The neurons of babies are stimulated by Montessori pedagogy

12 April 2019

The neurons of babies are stimulated by Montessori pedagogy
This week we share an exciting article from Montessori Star about the importance of repetition in Montessori pedagogy. This stimulates the neurons of the smallest ones. Our brain needs three passages to assimilate new information and about 21 days to adopt a new habit. Repetition is therefore essential for learning, especially for children. They need to be captivated, to want to learn, to make mistakes and to correct themselves to finally fully absorb information and move on to other knowledge. And Montessori education is perfect for that.
Repetition, a matter of neurons
Why is repetition so important for learning?
The reason is that in the face of learning or the acquisition of new information, some of our neurons associate and form synaptic connections between them to assimilate them. It’s like roads that connect several cities. Repetition and revision reinforce these new connections and anchor the information in the long-term memory. This allows us to access this information more quickly.
Sometimes there are bad connections, they are the errors and they are essential because they make it possible to build new and more appropriate connections (to learn from one’s mistakes). The faster we understand the error, the better, because with the time bad connections will strengthen and it will be more difficult to erase them.
Now that you know the importance of repetition for the human brain, it is important to consider it for the education of your children. For better learning, think about doing short sessions with regular breaks. For example, for children 5 to 12 years, a break of 5 minutes every 20 minutes is beneficial. Similarly, the environment in which the child is learning is important. For example, it has been scientifically proven that classical music has beneficial effects on neurons and promotes learning.
The repetition and the Montessori teaching method
Speed and ease of learning depend on four key factors, including attention, active engagement, feedback and consolidation.
The attention
To teach the child, you have to awaken or captivate his attention. This is essential and it requires the use of materials that are attractive, but do not distract the child from the main task. Montessori materials are designed to be both attractive and educational by capturing children’s attention with shapes and colors or with the materials used (such as this multi-color abacus from 1 to 10 to learn basic operations).
To improve the child’s attention skills, you can consider several Montessori activities. For example, you can give to a baby Montessori toys that enhance fine motor skills such as wooden puzzles, play musical instruments (harmonica, bamboo flute, multicolored maracas …) or why not practice Mindfulness Meditation.
Active engagement
Active engagement is important because the child should want to participate in the activity, to learn new knowledge that you are ready to give him. It’s better than being forced by someone. This is why in Montessori pedagogy, the method is to give free rein to the child. It is important. The adult is there only to ensure that there is no danger, but does not intervene even if the child makes mistakes. Mistakes that he or she will correct by retrying the Montessori games that you will give him.
The feedback
Feedback is part of the learning process. This is the moment when the child already has a mental image of the notion, but he is mistaken. So the prediction generated by his brain was wrong, which pushed him to learn more and overcome obstacles. The errors are therefore positive and help perfect learning.
At this stage, it is useless to give punishments when the child makes mistakes.
Instead of continuing his learning, he will be afraid, will feel stressed, frustrated and above all he will experience a feeling of helplessness which is very harmful.

The consolidation
Consolidation is the automation of knowledge. The best ways to achieve this knowledge automation are repetition, training and especially good sleep.

Moreover, it has often been mentioned that the quality of sleep makes it possible to remedy learning disorders. Good sleep improves memory and concentration.