“Let the children be free; encourage them, let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and; when the grass of the meadow is damp with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet” – Maria Montessori
At first glance Montessori and Beach School may seem like an unlikely combination. The majority of what we do is influence by the Forest School philosophy. But I firmly believe that there is no place for purism in child-led education – to ‘follow the child’ we need to draw on inspiration from a vast array of educational philosophies. Dr Montessori was a huge advocate for outdoor learning, which was pioneering in her time. At Beach School we don’t only advocate outdoor exploration, we also present learning experiences to our participants in a Montessori-inspired way.
Here is how:
- We observe the children, constantly, so we can prepare activities that are the right level for them.
- We ensure the children have a safe environment to be able to explore freely. We have enough rules to keep us safe, but not so many rules that our participants want to push for more freedom and independence.
- We prepare activities for children to discover with their hands – encouraging active learning.
- We use, wherever possible, natural and environmentally- friendly materials, because they are kinder to our Earth but also provide a better sensory experience for our young learner.
- We strive to present our activities in a manner that is simple and beautiful – building wonder and a love of learning.
I think Montessori and Beach School are a very good pair. If you are interested in Montessori practice with young children, I highly recommend ‘The Montessori Toddler’ by Simone Davies
Which learning theories influence your families or your practice? I’d love to know.
This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to buy the book recommended from Amazon, you will also be supporting the Beach School. Win, win!