You don’t need “Montessori toys” if you want to practice Montessori in the home.
Montessori has been commercialized and turned into something for the elite of society. Which is ironic because the inception of Montessori was to serve children living in poverty, orphans and children with disabilities.
The idea that you need a neutral aesthetic, and expensive wooden toys is just not right.
This quote sums up what the belief of what role the adults play in the world of children and how to best support them:
“And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.”
Above all else, the environment is the teacher of the child. And the adults are responsible for facilitating the environment.
So as parents, if you want to practice Montessori, your job is to create an environment that is easy to naturally develop in. And clutter makes that an uphill battle.
The majority of Montessori is centered around children while they are walking subconscious minds – and are literally just absorbing the contents of their environment into their subconscious which becomes the default programming as adults – love, religion, safety ORDER in the environment.
Here is another quote from the book, The Absorbent Mind, that highlights the power of the environment on the child’s development and learning.
“With the right education in a carefully-prepared environment, his potential is limitless. The kind of education needed here is not merely the transmission of knowledge, human personality and potential must also be taken into account. Education is a natural process that happens spontaneously in every individual. One does not gain knowledge by listening to words, but by experiencing actual events. This means knowledge cannot be delivered only by verbal expressions. The teacher is not the center of the class. Her role is more like an observer and a guide. The student himself should be the center of education.”
Montessori agrees with Gandhi that education is preparation for life. It should focus on protecting life and helping people maintaining theirs. It should enable people to depend on themselves and stand on their feet. Education should also contribute to the life of society and support the development of civilization. It should care about people and have something to offer to solve social problems. To achieve this, we must first realize and understand the reality of education we have now and work together to fix its flaws.”
I agree with all of this and it is why, as a Montessori trained teacher, I believe so much in the power of decluttering and the benefits for not only mothers but children as well. And even humanity.