Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Montessori learning

K is in Montessori. Admittedly, he started there because it was affordable (based on a living wage paid to a childcare provider that focused on education, it offered more care AND potty training!) and some friends had their child there.

We started mid-year and missed a few of the orientations that explained some stuff. Not a problem, we were fast learners.

K had a rough week or so in the beginning, but eventually was quite happy to say goodbye to us so he could go and explore the classroom in peace, without chatty parents hovering around. Fine by us.

But after the new parent orientation we finally attended, I got what was happening in a much bigger way. While I want my child to feel seen, heard, and have his curiosity encouraged, I am not equipped to handle this job in its entirety. There are people who are trained to observe and educationally (and often times emotionally and spiritually!) guide my child. I saw my child's Toddler guide magically, patiently, and very simply demonstrate how she works in the classroom. Boom!

I'm not saying Montessori is the *only* way or even the *best* way. I'm just saying, for now, it's really working for K. Admittedly, it isn't always working for us as parents, but it's enlightening to really look at my child and see it works for HIM. He gets a LOT out of it. And if/when it stops working, we can re-evaluate. But what Montessori has taught us, is that when we observe our child, rather than mandate or force him into doing things, he really can tell us what he needs and wants.

We don't always oblige for different reasons, but at least we can watch and learn. That's been the best part of the process for me. That observation (active listening!) reveals so much that our children can't just tell us outright. I hope I don't lose that skill as our words and assumptions try to take over...

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