Children aren’t typically known for their concentration – but rather, their lack thereof. Especially with the increasing advancement of technology, nowadays, we live in a world full of instant gratification. It can be difficult to find people – adults, even – willing to put in the necessary hard work in order to be “successful,” anymore. Not only does this hinder the focus and confidence of our children – but ultimately, it affects the overall success of our society. And, it all begins in the classroom.
In a traditional classroom, children are expected to actively listen to instruction from an adult for extended periods of time. Without actual interest in the subject, it can be extremely difficult for them to find the necessary internal motivation to pay attention. Instead of focusing on what truly motivates children, however, society has begun relying on outside factors – like rewards – to spark the child’s interest and encourage their concentration. What many are not realizing is; externally motivating children doesn’t actually gain their attention. While they may seem interested and focused momentarily, it merely shows them that they can earn rewards without exerting effort – encouraging a reward-driven mindset. Before long, they begin to expect the reward first, as they can’t find the motivation in themselves to do the “work” without it.
Montessori & Mindfulness
When Maria Montessori opened the doors to the first Montessori-based school in 1907, she envisioned an environment that made learning realistic life tasks interesting in itself. This increased interest, ideally, would grow the child’s motivation and concentration until they accomplished the task at hand. Maria Montessori believed that by making “work” fun and creating these opportunities for success, the recurring sense of accomplishment would encourage self-motivation in the child. Today, thousands of Montessori schools around the country do just that – we even see it here, every day, at Taylor Made!
Creating a life of ease for our children (by doing everything for them) only hinders their happiness and success in the long run – so instead, Montessori education focuses on fostering your child’s independence, motivation, and self-confidence. As opposed to a child thinking “I can’t do it without your help” – the euphoric feeling of accomplishment that many other children experience in a Montessori classroom can encourage their self-motivation, changing that negative mindset to; “I can do it by myself, I just need to work hard enough.”