I love learning about new things. Being an educator and a strong advocate for fostering developmental skills in children, when I came across the Montessori style of raising kids and did extensive research on it, I found it is definitely in line with my way of thinking and aligns with my plans to providing the twins an opportunity to learn from the very beginning. I had always heard of Montessori when it comes to schools and I have always liked their educational practices, I just never knew you could take those same concepts and apply them at home. I absolutely want to raise our kids this way, the only thing I am still looking into is the floor bed. It is one of the main components of Montessori methodology and it means having a crib mattress on the floor rather than a crib. When I first heard about it I thought it seemed crazy, but upon looking into it further it actually makes cribs seem like the more impractical choice. I'm sure I'd get some strange looks with this, that it's weird or unconventional, but remember how cigarettes and GMOs were once deemed perfectly safe for people so I can see how just because babies have been put into cribs for years, doesn't mean that is the best thing for them. I'm not 100% about the floor bed idea yet, I still want to research more, but the fact that so many children get hurt climbing out of cribs each year and all the recalls on them from injury, it does make a good case for keeping them close to the ground. But there is much more to the process, it's not just about putting a bed on the floor. The concept behind a Montessori room is that you design it with the perspective of a toddler. You have specific low shelving that has a few developmental toys and books for them to choose from if they want to play, some art work secured low to the wall for them, a mirror next to their bed for them to discover how they move their own bodies, and a pull up bar with a mirror (looks like a miniature ballet bar) for them to learn how to pull themselves up and apparently babies LOVE it! I am pretty set on the whole concept, I am just trying to figure out the logistics of doing the floor beds with twins before committing to the room layout. I have posted some some great links with questions answered and people who wrote about their experiences with using the Montessori method in their household. I was so surprised to find that so many people out there are doing this successfully. I also like the whole idea of teaching them at an early age to think more independently and naturally, which promotes critical thinking skills. It's definitely an interesting approach that coincides with my line of thinking educationally. My gears are certainly turning... decisions, decisions...
Here is the philosophy behind Montessori...
When most people hear “Montessori”, they think of it as a type of pre-school or kindergarten.
In fact, Montessori is a holistic, comprehensive, wide-reaching philosophy and methodology of childcare and education.
As millions attest, Montessori theories and practices may result in more confident, independent, well-adjusted children, while at the same time leaving their parents feeling less stressed, overwhelmed, and overworked.
What we now call “Montessori” was developed through observation and intuition by Italian educator Maria Montessori, who opened her first school in Rome in 1907.
According to Maria, and the experts she trained who now continue her work, children under 6 (especially young children under 3) cannot be taught or educated—and that trying to do so may lead to developmental and behavioral maladjustments.
The Montessori method, therefore, teaches not children but rather parents and educators to: (A) more intelligently and perceptively observe children and determine their needs; (B) create environments and opportunities where children learn willingly and naturally; and (C) provide children with the freedom and autonomy necessary for excellence to emerge.
Here are some links from parents who are successfully using this method with their children. Interesting reading and a lot of questions answered.
Montessori Rooms for Twins:
Pictures of Montessori Rooms and Floor Beds:
General Montessori Video:
Montessori Floor Bed:
(look at how much he loves looking in the mirror!)
Video of Baby Using Montessori Pull-Up Bar:
Educational toys/tools for first year of life at home