First-time parents know the feeling. That dramatic shift in priorities when a newborn arrives, as you place so much of your “self” on hold and scramble to become the nurturer. A palpable, often frightening transition—the parent also entering the world anew, perceiving it for the first time. It can be overwhelming. All the work beforehand suddenly requiring practical application—the kind only available once the moment arrives.
Preparation is key, isn’t it? The books, the yoga, the classes on what to expect? The painting of rooms, procuring of furniture and clothes and stuffies? It’s all a creative process for the parent, a unique, empirical experience. But it’s also something more. In a way, it enables the parent to identify potential future obstacles and (hopefully) seek solutions.
Preparation does not provide the solution to every problem. But the right kind of preparation does provide us with the tools to find those elusive solutions, which are abundant and varying in source. We test possible options and make changes and minor adjustments until we find what works for us. We get creative with our ideas, our invested time, our acceptance of the newborn to be. I think, in many ways, this is how we should approach a child’s learning process too.
A parent’s diligence for their child’s well-being is an ongoing, lifelong process. It requires nurturing and compassion, sacrifice and commitment. And in this complex mix is the importance of encouraging the child to be confident and wise, motivated to actively understand the world. Unfortunately, not all education practices embrace the individual child in such a manner. All too often, learning is institutionalized—a “one size fits all” method.
Montessori Education is different. It emphasizes enabling children to face challenges head on with confidence, to find their own creative solutions—and to be excited about the process. The child is not coerced into memorizing the “what’s,” but encouraged to understand the “why’s” and “how’s” of concepts. Knowledge becomes something discovered and understood, not simply learned by rote.
Perhaps even more important is how children thrive in the Montessori environment. They move with purpose and joy, they are allowed room to be creative, they can articulate their emotions. In other words, they are championed as individual persons with varying levels of interest and understanding. They also learn in smaller groups that allow an important bond between their peers and teacher.
When I look at my daughter, and the remarkable changes in her character over the past year at Beyond Montessori School in St. Catharines, my advocacy for Montessori Education continually grows. Her individuality grows, as does her understanding. And above all, the creative light in her eyes is brighter than ever.
Beyond Montessori School, located in the heart of downtown St Catharines, is serving the families of Niagara with a Montessori Education for Toddler (16 months) through Early Elementary. Our Curriculum is enriched with daily French, music, Lacrosse, visual arts, phys ed, children's yoga (Zooga), eco workshops, peace projects and so much more.
BMS believes in supporting families in our community. Please inquire about Grade 1 bursaries. For Toddler to Early Elementary Fall Registration please contact Natasha Secord, Head of School. Visit us online at www.beyondmontessori.com or call 905.937.0700 for further information.