Are you curious about The Montessori Curriculum 3-6 and ware wondering why it does not support fantasy?
This includes pretend play, role playing and any imaginative play.
Well, there is a misconception when it comes to saying that the Montessori Curriculum free of fantasy is bad.
After all, fantasy and the other things included above are an important part of child development.
Well, in this post and live training, we discuss it all, whether you are doing Montessori at home or send your children to a Montessori school!
Come and decide if, after you read and watch, you think whether Montessori is a fantasy friend or foe.
It is a mind-blowing training about their developmental milestones in young children!
You don’t want to miss it!
Truth#1: The Reality of Montessori Origins
Maria Montessori developed The Montessori Method and the philosophy.
She was in Italy over 100 years ago.
If you know that time period, you know that they were at war, they were poor and she worked with low income children as well as a lot of special needs children.
The situation with these children was that they didn’t only need education, but they actually needed help with everything they had to take showers there, they ate there more than one meal and so on.
She was observing these children that had both parents into work they were in extreme poverty.
They needed to help them with showers, cleanliness, learning how to survive, had a live, so they did a lot of the practical life activities.
I think that this is where this Montessori approach all came from.
I am talking about from these children needing to be more self-sufficient.
They would have to take their weight and height.
They did a lot on the medical, nutritional and the hygiene side.
If you think about it these children, they really need something concrete, something real, something that they need to to grasp on and hold onto.
A lot of it has to do with the origins of Montessori and the reality they were living in at the time.
So, for these children to be constantly in a state of fantasy and imagination, well, yeah, it might help them escape from the reality.
But that is doing them a disservice in the long run.
They needed to have a concrete grasp on what life was, how to survive, know how to be in the present…
We are talking about ages 3 to 6 or six and younger it doesn’t have to do with children that are older.
Truth #2: The Kinds of Books that Montessori Recommends
Remember that we are talking about ages 3-6, so plan your Montessori materials and books accordingly.
Truth number two is what kinds of books Montessori is against is another of the misconceptions that people have.
Maria Montessori prefers certain types of books for children in this age group.
They are called “living books,” “no twaddle books,” and “non-fiction books.”
That also stems from the “no fantasy” and “no imagination” stance in Montessori activities.
But now that you know the origins of the Montessori philosophy, you will understand why she wanted the books to show the world in real life.
So, she preferred real photographs over drawings (cartoonish-looking pictures).
She preferred real life stories that can actually happen in real life, not made up stories.
Even if the stories were made up, they would be doable, like they could actually happened in real life.
Also, the characters.
The characters of the story would have to be real, based on reality.
For example, you would not have an elephant talking to a tiger dressed in clothes.
Because elephants don’t talk and tigers don’t wear human clothes or have human-like characteristics.
Truth #3: Moving Naturally from Concrete to Abstract
This is where it’s going to like give you an “AHA!” moment.
We need to be moving from concrete to abstract.
This is something that Maria Montessori was very adamant about.
You needed to show children the concrete first and then move onto the abstract.
This is because that’s the way children work.
That’s how they learn.
That’s how they rationalize things in their mind.
And that is how they work better children’s brains work.
For example, children use their fingers for counting.
They need that tangible thing that helps them rationalize the problem in front of them.
They like to use things that they can touch, that they can move, that they can measure, that they can observe and handle.
That’s why Montessori has so many hands-on works.
Then, in time, they start to progress towards the abstract.
The way you see it as they no longer use your fingers for counting.
They no longer need the large bead frame for adding or subtracting.
They no longer need the manipulatives.
So, you start with only that concrete, the hands-on.
Then, as they start to get older and their sensitive periods start opening up towards the abstract, that is when you start to move them towards the worksheets, the written works.
And then they are able to just do their addition and subtraction without needing the concrete.
I mean, we, as adults, don’t need the concrete most of the time to do adding, subtracting, multiplying, which is due to us doing the abstract in our heads.
We have a firm concept of the concrete, so that’s what children need to do and that is what Maria Montessori’s meaning was behind this decision.
Children need a concrete and firm foundation in reality and then they can move onto the abstracts.
Concrete to abstract.
It’s very important to understand that it is a lot easier for children to learn to add and subtract if they have manipulatives than if you just give them a piece of paper full of addition subtraction problems.
You know that for a fact.
You can use this concept of concrete to abstract with all different kinds of subjects.
Think about the Montessori sandpaper letters for writing pre-writing how do you go from this concrete activity to recalling the shapes of letter by heart.
Children no longer need a model of the letter to remember how to write it or what it looks like.
Pay attention to Sensitive Periods. You will know when children are ready.
We just have to be aware of that whenever they are open and take advantage.
I hope that these three truths have helped clarify a little bit of that misconception.
Montessori is not against fantasy.
She’s not against imagination and creativity.
On the contrary!
Once children are able to get a firm grasp on reality, the concrete, then you can go to the abstract.
I hope that this helps!
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