"Help me to do it myself". - Maria Montessori
As Dr Montessori worked with children from a wide range of ages and cultures, she found as a result of her new approaches to education that children revealed qualities and abilities that were unsuspected at that time and that seemed to have been awaiting release through observations and knowledge of different sensitive periods, Eductors are able to use this as a way of assisting the child's drive within and giving them optimum experiences to allow them to further devolop their needs.
High levels of concentration - previously it was considered that children had short attention spans. Dr Montessori was amazed to observe the length of time that very young children would choose to attend to tasks which interested them.
Love of repetition - on their own, children would choose to practise things they were trying to master over and over again.
Love of order - although we generally think of children as messy, Dr Montessori found that young children have a natural inclination for organisation and orderliness. This natural inclination can be helped and developed if provision is made to foster it.
Freedom of choice - children like to choose the things they do. If materials are set out for children so that they have easy access to them, they will choose, use and return them without assistance from an adult. A adult works along side the children, giving them individually and/or small group lessions in different developmental activies.
Children prefer work to play - adults tend to think that children only want to play and not work. However Dr Montessori found that play was a substitute for what the children really wanted to, but could not do. For example, children like to play ‘house’. They may pretend to cook, to bake pies, to clean the house and so on. However, if given the choice, children prefer to be in the real kitchen with their mother or father, learning how to prepare real food. In fact, children have a natural drive to work in order to develop. The child’s great task is to create an adult. As a result, children are not content unless they have an opportunity to develop and learn.
No need for reward and punishment - Dr Montessori discovered that children are intrinsically motivated to work. They do not need external rewards and punishments. What they need is help. The adult can help by carefully showing the child how to do what he or she is trying to accomplish. Accomplishment, competence, and being a contributing member of society are the rewards that each child attains in a Montessori environment. The feeling of accomplishment is to please them selves, for the child "I did it" is its own reward.
Lovers of silence - although it is easy to think of children as noisy, Montessori discovered that young children enjoy finding out how quiet they can be. Children like to listen to silence and to soft sounds. It is a game to see if they can move a chair without making a sound. Visitors to a Montessori classroom are struck by the orderliness and calmness of the children. There is a buzz of conversation and activity, but not to the extent that one child or group disturbs another. Maria Montessori found that this calm atmosphere arose naturally when children were provided with an environment appropriate to their needs.
Sense of personal dignity - just like adults, children have a deep sense of personal dignity. They want to be capable and held in high regard. They want to be able to do things for themselves. A child would rather tie his own shoe laces than have them tied.
Desire to read and write - at first Dr Montessori didn’t believe that young children of four and five years of age should be involved in reading and writing. However, the children showed such interest that she provided some beginning materials. She was astonished by how the children seemed to ‘burst spontaneously’ into writing and then reading if provided with the right materials and sufficient stimulation. She called this the ‘explosion’ into reading and writing; such was the power of the experience.
Children will sleep, eat, and have their nappies changed according to their needs and daily routine.