What is Montessori?

Jeanne-Marie Paynel M.Ed, Founder of Voila Montessori, Parent Guide and Home Consultant
We quickly implemented Jeanne-Marie’s advice and not only did the tantrum cease, but the woman in line in front of us turned and said ‘I am a Kindergarten teacher and what you just did was fabulous! Parents don’t know how to discipline anymore and that was wonderful to see!
Lili Gould
mother of one


You’ve probably heard about Montessori schools, which have been growing in popularity every year. Montessori is a very successful method of education that was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952), an Italian physician and anthropologist. It’s been around for over 100 years and its results are backed by modern neuropsychology research. However, the Montessori approach goes far beyond the schooling of children… It is a set of tools for understanding children’s developmental needs, in order to provide them with the right opportunities that will help them maximize the potential they were born with.

From the time children are born, they are driven to experience their surroundings through the use of senses. This mysterious drive is what compels babies to put objects into their mouths, stare at a speaking person’s lips, and touch everything they can get their hands on (regardless of how many times you say “no”). By obeying these subconscious impulses, young children are perfecting physical abilities and establishing mental connections that will help the, become a functioning and successful human being—engaging in what you and I call “development”.

We can’t force a child of any age to be driven towards a physical or intellectual activity he is not developmentally ready for (for example, we can’t force him to walk or talk if his body has not achieved the necessary physical and mental milestones). However, we can (and many times unknowingly do) create obstacles that get in the way of the child’s drive and therefore slow down or even stop his development. For example, a mother might think that by putting a child in a crib or playpen she is protecting him from dangers found around the home. In reality, she is preventing him from following his drive to move in – and engage with – his environment. Research shows that truncated development at any stage has enormous repercussions on a child’s future cognitive growth and self-esteem.

Contrary to what some people believe, Montessori is not about letting children do whatever they want… It is about aiding their development by creating an environment where they are free to flourish according to nature’s plan. Children who are free to safely follow their drives and develop the way nature intended are joyful and peaceful children. An adult who is in tune with a child’s developmental needs feels empowered to partner with nature (instead of fighting or questioning it). A family who accommodates the needs of all its members finds a happy flow.

Learn how you can bring the Montessori approach into your own home so you can free your child’s potential in a natural, peaceful, safe and fun way.


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