When educating the six to twelve year-old, the elegance of the Montessori approach is the gift of a structure upon which their minds may launch into the understanding of the origins of life, the universe, and everything. It is a mental unified theory broken into six acts.
This approach serves two purposes:
The first is to give a sense of scope and understanding. Providing a series of points of origin for the child to comprehend the importance of many of the “basics” of education. The core of the presentations is to provide facts to which later lessons and the child himself may add information. It is like a three dimensional graph. Information may be placed in relation to purpose, space, and time.
The second is to connect with the great gift endowed by God to the six to twelve year-old child – the power of imagination. This allows the child to connect himself within the story of the universe – to be there at its inception; to be present in the call of man to advance; to immerse himself into the gifts of writing and math; and to follow their own life – to be included in plan of God.
This is met with the response of the child. “I submit to Your plan. I obey.” This is epic. As G. K. Chesterton put it: “this basic creed of my boyhood on its two most essential doctrines:… first, that this world is a wild and startling place, which might have been quite different, but which is quite delightful; second, that before this wildness and delight one may well be modest and submit to the queerest limitations of so queer a kindness.” (C. G. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chapter 4)
It is not enough to provide the child with facts, figures, and the “basics” of education. Montessori’s is the elegant approach placing at its center the cosmic call of God to the child to have a purpose within all the facts of our world. The child will then desire the information, imagine the events; mull the facts, relive the past, find an awe for those gone before, and crave additional knowledge to help in the formation of a more complete cosmic matrix. The education of the child is in his mind.