Montessori schooling is a unique method that promotes individualism, creativity, and independence. It is grounded in the idea that education must meet each individual’s needs.
However, as with any method, there is always a certain degree of variation. Individual schools have their unique twist, be it in philosophy or curriculum. But their main goal is the same: providing a child-centered learning environment for children to explore and discover.
Therefore, a child’s self-confidence is very important in the Montessori method. Without it, a child cannot learn to become independent and succeed at tasks of increasing difficulty. So how does Montessori bolster a child’s self-confidence?
Importance of Developing Confidence in Kids
Confidence is the child’s ‘compass’ in their development. It guides them to explore and discover, providing them a sense of security.
When a child is confident, they know they can trust themselves and what they are doing.
Here’s just some of the benefits of confidence developed through following Montessori method.
- Greater Capacity in Learning
When a child has confidence, they are more willing to learn and explore. They see things as challenges to be conquered rather than obstacles to be feared.
Simply put, confidence enables children to think for themselves. They are less dependent on their parents and teachers for problem-solving because they can tackle it independently.
They can also make choices based on their values rather than simply following the crowd. They will have an understanding of themselves holistically.
- Greater Ability to Accept Challenges
Having confidence allows a kid to accept challenges more optimistically.
However, a child without confidence may not and will not be able to accept challenges.
This is because children who lack confidence do not develop self-regulation skills, and so do not have the self-confidence or motivation to tackle new challenges, let alone handle them optimistically.
- Greater Acceptance of Failure
Confidence requires a child to accept failure as part of the learning process. When a child fails and they are not crushed/triggered by it is a huge win for learning ability.
They know that there are reasons why things fail. They learn from their mistakes and apply them to the next task or activity.
This leads to greater self-confidence, as failure is seen as an opportunity for improvement rather than an indication of a lack of talent or ability.
- Improved Social Skills
Confidence allows a child to be more social, as they are more willing to take risks and interact with new people.
They will be able to create bonds and friendships with others. Thus, they will be more likely to develop social skills.
Montessori’s Approach to Building Confidence in Kids
There are many approaches you can find on the internet about how to build self-confidence, but Montessori’s approach begins with the child and follows a handful of basic principles.
These basic principles of the Montessori method guide the educator in building confidence in children from inside out.
Creating a prepared environment
Montessori believed it was insufficient to provide kids with new challenges and learning opportunities.
Rather, everything should be geared towards encouraging natural growth and development.
The child’s environment should be sufficiently prepared and ordered for them to focus on their needs each day.
Allowing for freedom of choice and movement
One of the principles is that children must be free to choose their activities.
They should be allowed to move around and explore freely in their way.
This allows them to develop a sense of making decisions and controlling actions.
Independence is the ability to work on tasks independently and achieve the desired goal without relying on others for help.
Montessori believed that it is important not to inhibit their actions but instead aid them in developing each skill they pursue.
Therefore, the prepared environment is meant to encourage a significant amount of independence and prevent constraining their actions.
Providing opportunities for social interaction
Children are encouraged to meet and interact with other children of a slightly older and younger through their work and surroundings so that they may learn from one another as well as from the educator who guides them in these interactions.
Providing adult support
An effective Montessori educator should be a supportive individual.
They should be able to encourage the child’s growth and development and ensure that those affected can learn how to handle the challenge.
(This post may contain affiliate links where I earn a small commission from your purchase at no cost to you. Feel free to check my disclosure for more info! )
They must facilitate the child’s growth for it to occur by supporting them when they fail or encouraging their own pride when they succeed (such as having them say “I did it!”.
Specific Montessori Activities That Build Confidence
The Montessori method emphasizes a child-centered environment and curriculum, which will then allow for the development of self-confidence in your children.
Here are four core areas in Montessori that allow children to become more confident: practical life, sensory, and cultural activities.
Practical life activities
These activities are practical in the sense that they have some application in everyday life.
Some of these activities include pouring, washing, sweeping, and dusting.
Practical life activities allow the child to learn more about the world and others by doing activities such as cleaning and learning about different objects.
Activities that are involved in making use of the five senses. A child’s senses are the gateways to their mind, as they allow information to be processed in intricate detail.
These activities are typically called “games” or “enrichment lessons,” depending on the child’s age. However, for Montessori, these activities are not about “winning” or “losing.”
The aim is for children to explore and enjoy the activity, not their performance.
These senses will boost a child’s confidence because they can understand the world around them. Therefore, they will not fear new environments and interactions with objects around them.
An example of a sensory game that would build confidence is using something to “hide” an object, such as placing it under a cup. The child must then use their senses to find the object.
Cultural activities are related to the concepts of civilization. A child is usually introduced to these concepts by experiencing them firsthand.
The idea behind this is that the child cultivates a sense of empathy and appreciation for other people, places, and cultures. They learn to develop their imaginations through literature and arts.
These activities are usually related to the development of humankind’s literacy and arts, which help a child develop an original personality.
It is how they learn to express themselves through different mediums such as drawing, music, literature, poetry, and dance.
Exploring cultures will help them realize that the world is a lot more than just what they are familiar with, and it will help them develop their self-confidence in who they are.
The Role of the Montessori Guide in Building Confidence
The Montessori method is a unique form of education that relies on the skills of a Montessori guide.
If a child is not allowed to explore their surroundings and develop personally, they won’t be able to develop confidence and self-control
The teacher must understand the importance of allowing children to grow freely, learn through play and experimentation, and develop self-control through repetitive observation.
Importance of a supportive guide
Having a supportive guide who enables children to be active participants in the classroom environment.
They should build confidence in the child by understanding and encouraging those struggling.
Guidance from an adult helps children to overcome any difficulties that may arise.
Support in a non-verbal way in which children can know they are being encouraged to do what they desire can maximize their self-confidence and appreciate the support coming from a guide.
Importance of observation
Observation comprises the different ways a child can see the world around them.
The teacher can be very influential for a child if they allow children to observe and learn about the world around them.
For that reason, observation can play an important role in boosting confidence because it helps children understand what they need to do to become confident.
This requires the teacher to notice a child’s behavior and understand the skills that are important to them
Montessori Builds Confidence
Montessori’s approach to building confidence is a very specific method associated with their school of thought.
Montessori believes that all people are creative, and it is also important for them to have the opportunity to develop their creativity and self-confidence.
Therefore, children should be allowed to grow naturally, free of pressure from adults and society.
Confidence is very important in a child’s progress because it boosts self-esteem and allows them to become independent.
It is the foundation for their identity, allowing them to accept themselves in all situations.
Furthermore, confidence allows a child to have more control over their actions and decisions, enabling them to transform into positive people who can care for themselves and others.
Although many methods can help a child build confidence, certain methods will be most effective. The Montessori way of teaching is excellent because it is very specific and non-conventional.
So, if you want your child to boost self-confidence, it is best to allow them to grow naturally, being encouraged by supportive people who are there for them.
Author Bio: Andrea Gibbs from SpringHive Web Design Agency is currently a contributor at Montessori Academy, a website dedicated to helping parents with the in’s and out’s of parenting children within the Montessori tradition. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog.