Gables Montessori Blog

The potential of each child

One of the characteristics that has defined the Montessori Method, created by the Italian Maria Montessori at the beginning of the TWENTIETH century, was that each child could release the potential that it possesses in some activity, while being integral in terms of other areas or knowledge . Of Course, it is intended to teach young children, with tasks and values that they can carry out from an early age and that molded or instructed them in some way in the process of becoming adults.

Within the classroom, there must be a suitable environment for the child to feel confident and free to learn, a place where they practice affection, respect and discipline, where in turn the didactic materials available to them choose , thanks to his own interest. Seeing in this way that the child possesses in itself the capacities to go building himself. The father or teacher is nothing more than a guide, a person who will provide you with the tools for your learning.

Thanks to the environment where you will be given the freedom to choose, you will facilitate the knowledge of reading and writing on a par with certain rules and limits, that are only the observation towards that which interested them and the respect towards the activities of other companions , those little efforts that will be very significant in their formation.

While they are being instructed in general knowledge, as the aforementioned, at the time of these completed, if they want to play, draw, or carry out another activity, they are in the freedom to do so, since if it is their will, that must be respected.

They Will Have a moment to share and to know integral tools, that will help them throughout their lives, at the same time they will be given the opportunity to learn for themselves, to create independence and also to choose that they like, that they want to do to To develop its potential in terms of this activity or task. Pushing them, and encouraging them is only our duty.





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The Montessori Environment

María Montessori described the child’s development as “the progressive acquisition of new forms of independence”. Every aspect of the child’s natural development, since it was known, is in itself, the livelihoods that are going to be guided by the inner potentialities of the infant, which are helped by the environment, which is sometimes this process, instead of encouragement and help.

These processes towards the independence of the child are linked to their physiological maturation (functions of neurological maturation that are already determined by genetic or congenital issues).

The environment can modify or obstruct these internal processes, but they can not create them. Therefore, the function of the adult is to help the child to develop in an environment where their development is not hindered, in addition to encouraging their independence process, that is, leaving the child aside. You can not carry out a corporal.

The child can only develop in the middle of work, that is, experiences with the environment, acquire new skills and abilities, which can only emerge when the environment, the adult included, the one given to the child, the freedom of action and movement , in such a way that the minor increases his independence, which is not static, but is a continuous and permanent achievement in life.

A very important factor in the achievement of the independence of the child is that the capacity of the election is developed in the prepared environment, it is very important in the conquest of independence because it carries the message of the person, their opinion and their needs are important , in the place of leaving a state of adult dependence, when making decisions for him, in which there is no help at all, but is confirmed and kept in a state of submission. Free choice leads the child towards the conquest of his independence.

In a Montessori environment, one of the functions of the guide (which should be the same as the parents in the house) is to accompany the child in this process of independent volunteering, to demonstrate a prepared and structured environment that responds to their needs. development, in other words: “Help me to do it by myself”.

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Fundamental educational principles of Montessori education


Although the Montessori method has been applied as causes of its frequency, it is possible to find at least 8 fundamental principles of this pedagogical style at the base of the work of the Montessori and later popular developments.


  1. Learning by discovery.

The educational philosophy of Montessori has a markedly constructivist character. It is understood that people, in general, learn better through direct contact, practice and discovery than through direct instruction. However, the determined subjects, especially from 6 years old, require specific master classes.

  1. Preparation of the educational environment.

In the Montessori method, a “prepared environment” is used; This means that it has been adapted to the needs of the students according to their age. In addition, we must take into account the movement and the realization of activities, be clean and orderly, be aesthetically attractive and have natural elements such as plants inside and outside the classroom.

  1. Use of specific materials

One of the most important components of the Montessori environment is the inclusion of materials made by Montessori herself and her collaborators. It is preferable to use natural materials, such as wood, instead of artificial materials.

  1. Student’s personal choice

Although the prepared environment entails limitations in the range of activities that students can access, it is still greater than that of traditional education and during most of the class time is given freedom to choose any material, game or educational content among those available in the classroom.

Montessori spoke of “self-education” to refer to the active participation of students in their own learning. In this sense, the role of teachers is related more to preparation, supervision, and help, as we will see later.

  1. Classrooms for age groups

A very important aspect of the Montessori method is the fact that it is recommended that the classrooms contain a high number of students and that they have different ages, although they are divided by age groups because of the specificities of the development in each period. Generally, the separation is carried out in groups of 3 years (for example from 6 to 9).

This is because Montessori argued that there are sensitive periods in which children have a greater facility to acquire some or other types of skills and knowledge. Thus, in early childhood, it is important to develop language or the senses, while abstract thinking is encouraged especially after age 6.

  1. Collaborative learning and play

Since students are free to choose how they are educated, they will often decide to collaborate with their classmates. This allows peer tutoring, is especially relevant in relation to the game (which plays important roles in sociocultural development) and must be promoted by the faculty.

  1. Classes without interruptions

Another of the most characteristic features of the Montessori method is the presence of classes of 3 hours uninterrupted. Since they are based mainly on self-direction on the part of students, they should be much less bored than in traditional teaching; what is sought is to favor the achievement of a state of concentration that enhances learning.

  1. Teacher as a guide and supervisor

In the Montessori method, the teacher guides the learning of the students avoiding hindering their process of self-education. Thus, their roles are related to the preparation of the academic environment, the observation of children to promote individualized learning, the introduction of new educational materials or the provision of information.



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Montessori Education Provides Better Outcomes than Traditional Methods, Study Finds

A study comparing outcomes of children at a public inner-city Montessori school with children who attended traditional schools indicates that Montessori education leads to children with better social and academic skills.


The study appears in the September 29, 2006 issue of the journal Science (article full text).

Montessori education is characterized by multi-age classrooms, a special set of educational materials, student-chosen work in long time blocks, a collaborative environment with student mentors, absence of grades and tests, and individual and small group instruction in academic and social skills. More than 5,000 schools in the United States, including 300 public schools, use the Montessori method.

The Montessori school studied is located in Milwaukee and serves urban minority children. Students at the school were selected for enrollment through a random lottery process. Those students who “won” the lottery and enrolled at the Montessori school made up the study group. A control group was made up of children who had “lost” the lottery and were therefore enrolled in other schools using traditional methods. In both cases the parents had entered their children in the school lottery with the hope of gaining enrollment in the Montessori school.

“This strategy addressed the concern that parents who seek to enroll their children in a Montessori school are different from parents who do not,” wrote study authors Angeline Lillard, a University of Virginia professor of psychology, and Nicole Else-Quest, a former graduate student in psychology at the University of Wisconsin. This was an important factor because parents generally are the dominant influence on child outcomes.

Children were evaluated at the end of the two most widely implemented levels of Montessori education: primary (3- to 6-year-olds) and elementary (6- to 12-year-olds). They came from families of very similar income levels (averaging from $20,000 to $50,000 per year for both groups).

The children who attended the Montessori school, and the children who did not, were tested for their cognitive and academic skills, and for their social and behavioral skills.

“We found significant advantages for the Montessori students in these tests for both age groups,” Lillard said. “Particularly remarkable are the positive social effects of Montessori education. Typically the home environment overwhelms all other influences in that area.”

Among the 5-year-olds, Montessori students proved to be significantly better prepared for elementary school in reading and math skills than the non-Montessori children. They also tested better on “executive function,” the ability to adapt to changing and more complex problems, an indicator of future school and life success.

Montessori children also displayed better abilities on the social and behavioral tests, demonstrating a greater sense of justice and fairness. And on the playground they were much more likely to engage in emotionally positive play with peers, and less likely to engage in rough play.

Among the 12-year-olds from both groups, the Montessori children, in cognitive and academic measures, produced essays that were rated as “significantly more creative and as using significantly more sophisticated sentence structures.” The Montessori and non-Montessori students scored similarly on spelling, punctuation and grammar, and there was not much difference in academic skills related to reading and math. This parity occurred despite the Montessori children not being regularly tested and graded.

In social and behavioral measures, 12-year-old Montessori students were more likely to choose “positive assertive responses” for dealing with unpleasant social situations, such as having someone cut into a line. They also indicated a “greater sense of community” at their school and felt that students there respected, helped and cared about each other.

The authors concluded that, “…when strictly implemented, Montessori education fosters social and academic skills that are equal or superior to those fostered by a pool of other types of schools.”

Lillard plans to continue the research by tracking the students from both groups over a longer period of time to determine long-term effects of Montessori versus traditional education. She also would like to replicate the study at other Montessori and traditional schools using a prospective design, and to examine whether specific Montessori practices are linked to specific outcomes.

Lillard is the author of Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius. More information is available at:

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Kids need to have fun away from home and parks can be a good option for it, but if you don’t take into account some precautionary measures a moment of fun can turn into an unpleasant event. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, emergency rooms saw an estimated 30,000 injuries linked to amusement parks in 2016. There are also some incidents reported in zoos, playgrounds, water parks and other spaces, so the best thing is to have a broad spectrum of rules to teach children so they can enjoy themselves quietly outside. Most accidents are preventable following some simple safety guidelines.

  1. Teach your kids how to play safely. When visiting a park or any place (as a museum) read the rules with them. They will learn to prevent by themselves.
  2. Remember that there are not better safety inspectors than parents. If you consider that there are not safety standards or some rides are not intended for your children (obey posted age, height and weight restrictions), simply don’t let them get into them.
  3. At the amusement parks, observe things like: safety instructions posted, behavior of the operators, the possibility of stop the ride if the child becomes frightened and others important details.
  4. Try to avoid trampolines, some specialists say that falling off, crashing into other children, or jumping incorrectly can result in strains, sprains, fractures and other injuries, and serious head and neck injuries.
  5. Remember that children want to be trusted with their decisions and taking risks allow them to display courage and physical skills, so try they learn risk management strategies for themselves with your close monitoring.
  6. If you are going to a national park or forest, plan your trip carefully. Involve the whole family in the preparations for the ride. Teach your kids to watch their steps, to be alert about noises and animals and avoid insect bites, stings and scratches.
  7. Anytime and anyplace children need to learn how to protect themselves from sun rays using a hat, a shirt and sunscreen even on overcast days.
  8. Always keep your eyes on your kids, have a plan for what to do if you get separated or lost and teach them not to talk to or accept something from strangers.
  9. If the family is visiting a water park, be aware of your children’s swimming ability and be cautious about attractions such as wave pools and long slides.
  10. Control the food and drink. Children must be hydrated all the time but preferably with water, avoiding drinks that contain caffeine and candy that overexcite children.
  11. Recognize the signs of injury: headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, or numbness and tingling. If the child is not acting as usually, you should stop any activity in the park until he recovers himself. Don’t underestimate atypical symptoms.
  12. Have a plan to get your family out of the park in case of an accident, outbreak of violence, sudden weather or something else that could be dangerous. Locate the maps of the place before the fun starts and check the available exits “just in case”.
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The fear of water is relatively common among toddlers and preschool-age children, and if it is not addressed may persist throughout childhood. Many children hate to get their eyes wet in the bath so this simple activity can be a real struggle. Some specialists say that this kind of anxiety comes from the sense of separation from parents that the little ones experience, so the result is a generalized fear to many things that can be in some cases irrational. Also children don’t have the life experience to explain everyday occurrences or how things works so in some cases a bad incident in the water could be the origin of the fear. Anyhow, strategies should be aimed at increasing your child’s sense of control, ask what she is afraid of and listen to her response closely. Some tips as the following may help:

When bathing:

  • Place pictures, objects, images on the ceiling or walls to distract your child and encourage him to tip his head back for rinsing.
  • Give your child a small shampoo bottle to play and wash his own hair, making him part of the process.
  • Make the bath a time for fun, include toys in the water or objects that can get wet.
  • Try the shower instead of the bath tub, some kids feel comfortable with the shower spray.

In the pool:

  • Prefer calmed pools. Some of them can be overwhelming for some children (crowded and noisy).
  • Respect your genuine child´s feelings and don’t force him to go any faster than he is able. Be patient and don’t overreact getting nervous too.
  • Look for help, try to get into the water with another adult accompanying you and your child.
  • Encourage your child when he tries to overcome fear, a delicious reward is allowed in these cases.
  • Give your child frequent reassurance she is safe.
  • Be a role model, although you are afraid of water, never tell your children about it.
  • Never leave your child alone although he is afraid of the water, you don’t know when he would like to experience to get into it.


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