What is it like to have a Montessori child?
If your experience was anything like most experiences, you grew up in a traditional educational setting. As a child, you attended daycare, or perhaps you stayed at home. When you turned five, you were expected to enter Kindergarten. Immediately, you were grouped with a set of peers who would ultimately start this journey toward high school graduation together. Once you were on this path, you were expected to enter the workforce, sign up for trade school, or attend college.
Looking back, now that you’ve gone through this journey and accumulated your own experiences and have a child of your own, you start to consider options for their education. Perhaps you find yourself asking similar questions to the ones your parents undoubtedly asked about you, before you embarked upon your education. What would you have done differently?
As you start to explore options, you hear about “Montessori.” You talk to your friends. You follow social accounts and blogs. What is it? As your interest peeks, you purchase books and do more extensive research. You may even set up a time to tour a local Montessori school to find out more and see what it’s all about. You start to look for opportunities for your children, wanting the best for them — the way your parents wanted the best for you.
What is it about Montessori that draws us in?
Is it the universal approach to early childhood education? Is it that Montessori is perceived as counter culture? Is it that the academics feel intuitive? That while you struggled with math or language your entire life, you envision your child will excel in ways you never could? What is it about the Montessori approach that resonates? Surely, it’s different for everyone.
Is it learning concretely, as opposed to abstractly? Is it the fact of your child having time to explore their interests, being allowed the freedom to discover what truly interests them, with support and without any prescriptive curriculum? Is it a non-religious early childhood education? Is it the social environment, learning in a mixed-age environment, realizing that your child can excel on his own terms? Or, is it perhaps the specialized, individualized attention that Montessori teachers afford? Or, perhaps it’s the holistic approach that is greater than the sum of its parts?
Perhaps it’s different for everyone, and perhaps it’ll be different for you, knowing that, unlike the education you received, with a clearly defined path, your child will be able to carve out their own journey. It all begins with Montessori.
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