Light and learning alongside the challenges
A nationwide lockdown has presented brand new challenges for our society and the Early Years sector; of this we’re all well aware. Less discussed, however, are the opportunities this unique situation has brought for reflection, learning, and reform. At Montessori Group, we wanted to explore the important impact of nursery closures on parents, children, and nursery staff, while also considering what we can all learn.
We surveyed 1,000 parents of children aged 3-11 from across the UK and found many reasons to be positive. It turns out that having all this time to spend together has helped parents understand and admire their children.
- 85% of parents admire and are proud of the way their children have adapted to lockdown
- 88% recognise that their children are still developing and learning at home
- 65% are inspired by their children’s attitude to life and learning
- 74% are spending more time playing with their children, 80% are spending more time answering questions and 74% are cooking more with their children
- 48% found out something new about their child’s personality and 47% discovered a skill or talent they didn’t know their child had
Still, many parents feel out of their depth when it comes to creating a learning environment at home. Over half of parents feel like they are putting pressure on themselves to do things a certain way, and are caught comparing themselves to other parents.
- 38% worry they must recreate the classroom environment at home
- 57% feel guilty they are not doing home schooling ‘right’
- 54% are afraid they are failing their child
- 54%of parents recognise that added pressure comes from themselves
- 34% think the pressure is derived from social media, rather than teachers or other parents
The Montessori approach advocates creating a child-led learning environment, where the child is allowed freedom in choosing activities and isn’t strictly pressured into a routine. Interestingly, spending time with their children during the pandemic has led parents towards understanding the merits of this approach, with a large majority open to educational reform eager to hold onto some of the positive outcomes of lockdown.
- 46% think their child is more responsive to learning with less routine and pressure
- 69% believe children should have more time for freedom and play at school
- 84% of parents are keen to try and maintain positive aspects of lockdown after restrictions lift
- 77% of parents have an increased sense of respect for how hard teachers and nursery staff work
- 50% admit to under-appreciating how hard nursery staff and teachers work in the past
This research is invaluable to us and will inform the way we support our community of Montessori practitioners, nursery owners, students and parents. Our Network blog is regularly updated with useful resources. For even more insights on bringing the Montessori method into your home, join our Talking Montessori webinars.