possible. Benedykt loves dining and cuisine, so our placemats began as a concept when he was only 11 months old. Having mastered laying the table, he began to serve dinner for the family on Sundays and now he regularly serves himself and Sylvester snacks, drinks and main meals every day!
Sylvester has a more laid-back approach to life – enjoying being waited on most of the time! However, he loves a good puzzle and small pieces. He has inspired some of our products like our Money Box and Play Trays.
Benedykt and Sylvester love to be the first product testers – after all, all of our products are Montessori inspired, and designed with them in mind!