Montessori World

An educational blog for children and adults

Tell me… What do children get from a Montessori education?

In big letters that scream, children get this from a Montessori education:


Yes, children deserve to get the best education, that goes beyond any types of academic skills.

During an interview with a mum for a completion of an assignment, she asked whether her 6-year-old child should be placed in a Chinese-medium primary school or continue studying in the private International school. We talked a lot about all the stuff that children need to have to survive and grow in this fast progressing world. Ultimately, the mum said this which really enthralled me.

“I think my child should go through the hard knocks, razoring and intense pressure of the Chinese school system or curriculum at an earlier stage of her life, so that she can persevere and not easily give up at later age, when she is in secondary school and as an adult.”

Those were not the mum’s exact words, but content of her message. I was flabbergasted. I was blown away. And I was struck dumb silent. I did not respond to that as it was time to leave her place to go for another interview.

Do children need to be put in a place where they would be stoned by homework and academic pressure at a very early age, so that they could cope with tension and pressure better when they enter the working life? Yes, academic skills get them to pass the exams that are being set by the teachers themselves. What happens to creativity, imagination, living skills, emotional skills, public relations skills? Is there a subject in school which will educate children about how to save the environment, how to manage money, how to think out of the box, how to explore beyond everybody’s expectations?

In fact, through reading Tommorow’s Child magazine, (Back To School edition, 2002), Americans also face the problem of choosing traditional schools or other curricula, such as Montessori, for their children’s education. Students of traditional schools, like our Malaysia students memorize facts without understanding and expect teachers to feed them answers. Mind you, robots are made that way too. “Follow what I say, don’t ask because I must complete the syllabus, and there is not much time left.” That is the slogan of the education’s traditional system.

Talking about young children of 3-6 years old, they do not learn following the code of traditional school system. They are vibrant, full of curiosity, active, confident, independent  and self-learners. YES! They are born that way, but adults being grown-ups who think they know it all since they were born earlier, love to build a mould or a castle that is built based on their beliefs and concepts, for their children, in the sake of ‘protecting’ them. Protecting is good, but supplying your child with the tools for protection is even better.

Helen Keller, who was mutually inspired by Montessori, wrote:

“I believe that every child has hidden away somewhere in his being, noble capacities which may be quickened and developed if we go about it in the right way. But we shall never properly develop the higher nature of our little ones while we continue to fill their minds with the so-called basics. Mathematics will never make them loving, nor will accurate knowledge of the size and shape of the world help them to appreciate its beauties. Let us lead them during the first years to find their greatest pleasure in nature. Let them run in the fields, learn about animals, and observe real things. Children will educate themselves under the right conditions.”

(If you do not know who is Helen Keller, watch this video as her teacher Anne Sullivan, talks about her. )

Montessori schools are different simply because children are given the freedom to learn as an individual and as a community. Period!


May 15, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I agree fully, however what other choices we (as parent) have?
    1) homeschooling? i am working mother, and the main income for my family
    2) international school? if i can afford of course i would, but how many school really practice that
    3) conventional school – follow my rules..

    Comment by pc | May 15, 2012

  2. My argument was circling around the parents’ understanding and belief on the best education for their children. I am not finger pointing but plainly want to make a statement of what can be done to educate, to inspire and to motivate a child. I’m looking into providing a holistic education for any child by an example taken from my interview with a parent.

    Regarding your comment on the following:
    1)homeschooling- more and more parents are opting for this. even my ex-colleague sends her adolescent kid to a homeschooling centre.
    2) international- yes, the price is hefty. but high cost doesn’t mean high quality.
    3) conventional school that ‘follow my rules’, I am not sure I understand what was written.

    My point is not where to send a child or how much to spend on a child. What I’m trying to point out is before we plan for the children’s future, as adults, be it teachers, parents, caregivers, specialists etc., we need to revise the grounds of providing a holistically good education for the child, apart from planting our own beliefs, principles and perspectives of what is best for the child, we must remember to consider the child’s role and purpose in this world. Is the child’s role is to be able to survive in this incessantly rapidly progressing world? Is the child’s role to be able to be the best rat in the rat race? Is the child’s role to be able to make an impact, protect the environment, save the animals etc.?
    I’m simply saying ‘let’s take a moment. give the child the space to move and air to breathe and the opportunity for them to be able to make decisions based on his/her judgment, and if he makes a mistake, that is fine, we err, we learn, we revise, and move forward hoping to minimize mistakes throughout the journey of life.’

    There is no short cut in educating a human, as oppose to producing a robot. However, let’s opt to open up trails in this massive jungle for the young ones, so that they can expand the trail into wider and clearer route that, if needed, will become the tarmac road that will lead them to the pinnacles of success.

    Comment by rani | May 27, 2012

  3. Thanks for sharing your opinion, and fully agree & support about parent thinking & mindset about children education.
    i am struggling on how to plan for my children’s education.
    Can you please share the homeschooling center you mentioned above?
    Appreciate your reply

    Comment by pc | May 28, 2012

  4. Hi Rani, guess you might have read about the new change in our education system soon.
    Proposal to start primary school at 5yrs old, and change of syllabus & subject, hours for primary 4-6; particularly on Sejarah, BM, PJK, Kemahiran Hidup

    To be honest, I am kind of worry to get my children to start primary as early as 5years old, do we need to be that rush?
    I heard a lot about our kindergarten now, in order to prepare the children for primary 1, at year 5-6 the kindergarten already having Primary 1 syllabus, lots of vocabs, Ejaan, spellings
    If this proposal of 5yrs primary is getting approved, are we going to push the children early to adapt Primary 1 at age 3-4?
    I cannot imagine…

    Comment by pc | June 5, 2012

  5. I’m just started work in a holistic approach child care in Subang somewhere. At first, I though all children can learn independent, self esteem and other in different approach that child care provide. But when I saw that 4 years old kids couldn’t speak well, and sometime in baby language. 6 years old doesn’t know what is sharing, and fighting with the small kids. The most worst is 1.5 years old kids until 7 years old kids are combined. Sometimes, headmaster will ask caregiver came down to take care children when the 4 months old baby sleeping on upstairs. Lastly, school doesn’t do any portfolio, diary report and other.

    Comment by evern | June 9, 2012

  6. Check out these sites and talk to the people involved:

    Comment by rani | June 10, 2012

  7. Just read about it a couple of days ago. Don’t see why is there a need to start primary school earlier than now, so that they graduate faster from secondary schools perhaps?! But why?

    Comment by rani | June 10, 2012

  8. If you have great concern of how the school’s non-conducive environment may affect the children, you have every right, as an employee, address the issues to your principal.

    Comment by rani | June 10, 2012

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