1.27.2014

Welcome to Prepare the Environment!

When I share what I do for a living I'm met with a few kinds of responses. Typically they sound like this, "hmm, that's cool" or "ugh, montessori!" or "so are you a real teacher?". I smile and say, "yes, it's great" and "oh, yep" and "yes, I'm a real teacher". Then the person I'm speaking with usually goes into some long story about how their sister's kids attend a Montessori school and they're allowed to do anything they want all day and don't learn anything and they're really weird kids. Or a story about how their neighbor's cousin's kids attend a Montessori school and it's so rigid and they aren't allowed to do anything and it's demanding and they're really weird kids. And I'm always left with the impression that people hear the phrase "Montessori school" and associate it with really weird kids

Maybe you think children who are given freedom within the limitations of their classroom community are weird. Maybe you think children who follow their own interests and have a say in their own educational path are weird. Maybe you think children who are intrinsically motivated rather than extrinsically rewarded are weird. Maybe you think children who show respect, grace, courtesy, kindness, compassion and empathy are weird. But if that's what the definition of weird is then I hope my future children are the weirdest. 

I'd argue that Montessori education makes sense -- for any child. The materials in Montessori classrooms are scientifically designed, carefully chosen, methodically placed, sequentially ordered, and taught with deliberate intentions. Every work, and everything is called "work", helps to develop coordination, concentration, independence and order. Once the teacher prepares the environment -- children learn. 

So I hope you follow along. Maybe you already know about Montessori; maybe you'll learn something along the way. Maybe you'll be inspired to adapt some lessons for your children at home. But hopefully you'll read some posts and the next time you hear someone mention "Montessori" you won't immediately think of really weird kids. That's all I can ask for, after all.

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