I’ve been working with a child at the Camp on the Corner program who began in a Montessori school at 18 mo. Our area has a crisis in schools available for students – most public schools are charter or magnate. You have to get in when you can. I understand. He got in when he was five and left the Montessori program after his second year in Casa. I completely understand families must make choices which work for them and they must move forward and take the trade offs. I can still be sad. He has spent one full year in a teacher driven educational system. It shows. He only wants the answer; he doesn’t want to discover. Sigh.
Over at Montessori Muddle, Lensyl Urbano, states: “A key tenant of Montessori is that students have an innate desire to learn, so, as a teacher, you should provide them with the things they need (prepare the environment) and then get out of the way as they discover things themselves.” He continues on then to review economist Dan Ariely’s new book discussing the idea of doing things for ourselves and the value to our personhood and cultural expectations and identity.
I was deeply moved by the fading of the desire to learn in my little friend. When JV miscalculates the load on his circuit and leaves the house smelling with smoke or when AV receives a note back from his Art History online course that the definitions he researched and turned in are not “the ones in the back of the book” – it is enough to just use those, I am proud that they expect more of themselves. Even though our choice of educational road has been difficult, even painful at times, I am content with our family’s choice.