Some days ago, visiting the SuperBoy school blog I saw a review about this learning method and since the I've been thinking about it.
It isn't anything new, in fact, it was developed at the beginning of the XX century, but I have never listened anything about it (and I have found that there are even schools that apply it at 100%). Did you know it?
The method was developed by Maria Montessori, according to Wikipedia, she was an educator, scientific, medical, psychiatrist, philosopher, anthropologist, biologist, psychologist, devout Catholic, feminist and humanist (OMG, all those things in just one life) and also she was the first italian woman to graduate as a medical doctor.
Basically the method, as I could understand it, consist of promoting the free development and learning of children, just under the supervision of a guide, is implemented for the first six years of life because during this time their brain has a large ability to assimilate everything around them. They learn through experiences in which they interact with their environment. The role of the teacher or guidance is reduced to prepare the environment for the experience to allow them to develop. I don't know if I explain myself well (or even if I've understood it correctly).
The activities promote from the emotional growth (self-esteem thanks to the complacency caused by the discoveries) to physical coordination as well as cognitive preparation for the child's future. It also makes a lot of stress upon avoiding both punishments and rewards, including the 'Well done!' say ....
The idea is to have a room dedicated to the Montessori method that allows the child to become independent, child-sized materials, but real, not toys, and materials neatly stored on low shelves easily accessible for children, to facilitate also take responsibility of collect it properly.
I see this in my case difficult, at least until I win the lottery and buy super-mansion, but hey, I think I'll keep researching the method and its application in my tiny flat :)
If you want to know more, this blog is very interesting with ideas to apply at home: http://www.montessoriencasa.es/ (don't worry is in both languages, Spanish and English)
And Pinterest is full of ideas, in fact I've already created a board to save ideas I like.