Montessori Learning

The Absorbent Mind book by Maria Montessori: Chapter 3

Have you checked the Absorbent Mind book yet? It’s our 3rd week of reading! I’m so glad you’re still here with us. If so, has Maria Montessori touched you in some ways? Are you thinking to apply any of her philosophies to your children?

This week, we will tackle “The Periods of Growth”. If you have been following me from the start, we have gone through Chapter 1: The Child and the World Reconstructed and Chapter 2: Education for Life. The significant lessons I’ve learned in this Chapter are:

  1. “There are different types of psyche and different types of mind at different periods of life.”
  2. “Growth is a succession of births. At a certain period of life, a psychic individuality ceases and another is born.”

3. “From zero to six, the period shows two distinct subphrases. The first from 0 to 3 years shows a type of mentality which is unapproachable by the adult.”

4. “At 6 years, the individual becomes, according to the usual expression, intelligent enough to be admitted to school.”

5. “The next period is from 6 to 12 years. This period is one of growth, but without transformations. It is a period of calm and serenity. It is also psychically speaking a period of health and strength and security.”

6. “After 18, man is considered completely developed and there is no longer any considerable transformation. Man merely becomes older.”

7. “The first period from 0 to 6 years of age has been clearly recognized because it has been excluded from compulsory education and it has been noticed that at 6, there is a transformation.”

8. “The university does not differ essentially from the types of school that precede it, except perhaps by the intensity of study.”

9. “For the simple reason that all these years of study, all these years of listening, do not form ‘man’; only practical work and practice do that.”

10. “We are without work; we are starving.”

11. “The most important part of life is not the university, but the first period; the period that extends from 0 to 6 years, because it is during this first period that intelligence, the great instrument of man, is formed; and not only intelligence, but the whole of the psychic faculties are constructed during this period.”

12. “It is not as if a child were born with a little bit of intelligence, with a little bit of memory, with a little bit of will which after a while grows.”

13. “Individuality starts from zero!”

14. “The human being, it is not a question of development. It is a question of creation that starts from zero.”

15. “He has not merely taken in the words. He has taken ‘the sentence, the construction of the sentence.’ If we do not understand the construction of the sentence, we cannot understand language.”

16. “It is the sequence of words that we understand. The child has absorbed the constructions of the language.”

17. “He would have to have the power of reasoning in order to realize that the construction of a sentence is necessary in order to understand it. But he has no reasoning power. He has to construct it.”

18. “Our mind, such as it is, could not do it; to accomplish it a different type of mind is needed, and that is what the child possesses, a type of intelligence different from ours.”

19. “We are vessels; impressions pour in, and we remember and hold them in our mind, but we remain distinct from our impressions, as water remains distinct from the glass.”

20. “The child undergoes a transformation. The impressions not only penetrate the mind of the child, but form it.”

21. “The movements that the child acquires, just as is the case with language, are not formed by chance. They are determined in the sense that they are acquired during a special period.”

22. “It is by this experience in the environment in the guise of playing that he goes over the things and the impressions that he has taken into his unconscious mind. It is by means of work that he becomes conscious and constructs Man.”

23. ”He becomes a man by means of his hands, by means of his experience, first through play, then through work.”

24. “The hands are the instrument of the human intelligence. And by means of this experience he becomes a man, he takes a definite form and becomes limited because consciousness is always more limited than unconsciousness and sub-consciousness.”

25. “Our work is not to teach, but to help the absorbent mind in its work of development.”

I know that was a lot…yet I realized that Maria Montessori’s philosophies are directly focused on the child’s Absorbent Mind. This Chapter reminds us that a child has those psychic powers and the child’s mind is different from ours, that we cannot reach it and teach him things, that we cannot directly take part in this process. He has an unconscious mind and if we expose his unconscious mind to work with his hands, it transforms into his conscious being. The power of the Absorbent Mind it is.

Hope you find this valuable and may you continue to follow this guide as we move from Chapter to Chapter. Last weekend, I was so happy that my little man was enjoying his Montikids box and can’t wait to observe his progress. If you’re like me who’s interested to find out more of Maria Montessori’s philosophy, check out these books for a read:



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Mitchelle is a first-time mom and the buzzy Mama of a sweet little man. She's here to connect with other moms, parents or soon to be parents by buzzing positively with Mom & Baby Activities filled with Self-Care Ideas, Family Fun, and Inspiration to help you balance Mom Life and Wellness. Welcome to the Hive-where Mom Life keeps buzzing!


  • rioribaya

    Thanks for sharing this! I haven’t really considered these but your post got me reading more about Montessori and freedom of movement. Have to up my parenting game while my baby is still young 🙂

    • MamaBuzz

      Yes I have an 8 month old baby and I’m trying to follow this approach. It’s good to start it while they’re young as it’s the most critical stage in Child development:)

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