Small child

Montessoria sensitive phase, that is, everything in its time


Stages of development, possibilities windows, sensitivity phases. All these terms relate to the natural moments of a child's special readiness to learn new things, when specific skills come to the fore. We owe their discovery and description to Maria Montessori, an Italian doctor and educator.

What do sensitive phases mean for a parent and how to help the child while not disturbing? Why is sometimes a five-year-old more ready to learn to read than a seven-year-old and why count with a four-year-old when he demands it? Why instead of saying "you still have time" is better to take your child's aspirations seriously?

Sensitive phases that do not repeat

Maria Montessori noticed that in the development of a child there are periods when the child is particularly sensitive and ready to acquire specific knowledge. He naturally becomes interested in the issue and craves for some exercises. Unfortunately, this sensitivity, which allows you to make rapid steps and progress lasts only a moment and never repeats. If it is not used properly, the child will not receive adequate support or the adults will interrupt the toddler's learning, acquiring the skill at another stage of life will be much more difficult. It will probably involve the performance of difficult, time-consuming work.

How to recognize the sensitive phase?

According to Montessori from birth until about the age of six the child is ready to quickly learn many skills without any conscious effort. Often he may not even be aware that he is learning. Once the periods have passed, skills that the child has not acquired can still be trained, but it will be definitely more difficult and will require much more effort. For this reason it is usually easier for children to learn to read and write before they are 7 years old than later at school during 'traditional lessons'.

The sensitive phase is such a stage when a child indulges in a given activity with great stubbornness. He doesn't want to hear about anything else, he is focused and fully devoted to the activity. Focuses on one aspect and ignores everything else. For example - he arranges the same puzzle several times, does not part with scissors, repeats numbers, tries to spell, put together words and does it so often that he irritates his stubbornness with his stubbornness. He does so until he reaches a level that would give him satisfaction.

It's time intense concentration, mental activity focused on developing specific skills at a specific time, age and growth period.

Sensitive periods between 18 months and 2.5 years

The first sensitive period has a peak intensity in 18 months old. This condition is focused on repeatability and consistency.

Maria Montessori draws attention to the reason for the so-called two-year-old rebellion, which she sees in a lack of order, predictability of everyday life, small changes that adults accept without a problem, and whose child is unable to accept without objection. It is worth special care for order, repeatability of certain activities that give a sense of security. Focusing on "dosing" sensations and quiet planning can help your child survive the sensitive phase, full of tension, resistance and difficult moments.

Sensitive period for expanding the diet from 5 to 6 months of age

According to Maria Montessori, the child is naturally ready to learn new flavors within 5-6 months. Later, when this stage is over, your toddler may refuse to try anything other than milk.

Sometimes, however, an infant does not want solid food even for the first 10 months of life, in such a situation the teacher advises to watch the baby and follow his foot if possible.

Sensitive period of movement from birth to 4 years

From birth up to the age of 4 it is a period particularly sensitive to motor aspects and the child's physical development. Of course, this development can be divided into smaller stages.

From birth to about 2.5 years the child acquires mobility skills. At this stage, toys that motivate movement and those that improve hand dexterity and hand-eye coordination are useful.

Improving motor skills falls on age from 2.5 years to 4.5 years. Now it's time for walking, running, balancing, constant activity, by deliberately repeating the activity. At this stage, it is particularly important for the child to have opportunities for unrestricted activity.

Sensitive period of 4-5.5 years

The period between 4 and 5.5 years is the time when, according to Maria Montessori, the right time is coming to learn numbers. During this period, children are interested in numbers as separate creations and it is worth using this interest.

The sensitive period for learning good manners is 2-6 years

At 0-3 years old, children learn polite behavior through observing parents and loved ones and imitating them. The following years bring a time of special sensitivity and readiness to learn the principles of good behavior, regardless of them.

Language sensitive period from 7 months of pregnancy to 5.5 - 6 years of age

Already the baby in the mother's stomach becomes sensitive to speech. That is why it is advisable reading and saying "to the belly".

There are different types of language - spoken, written, read. The child is slowly learning how to use the language for communication from birth. It goes from extracting single words, babbling to speaking the first words and using sentences.

Sensitive period for learning speech begins at about 7 months of age for a child up to 3 years old.

Sensitive period for learning to write most often it covers the period from 3.5 to 4.5 years.

Reading is usually intensive for children between 4.5 and 5.5 years of age. Then it is especially ready to spell words and combine individual syllables into words.