Self Cleaning: Montessori 101

By kenny friedman on Tuesday, November 08, 2011

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Disclaimer: I'm probably not the one you want to go to for info about Montessori, Staci would be a good place to go, but I do give a good lay person perspective.



When I was in elementary school I new one kid who went to Montessori in preschool and he was a dork. So if you extrapolate that out it means all Montessori kids are dorks.

It's the "All sheep are mammals but not all mammals are sheep" kind of thing... And I had only seen sheep.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what Montessori is like and I think that the example above is a bit global... Others think that it's too strict and that kids become robots and have no fun.

Really it's bad marketing, and a bad business model because Montessori hasn't been trade marked so anyone can use the name even if they don't follow the method at all. (For more info on schools that follow the method check out the AMI or AMS websites... AMI is closest to the original method).

Anyway Miloh's been in a Montessori Casa since April (minus the summer) and he loves it.

The Casas are broken down into five areas... I think there are five. Really I could ask Staci but she's asleep... The problem is I can only find four areas through a Google search... So I'm already failing Montessori 101.

But the areas are; Practical Life, Sensorial, Math and Language... And if we have to throw a fifth in there, since I think there are five, I'll add bicycling (I know weird that bicycling would be an area, right?).

Blah, blah, blah practical life is huge in the toddler community (I think... really it's late and I should know this stuff more... Seriously failing Montessori 101).

What this means is they do things that you do in a normal day (I need to stress that this isn't all they do.. Staci schooled me in the way I made it seem like it was and confirmed that I did fail Montessori 101 so far). They sweep up, polish things, mop, cook and all that stuff (plus a lot of other stuff but that's not what this is about)... It's good for their fine and large motor skills...

This I think is why some people think Montessori is strict... But the kids don't yet realize that cleaning sucks... They do it because they see us do it... They have fun, they learn their environment and they grow.

And it has awesome side effects.

Sometimes they bring these skills home. And Miloh has brought the love of cleaning up home... Today after some Indian food we had a bit of rice to pick up off the floor. We spent 15 minutes switching off who would sweep and who would use the carpet sweeper.

It was awesome... Sure he wasn't as efficient as I was but we had a great moment and it made cleaning fun for me...

I tried to get a shot of it but he's really obsessed with the Pentax I got (and should write about) so the second the camera came out he went for it.

Just a bit of curry and rice on his face.
And that is my first lesson for Montessori 101. I'm planning on it not being the last but I'm not gonna promise anything.



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