Have Faith in the Child

The following extract is from an article Dr. Montessori wrote on ‘Disarmament in Education’. The article first appeared in the Montessori Magazine Vol. 4 No. 3, July 1950 and was later reprinted in Communication 1965, 4.

It is not enough to be well intentioned and perceptive. Love is dynamic. If we love someone, we want to do something for him. If we love the child, we must realize that he has been neglected and forgotten in a world very rich in varied and beautiful things that are superfluous. We must therefore follow a new and wider path. This will not only make the child happier but will be a source of unimagined wealth and glory for our own lives.

From this we realize that an adequate social environment must be created from the start of life. Love teaches us to be constructive. Not only that, but if one looks back on the dim trail of human existence we find something very strange. Love has made us humble and has made builders of us. We are like bees which not only collect honey for their very young, but build for them a house of wax because both the honey and the wax are essential to them. This is so for the physical side, but as far as mental health is concerned the human young is still a ‘forgotten citizen’. This is why we must construct a social environment. On the physical side the child’s needs have begun to be recognized and many architects are now specializing in the building of houses for children whose needs and tastes are different from ours and who have the right to a house of their own and to all that is needful for their physical life and growth.


This is the direction which we must take if we wish to create a new humanity because the loving child who feels himself loved has a dynamic character. He is a child who works a great deal, who has no fear of effort and who seeks that discipline which is natural to men who live normal lives. The loving child if provided for, when reaching maturity will be the New Man.

I maintain that it is possible to foresee a new society in which man will be more world-social, because when he was a child, people had faith in him. He will also be more cultured, have more mental energy and more equilibrium. I also hold that, if properly provided for, the children – who love to work and who therefore work spontaneously and without fatigue – will absorb by the time they are twelve as much as is expected now of a child fifteen. ‘But’, it will be objected, ‘when the children grow old, they will not always be fresh spiritually; you have too much confidence in human goodness’.

No, I am not over-confident. My personal experiences with humanity have been such as to make me the most fanatic pessimist. Mine is not a vision, it is reality. It is possible that when these children I speak of will grow old, they will no longer be spiritually fresh, so pure, so dynamic. But they will have this advantage over us, they will have faith in youth and provide for their spirit. The spirit should be eternally young – and it is the spirit which recognizes the essential goodness of mankind.

– Dr. Maria Montessori

What Every 4-year-old Child Could Learn

graduation_cap_and_diplomaImagine a program that opens up the world to your child right in his/her Classroom. The opportunity to learn to read, work with numbers into the thousands using hands on Montessori materials and explore the World through learning about continents, countries and states is just a small example of a Montessori VPK Classroom.

Imagine a classroom where Geography comes alive through cultural celebrations and studies of land forms. And don’t forget Geometry. Just this morning, I had a conversation with my Pre-K grandson about the different kinds of triangles he was forming using a folded out CD case (i.e. isosceles, scalene, and quadrilaterals). Can you see your child knowing the different kinds of triangles as he heads for Kindergarten? All of this and more is possible through choosing the right Montessori VPK program that provides these opportunities on a daily basis.

Montessori programs provide individual, academic learning experiences. No Child is held back waiting for the other children to catch up. It’s a Class where young children learn from older children. The four year old always wants to do what the older children are doing; that is the advantage of the multi-year age grouping in the 3-6 classroom. The love of learning and self-discipline is the result of a Montessori Education.

VPK is a free program, available to all children who turn 4 years old on or before Sept. l, 2013. Parents can choose from a variety of programs; from an accredited Montessori School, daycare, preschool or church-affiliated program.

Make sure you tour each facility thoroughly, meet the teachers and staff, and observe the classrooms in action before you make a final decision. As a parent, you will want to choose a program that will unleash your child’s full potential.

5 Facts About Montessori Schools

Here are five facts about Montessori schools to bear in mind when exploring preschools and primary schools for your child.


Montessori is a very popular approach for teaching preschool and primary age children. The movement was started Rome by a visionary medical doctor by the name of Maria Montessori. Her work was with the poorest children in the ghettos of Rome. Interestingly enough, Montessori caught on in the rest of the world and in North America in particular with parents of the middle and upper classes. Here are five facts about Montessori schools to bear in mind when exploring preschools and primary schools for your child.

There are over 8,000 Montessori schools in the U.S.

Most Montessori schools belong to the American Montessori Society or the Association Montessori Internationale which was founded in 1929 by Dr. Montessori herself. Depending on which association a school belongs to, if it belongs to one at all, it will also have regional and/or state associations available to it of which it may be a member.

Not every Montessori school is the genuine article.

Dr. Maria Montessori never trademarked the name ‘Montessori’. As a result anybody can call their school Montessori if they so choose. But does that mean the school adheres to Dr. Montessori’s principles and methods? Not exactly. You will only learn if it is the real thing if you know what to look for and what questions to ask.

A trained, credentialed Montessori teacher has been thoroughly trained and is experienced in Montessori principles, concepts and methods. Mary Gutting Matthews explains what it is to be a Montessori teacher in Reflections of a Montessori Child.

Montessori schools are individually owned and operated.

Montessori is not a franchise operation. Each Montessori school is individually owned and operated. Some schools are proprietary schools owned by an individual. Others are not for profit entities governed by a board of trustees. Most Montessori schools are small with less than 100 children.

Montessori schools are considered progressive schools.

If you are looking for a so-called ‘traditional’ style of teacher-directed learning, then you will be disappointed. Montessori schools are almost always ‘progressive’ schools. Their classes are multi-age and teacher-guided. The teacher hovers on the sidelines observing, helping and guiding the learning process.

Montessori schools use specially designed materials.

Dr. Montessori designed sensorial materials for the purpose of developing a child’s five senses. The materials include the cylinder blocks, the pink tower, the brown or broad stair, the red rods, the colored cylinders and more. As well there is a host of other materials used for the learning and discovery activities of older children. Upper school teachers are usually expected to develop their own materials.

Originally posted on Private School Review by Robert Kennedy.