Why is education important, homeschooling and the Montessori method
What is education and when does it start? Does it start on the first day of pre-school? Does it start on the first day of elementary school or does it start at home? In this post we will review different learning methods including Montessori and the importance of observing our kid’s behavior to choose the best learning method for them.
If we look up online, education is defined as systematic instruction, which means that it is something done following a fixed schedule, methodically. Parents follow a schedule every day, not because we want to necessarily but because our kids wake us up even before the alarm goes off. Children have a schedule, a routine and they like repeating it, memorizing it and reciting it. Our kids are teaching us the method to follow, what they like doing. Even in the mother’s womb the baby has a routine because the pregnant mother has a schedule that she follows. So yes, education is systematic, there is a method, there is a schedule, but what are the main components of education, at home education and when should it start?
Children never stop learning, they are machines eager to learn and absorb the world around them. Learning to them is a game, learning is fun, it’s a tool that helps children communicate better with their parents and peers. When children learn to communicate they experience less frustration and anxiety. Children who can’t communicate suffer the anxiety from knowing what they want but not being able to communicate it. So when does education start? Education starts as soon as the baby is born. The baby is learning from day one. He practices latching, burping, peeing, pooping, sneezing, coughing, smiling, grabbing things, etc. When the parents realize of the importance of their role as at home educators they became aware of the importance of everything they do in front of their kids.
Children model their parents, kids imitate the way we talk, the words we use and how we say them. Anything we do they will copy, bad or good and that is education too. Once we gain awareness that if we scream they scream, that if we toss things in the air when we are upset they will do it to we start looking at ourselves from the outside and start working on our own behavioral issues. Wait, what? That kids inherit their parents’ behavioral issues? Well, some yes. If we set the bad example, bad or good, they copy it because kids thinks that we know better.
Education starts the moment we consciously realize that everything we do at home matters; how we talk to our kids, how we set the table, how we eat. Kids are constantly learning, they don’t learn from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Kids learn 24/7 and we need to make every effort to give them the highest quality education.
Children at school learn from 1 teacher and 2 auxiliary teachers in a classroom of approximately 30. Our kids have the opportunity of dedicated education at home with a ratio of 1 to 1. Educating our own kids is a pleasure, it’s holding their hand while they take their first steps into this world and the experience they get from those first steps will mark the rest of their lives.
What are the best tools parents can use to educate their kids at home? Respect.
Respect is not obedience, respect is understanding our kid’s needs, their preoccupations, never thinking less of them and always giving them more tools than what they ask for to learn. If we respected our kids they would gain more confidence in themselves. What is the worst that can happen if I’m overestimating my kid? They will ask for help if they can’t do an activity. What happens if we underestimate them? They lose the chance to learn something new.
When I was in exactly that position and I had to choose what type of education I wanted to impart at home I looked up the different methods available out there. I like choosing a balanced method, picking a little bit of everything. I’m not a fundamentalist; I’m not a “Time out” or “Time In”, Montessori, Waldorf or conventional education. I think there’s something good and bad in every method and that will depend on the needs of the child. What matters most about each method is it’s fundamentals and basics.
The basics of Montessori education are observing the student. If we learn to actively observe our kids we will know what they need and how we can supply it to them. In the end, modern schools take many elements from the Montessori method such as the tiny tables and chairs to fit the kids, the tools that fit in their hands, the importance to learn while playing and having fun, etc.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to give cuddles and talk to our babies and kids. Babies need support, hugs, cuddles, they need attention when they cry. Ignoring them for long periods of time will help him create brain connections associating his childhood to feelings of mistrust and abandonment, losing the ability to have empathy. We need to hug as much as we can, support as much as we can and teach at home the importance of respect. Moms and dads need to respect each other and respect their kids. Once we all learn how to respect each other at home we have a perfect starting base for educating our kids in the right direction and the appropriate tools.