As an educator, I know first hand the importance of building the sensory systems of young children. The Montessori approach to learning is deeply rooted in providing a rich sensorial experience for children. In an article posted on “The Age of Montessori” entitled “Sensorial Education and the Brain”, it details the importance of developing skills and critical stages of development. Speaking often to young children is essential. Speaking and listening to children help at a cellular level to strengthen neural pathways. Director of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute, Dr. Arnold Schiebel, emphasized how critical this early interaction is to developing the brain centers of the young brain. This early interaction helps to create tissue that strengthens the language centers for life-long learning. A lack of this critical interaction can cause a life long struggle with learning.
Another critical sensory area of brain development that is highlighted in this article is development of musical knowledge. Stringed instruments appear to strengthen the areas of hand coordination. The age in which a child begins the study seems to be more important than the hours spent practicing. Children will learn more starting earlier, not investing more time. This has huge implications on our current of study in which we typically do not expose children to the study of music until middle or high school.
This article highlights the importance of early opportunities. This is why I am so passionate about the Montessori method. The emphasis on practical opportunities to develop life long skills is critical to building a life time of experiences. Children are increasingly being deprived of these sensorial experiences.