There are three key pillars that set Montessori apart from other learning systems: independence, mastery, and concrete foundations. In this regard, Montessori is like a stool, each of these makes the other possible and together they keep the stool from falling over.

If you have children, you probably remember them getting frustrated when their body was not yet strong enough to roll over, sit, crawl, walk, and so forth. Unfortunately as children get older, adults are often the hinderance that prevents them from doing the things they can, or would at least like to try to do.

It can be hard to let children do for themselves. Sometimes it takes a long time for a child to put on their shoes, walk to the door, or eat their entire meal by feeding themselves. In our fast-paced world, it is easier to just do it ourselves. But, that only becomes more frustrating as our children get older and look to us to do things for them.

Consider that a toddler can:
• Get their own shoes
• Help unload pieces of the dishwasher (spoons and plastic cups are usually safest)
• Feed themselves
• Put their clothes in the laundry hamper (as long as it is within their reach)
• Walk to the car, the school door, around the house

A 3 year old can:
• Take off/put on their own shoes (Velcro!)
• Take their pants on and off (shirts with help)
• Put on their coat (use the flip over the head trick)
• Help unload the dishwasher
• Help feed the animals
• Help set the table
• Help with basic cooking

There is so much that children are capable of doing for themselves. When we allow them the opportunities to succeed (and fail), we teach them to try new things and to be self-sufficient. We also plant the seeds of self-motivation that they will need to be successful as older children and adults. Pride in one’s work starts at the earliest of ages. Give your child the gift of independence from the beginning and it will blossom and grow with each year.

To learn more, download one of our Independence Guides.