Okay, so thanks to folk liking my posts, I occasionally discover blogs that I want to follow and learn from.
Last Tuesday, this gem on using the Montessori method (at home) caught my eye.
I spent two years of my life learning in a Montessori environment. Looking back, this is rather funny to me because I barely recall actually going to school. What do I mean by that? I recall having fun. Lots of fun. I do not recall being taught. I only remember learning.
That last statement is important to me because I’ve come to see learning as more valuable than being taught. (And before I go on, I differentiate the two as things I voluntarily studied versus things I had to learn.) Evaluating myself and my own knowledge, I’ve usually retained more of the things I learn than the things I am taught. True, there are things that have to be taught and I’m not putting that down. But for perspective, observing my son playing with his wooden blocks and learning to balance and build in his own versus me teaching him, he was able to retain the concept by repairing his structures himself rather than me teaching him the basics.
I like and prefer the idea of teaching my son to do things for himself. Yes, childhood is fleeting. That I am teaching him to do things for himself does not mean I am not enjoying those fleeting moments. But I am also burdened with the responsibility to raise someone who thinks for himself and knows how to act and react appropriately, even if “appropriate” may be a grey area. Truth is, I’ve been whispering to my older son about grey areas in decision making since he was a year and a half. (We were watching the first part of “Mockingjay”.)
I feel great pride in seeing my child make messes and mistakes. It’s all part of learning. He might get hurt or break something in the process, true. (And no, I do not condone doing anything dangerous so no, I do not mean breaking bones.) Clean up is easy, most things can be replaced. The learning process, however, is what I hold most dear and precious. I’m not telling him what to expect: he figures it out on his own and can take as much pride in the fact as I do.
I can’t say I can provide a completely Montessori type of home. But I’m trying. And it’s nice to know I’m getting some things “right” as far as how I want him to grow.