Hive Montessori School

What is freedom with boundaries? A Montessori approach

Hey there, fellow parents and educators! Do you ever find yourself torn between giving children the freedom to explore and learn on their own, and setting clear boundaries to ensure their safety and wellbeing? It’s a delicate balance, and one that can be difficult to achieve. But what if we told you that there’s a way to provide children with freedom and autonomy, while still setting boundaries that promote their growth and development?

Enter the Montessori approach to education, which emphasises freedom with boundaries as a cornerstone of its philosophy. One of the key principles of this approach is the idea of where children have the freedom to explore and learn on their own, while also providing clear boundaries to guide their behaviour.

But what exactly does freedom with boundaries look like in practice? And how do we apply this approach to our Montessori classrooms ? In this blog post, we’ll dive into the Montessori philosophy on freedom with boundaries, explore the benefits of this approach for children’s development, and provide practical tips for implementing it in your own educational setting.

So, whether you’re a parent looking for ways to foster your child’s independence, or an educator seeking to create a positive and nurturing learning environment, this post is for you! Let’s explore the world of freedom with boundaries together.

 

The Montessori Philosophy on Freedom with Boundaries

Maria Montessori’s approach to education is unique in a way that gives life to the core importance of giving children the freedom to explore and learn at their own pace. Maria Montessori believed that children have an innate desire to learn, and it’s up to the educator or the Montessori adult to provide them with the tools and resources they need to facilitate their growth and development.

Children are given the space to explore their environment, make choices, and engage in activities that interest them. But at the same time, the environment is carefully prepared with age-appropriate materials and clear guidelines to ensure their safety and security.

At Hive Montessori we focus on respecting children’s autonomy. Educators are trained to observe and listen to each child’s individual needs and interests and adapt their approach to meet the same. This is what we call IEP (Individual Educational Plan) which we will touch upon in a different blog. We will be safe to mention we are the best in this area and that makes us unique. Details about IEP can also be found on our website.

Children are encouraged to make choices, take risks, and learn from their mistakes, which are all critical components of the learning process. This also makes them resilient and prepared for the future.

 

Types of Freedoms in Montessori

  • Freedom of Movement: This means that children are free to move around the classroom and explore their environment. By allowing children to move freely, they develop their physical abilities, independence, and self-confidence.
  • Freedom of Choice: In a Montessori environment, children are encouraged to choose their own activities based on their interests and needs. This promotes engagement in learning and allows children to take ownership of their education. By making choices, children develop self-discovery skills and learn to trust their own abilities.
  • Freedom of Time: Montessori allows children to work with materials for as long as they need. This encourages children to learn at their own pace and develop concentration skills. By having the freedom to work with materials for as long as they like, children learn patience and persistence.
  • Freedom to Repeat: In Montessori, children are allowed to work with materials and practice until they achieve mastery. This promotes self-correction and problem-solving skills. By having the freedom to repeat activities, children learn to trust their own abilities and develop a growth mindset.
  • Freedom to Communicate: Communication is encouraged in the Montessori classroom. Children learn to discuss activities, solve problems, and develop social skills. By having the freedom to communicate, children learn to express themselves and understand others.
  • Freedom to Make Mistakes: In Montessori, materials are designed to guide children towards self-discovery and understanding through hands-on learning experiences. This encourages children to learn from their mistakes and develop a growth mindset. By having the freedom to make mistakes, children learn to take risks and trust their own abilities.

 

Benefits of Freedom with Boundaries in Montessori Education

One of the key benefits of this approach is the development of self-discipline. By allowing children the freedom to choose their activities and work at their own pace, they learn to manage their time and develop self-control. This helps them to become more responsible, focused, and productive individuals. Additionally, the Montessori approach helps children develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and decision-making abilities, which are all important components of self-discipline.

Another benefit of the Montessori approach to freedom with boundaries is that it fosters creativity. Children are encouraged to explore their interests and learn through hands-on experiences. This allows them to develop their creativity, imagination, and originality, as they are not limited by a rigid curriculum or strict guidelines. They can explore their ideas and express themselves in their own unique ways.

The Montessori approach also promotes independence. By allowing children to make choices and take responsibility for their learning, they become more self-reliant and self-motivated. This helps them to develop confidence in their own abilities, which is an essential component of independence. Children are given the opportunity to learn through trial and error, and to take risks, which helps them to develop a sense of independence and autonomy.

Furthermore, the Hive Montessori approach fosters a love of learning and a sense of responsibility in children. By providing a supportive and structured environment that encourages freedom with boundaries, children become more engaged in their learning and develop a passion for discovery. They take ownership of their education and become responsible for their own learning. This not only prepares them for success in school but also helps them to become lifelong learners.


Examples of Freedom with Boundaries in Montessori Classrooms

Hive Montessori school in Chennai has classrooms designed to promote freedom with boundaries in various ways. For instance, the layout of the classroom provides children with a range of activities and materials that they can choose from, while also ensuring that the environment is orderly and structured. This enables children to move freely around the room, and to work on activities that they find interesting and engaging.

At Hive Montessori a child may for example choose to work on Mathematics activities for a certain period of time and work at their own pace, there are multiple iterations and the child finally gets to the solution by experiment and self correction. The freedom to choose an activity itself has boundaries that require specific steps to be taken in order to complete it. The Montessori adult will demonstrate and guide the child on how to use the materials properly, but the child ultimately has the freedom to explore and learn from the activity in their own way however the boundary there would be for the adult to notice and ensure the child knows when the activity has been mastered and to move on to another challenge or work. This helps the child to keep mastering and look out for the next interesting activity in the curriculum instead of repeating the same activity since they  just enjoy doing it.

 

Key Takeaways

So, to sum it up, the Montessori approach to education is all about giving children the freedom to explore their interests and abilities within a structured environment. By promoting freedom with boundaries, Montessori classrooms foster self-discipline, creativity, and independence in children. This approach also helps children to develop critical thinking skills and decision-making abilities. This can also help children understand their own capabilities which in traditional methods take a long time for a person to realise.

As parents and educators, we should consider the Montessori approach as a way to support our children’s growth and development. By providing them with opportunities to discover themselves and explore within a supportive organic environment, we can nurture their individuality and set them up for lifelong learning.