According to Wikipedia: "Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development, as well as technological advancements in society."
Basically, it's a different way to learn. It engages children in different activities (hands on at Kaleb's age) to help them learn and discover. I haven't done a ton of research on it yet, but I've read a few blogs and find it extremely interesting.
One of the activities for Kaleb's age is sensory play, our choice: Coloured Rice.
It is suuuuper easy and Kaleb loves playing with his rice.
Step One: Buy Rice. I made 8 cups worth this bag and had a little leftover.
Step Two: Assemble necessary supplies. For one cup of rice you use 2 tablespoons of vinegar and about 5 drops of food colouring.
Step 3: Mix. I mixed the vinegar and food colouring in the small bowl first then dumped in the rice (I did two cups at a time). I ended up putting more food colouring, especially for the red to avoid having pink rice. It only half worked.
Step 4: Dry. I baked in a 250*F oven for about 15 minutes. You can also just leave it over night to air dry. Notice the parchment paper? Easy clean up.
Step 5: Play! We swept the floor first, then laid down a sheet to contain most of the mess. Kaleb loves to play with his rice. First time around he played for a solid hour before starting to eat it. Second time was about 45 minutes. He'll hide toys in it. He throws it on the floor. He throws it in the air. He puts it on mommy. We also gave him an ice cream scoop and a plastic container, to scoop from one to the other. It's all fun. And he's learning.
This is for supervised play. Never leave a child unattended while playing with small objects.
And do your own research. Don't just do stuff cause I do it.