Megan Nguyen specialises in child and family development with an interest in Montessori Philosophy. She has Montessori training (0-3, 3-6) and has served as an infant and toddler program Directress. Megan is the owner of Growing Minds providing consults for parents, developmental assessments for children and training for early childhood professionals. She is a budding author and a proud mother to three Montessori children (2009, 2011 and 2013). This is her Montessori story…
My Montessori journey began over a decade ago. Geesh, saying that makes me feel really
old mature. I was studying my science degree in child and family development back home in the States. My brain was filled with theories and philosophies from all the many theorists relating to human development. I read and gave careful consideration to each one. There was one theorist that stood out the most however; Dr. Maria Montessori. I am sure some of it was the fact that she was a woman. Like most studies going back in history, the male always shone to the front. This was NOT the case with Montessori. She was right up there with the big boys and if you ever read about the obstacles she overcame to get to her vast achievements you would know that she was more than just a bright woman, but a PIONEER. A pioneer for educational reform, yes! A pioneer for women’s rights, yes! A pioneer for valuing children, yes! She was so many things. She stood out. I believe she was born to do just that.
Montessori’s deep understanding of the developing brain is mesmerizing. I went to a talk with neuropsychologist, Steve Hughes and he spoke about how she was one of the greatest minds and humanitarians of the century. She was like Ghandi or Mandela or Mother Theresa. She was able to SEE children in a way that no one else in her time could. It is near baffling how she predicted with such accuracy how the brain works and when sensitive periods occured, without any technological advances. MRI’s now prove what she said all along all this time later. I just can’t help but to think what the world would have been like without her?
Now we are blessed with the many following in her footsteps: advocates, tree shakers if you will, demanding that we continue to ‘follow the child’ – not give in to the status quo and teaching to tests. To say no to rote learning, conformity and bogged down homework. People like me want to say YES to bringing the love of learning back to the classroom, YES to the sparkles in the eyes of children when they talk about their school day and YES to trust, respect, independence and individual learning for each and every child.
I know the road to choosing what educational path your child will take is hard. I examined every trajectory that was possible. Independent education like Montessori may not be obtainable for everyone for various reasons: logistics or financial. I get it. My family makes sacrifices for all three of our children to receive a Montessori education. We are fortunate that we have sacrifices we can make as I know that it is not the case for all, especially with the cost of living skyrocketing in places such as Sydney where we reside. However, there is a silver lining: Montessori is more than academic. It is a lifestyle- a way of living.
No matter where your children go to school you can still adopt the philosophy within your home. This alone will take you far and help your child on his journey where ever it may lead. Treating children with respect, providing them with freedom of movement, independence and a sense of order and choices will do wonders for his developing self. It will also build a foundation of trust in your relationship.
All of that is my Montessori. It is indeed an “education for life.” It is not a whim or a fad but a scientifically proven method that shines as bright as it did a century ago. These are things that I will explore here at Montessori and Me; while sharing with you my experiences as a Montessori parent and professional. I hope you will join me and perhaps make my Montessori, yours.
To contact Megan e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
*Note: All photos on this site are copyright of Megan Nguyen, unless otherwise noted and are not to be used without permission.
**All products mentioned on this site are done so on my own accord, independent of the company and without endorsement. Products mentioned are done so because they have been found to be of benefit to my family or others I know. I receive no monetary or other reward in sharing the products on my blog. It is based on pure recommendation of what we have personally found to work for us. If we do agree to promote a product that we believe in on our site, it will be stated in the post.