I recently read some notes from a speech that Susan Mayclin Stephenson gave titled "Montessori, Education for the Future". She spoke about ten skills that are and will be, vital. These ten skills are all fostered and supported in a Montessori environment. These ten skills are so essential, it's really worth sharing them with you today.
These skills are all evident from the first few days of life and can be fostered in the home as much as in any school or nido. With a little awareness, we can bring these skills to all of our babies, toddlers and, children. In many ways, these skills are the essence of Montessori.
- Exploration - with all senses, be aware of the child's surroundings.
- Work and putting forth maximum effort with no external rewards - no need for praise or punishments, the work is the reward.
- Repeating an activity until it is mastered - lots of free uninterrupted work/play, don't break the child's concentration.
- Focusing or concentrating on age-appropriate healthy activities.
- Self-control - self-regulation.
- Developing a mathematical mind.
- Communicating - from birth, verbal and nonverbal.
- Working with others with respect and kindness.
- Caring for the environment.
- Solving real problems - provide opportunities for real work, using real tools and materials that give real feedback.
There are a lot of ideas here but I feel these concepts are not overwhelming. Remember these can be fostered from birth, at home with very few toys or materials.
I love all of Susan's work and her books are the first I recommend, including The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three, Child of the World: Montessori, Global Education for Age 3-12+ and, Montessori and Mindfulness.