Maria by Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Before our son was born, I worked, for a short amount of time, at a Montessori school in New Jersey. Over the years I've read a number of her books and as a parent something that has always stuck with me about Montessori is the encouragement she gave children to accomplish tasks (or as much of the task, or work, as possible) without adult intervention. Thanks to this lovely board book, children can begin to understand the uniqueness of Montessori's early beginnings as she believed that every child is a distinct individual that should be treated with an abundance of love and respect.
As the first woman to study medicine in Italy, Montessori wasn't easily accepted by medical peers, but her observation of children in the late 1800's with -- what Drs considered special needs at the time -- lead to Montessori opening a "The Children's House" where children could learn in a hands-on, self-directed environment. Today we think of things like a child-sized table and chairs as being normal, or a child's desire to be independent and a self-directed learner as normal, but Montessori championed those beliefs as an educator, or more accurately, a guide (not teacher) of education.
Montessori was ahead of her time and to this day her philosophy of education continues to be implemented around the world. In the closing words of Maria, "The children of today are the makers of tomorrow."
With so much going on around parents about COVID-19, Maria was a much-needed reminder to me that while my home may not be setup with many Montessori materials and while life has been a little hectic for our family, Montessori's ability to show an outpouring of respect and patience toward children is one of the greatest gifts we can give children during this time.
Keep reading to those little ones!