Sunday, March 28, 2010
Is Montessori right for every child?
Authentic Montessori schools understand that a vitally important factor in a child’s success is the understanding and involvement of the family in their child's education. On the surface, this means parents should stay informed by reading everything the school gives them (and more), and showing up (and on time) for conferences.
However, being a Montessori parent entails much more than just reading and attending school gatherings and celebrations.
Being a Montessori parent means:
Ø observing your child on a regular basis (see this post)
Ø observing in the classroom so that you really know what goes on in there
Ø including your child in every aspect of family life
Ø slowing down and considering your child's developing needs
Ø fostering the same independence at home as at school
Ø counting to ten (and taking a deep breath) before imposing your will upon your child (unless in moments of extreme danger)
Ø doing your very best to refrain from slapping, threatening, or shouting
Ø ensuring you have not put your child into a Montessori school in order for them to get good grades when they go to "real" school. (There is sooooo much more to Montessori than that!)
Ø understanding that authentic Montessori schools are not babysitting services. (We call the 3 – 6 classroom "Primary" because that is what it is – the first and critically important years in a child's school life.)
Ø understanding that if you pull your child out in the middle of a three year level, they have NOT had a Montessori education. Taking a child out of a Montessori classroom to go into a public Kindergarten class takes away the child's leadership year. This may not seem like much to an adult but remember the young child has spent two years watching the oldest children. They've observed many things like how the oldest children give lessons and how the oldest children help to resolve conflict and how incredibly competent the oldest children are. The younger children understand that when they are 5/6 they will be the leaders and will be called upon to lead. I know this by the simple fact that every three year old I've ever had in my classroom has, at one time or another, said to me "When I'm 5 I'm going to do that work!"
Ø really trying to understand the Montessori philosophy. ( There are so many books written by so many different people that there is no reason NOT to read more. )
Ø understanding what your long-term goals are for your child and how those goals are going to be achieved.
Ø asking yourself "Are my everyday practises helping my child grow into the kind of person I'd like them to be?"