When we talk about Montessori we are referring to a philosophy of education … it is a way of seeing the world and the development of children. Montessori teachers use language that deeply respects children and provides them with consistent expectations within their means. The words they choose are well thought out to motivate children to be better, to think critically, and to be independent. Although above all, what they seek with their words is that children feel intrinsically motivated, that is, that they awaken their innate curiosity.
You’re doing good
In the Montessori philosophy, children are avoided saying things like “well done” or “good work” but on the other hand, they are told how well they did the process, for example if they were very concentrated or if they did their homework carefully to do it well. The work is praised rather than the results. This helps instill in children a growth mindset where they realize that they can improve through their own efforts.
What do you think of what you are doing?
In Montessori the child is her own teacher. Teachers are only guides to give lessons and help the little one in her process, but it is the child who has to discover things for herself through a good learning environment. It is necessary to promote self-analysis at all times for that to really happen.
Where could you look for that?
Independence is key in the Montessori philosophy and must be present in any area of the child’s life. The goal as adults is to help children do things for themselves. Although it is easier to answer a child about where something is or how to do it, it is best to answer their question with another question to enhance critical thinking.
Where do you want me to help you?
In the Montessori philosophy, children are responsible and learn to be proud of what they do in the environment, such as cleaning or ordering things. Sometimes a lot of work can be too much for children and in these cases, it is important to ask the little one in what part of her task she wants us to help her. It does not mean doing things for him, but rather, that he notices that we are together, that we remain by his side, but the task is done by him even if we help him in a part.
In our house, we …
In Montessori schools they use the phrase “In our class, we…”, but in this case you will have to adapt the phrase to home using “home” instead of “class”. It is a short phrase that is key to reminding children of their community membership and the rules they must follow for good coexistence. Instead of giving orders, they are just reminders of factual statements about how a community functions, in this case, our family.