Montessori Learning,  Motherhood

The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori: Chapter 2

Have you started the Absorbent Mind book yet?  Do you need more inspiration to explore Maria Montessori’s learning approach?  If not, check out Chapter 1 here.

We’re now on our 2nd week of reading and I’m excited to share the insights of Chapter 2. It talks about: Education for Life.

In here, you will be able to expand and open your eyes on what Maria Montessori has to say about Teaching vs. Observation, the School and Social Life, Education and Society and the Child as the builder of Man.

Here are some beautiful lines that struck me:

1. “Education as conceived up to today is rich in methods, in social aims and finalities, but it takes hardly into any consideration whatever life itself.”

2. “There are many official methods of education adopted by different countries, but no official system of education considers life itself or sets out to protect development and help the individual from birth.”

3. “The world of education is a sort of retreat where the individuals, for the whole of their scholastic life, remain isolated from the problems of the world. They prepare themselves for life by remaining outside of life.”

4. “Society says that small children belong to the family and not to the state. Today great importance is given to the first years of life.  The family does not form a part of school, but of society.”

5. “Nowhere is there a reliable system of help for the development of life.”

6. “The contributions of science may be compared to the stones cut and ready for the building, but what is necessary is someone who takes the stones and puts them together to make the new building necessary for civilization.”

7. “Education must no longer be based upon a syllabus but upon the knowledge of human life.”

8. “It is true that the new-born cannot do anything, cannot be taught in the ordinary sense, it can only be observed, it can be studied so as to find out what are the needs of the new-born life.”

9. “Observation has been carried out by us with a view of discovering what are the laws of life, because if we wish to help life the first thing we must do is to know the laws governing life.”

10. “If it were merely knowledge that we sought then we would remain in the field of psychology; but if we are concerned with education, our action cannot be limited merely to knowledge.”

11. “Education then acquires a new dignity, a new authority, because education will then tell society: These are the laws of life. You cannot disregard them and you must act in this way.”

12. “Education can no longer remain isolated from society but must acquire authority over society.”

13. “If education means care of the individual and if society recognizes that such and such a thing is necessary for the child for its development and the family is not capable of providing for it, then it must be society which provides for the child.”

14. “Education as protection to life affects not only the child, but the mothers and fathers as well as the state and international finance.”

15. “Education is a specialization.”

16. “The child is not an empty being who owes whatever he knows to us but have filled him up with it.”

17. “There is no man existing who has not been formed by the child he once was.”

18. “What the mother produces is the new-born babe, but it is this babe who produces the man.”

19. “It is the child who carries out the construction and not the mother.”

20. “The father and mother cannot claim the credit: it is the child who, making use of all that he finds around him, shapes himself for the future.”

21. “The child needs special aid in order to build man properly and society must give this its attention. Recognizing the merits of the child does not diminish the authority of the father and the mother for when they come to realize that they are not the constructors, but merely the helpers of this construction, then they will be able to do their duty better; they will help the child with a greater vision.”

22. “The authority of parenthood is not based upon an independent loftiness but upon the help that is given to the child.”

23. “The child is the worker who produces man. The parents furnish the means of construction to the worker.”

24. “Childhood does not produce one race, one caste, one social group, but it produces the whole of humanity.”

25. “They had to do whatever they were told just as the child has to; the workers’ needs and his dignity as a man were not considered.”

26. “We must free childhood from repression that weighs upon it.”

27. “Bettering the conditions of life for the constructor of man will bring about a betterment in humanity.”

28. “The child is the builder of our intelligence, and it is our human intelligence which guides our hands and produces what we call civilization.”

29. “This is what is intended by education as a help to life; an education from birth that brings about a revolution: a revolution that eliminates every violence, a revolution in which everyone will be attracted towards a common center.”

30. “This is the new shining hope for humanity. It is not so much a reconstruction, as an aid to the construction carried out by the human soul as it is meant to be, developed in all the immense potentialities with which the new-born child is endowed.”

As I was reading this Chapter,  I’ve internalized that Montessori practices and ideas can be really useful not only for preschoolers but also for babies’ development.  With my 7 month old, I hope I can truly follow the deepest concepts of the Absorbent Mind Book which I never thought before.

Need more guidance? Check out Montikids and find out more information about the different levels of Child Development and how to approach it, the Montessori way.  You can also read in depth information here:

Hope you’ll stay connected until we finish all chapters. From the list, what has shifted your mindset?  Share your thoughts.


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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!


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