Monday, December 10, 2012

Some thoughts this Monday evening

I'm at my daughter's dance studio, trying to work out a plan for my son for the week. There has been some attempt on my part to work on the inner preparation that is so vital to implementing Montessori... well... anywhere. There is "Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful" that I started rereading and I'm trying to absorb what I need to. Then tonight, some research on the Erdkinder approach.

It's hit me that I've fallen into just trying to get him to cover some work. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I've lost the vision, I've lost sight of what I'm working towards. If I just want work for him, I could just get the school texts and hand them over and say, "Here, read this and this and that." Or I could use the Ambleside curriculum and just "get him educated' and develop work habits.

But here's the thing: I love Montessori. I may not have known how to make it work with the schooling situation we had in the house the past several years, but I love Montessori. I believe it is better for my son to learn to explore and question and think and have the freedom (within limits) that the Montessori method offers. When I get into "gotta get work done" mode, I lose the essence of Montessori. Am I making any sense? I'm tired; it's probably showing.

I was just reading this article from the Montessori for Everyone site, as well as checking out the Hershey Montessori school site. I love what these two sites have to say. Is my son still at the 6-12 level, I don't know. But surely it can't do any harm to pick an element or two to start incorporating into our days? Just today, he asked specifically for spaghetti for supper. I said we could, it changed my plans, and I wanted him to help me. He was quite happy to! Wouldn't this be a wonderful thing, for him to develop skill and confidence in the kitchen at the age of 12? He can make some things on his own, but this idea of really working on kids being self-sufficient at this age, rather than a focus of more academics, is really catching me. (He also told me that he didn't have anymore clean underwear. I told him to bring his laundry down to the washing machine. There wasn't any grumbling or anything, he was quite happy to sort his clothes into the washer, fill the cup, get it going...)

He does enjoy the books I find from the library, and he's amenable to doing math and handwriting practice (when I have him do it), but there's been a core element missing. That vision of where we're going or something. Maybe it is that I'm sensing a change in him. He's no longer seeking out things to do like he used to not long ago; if not given something to do, he will just spend his time reading comics. There's been a change and I somehow didn't see it until right now that the change was a signal to a developmental change going on. He likes to be included, he likes to be able to do things that make him independent. I'm going to have to keep this in mind as I plan things from now on!

1 comment:

  1. I am anticipating this change in my own son - I'm not sure I'll be ready, but I sure hope so! ;)

    I can imagine how hard it is to go from the eager child who is willing and wanting to learn everything in sight or thought --- to a child who frankly needs to be outside digging in the soil, growing food for the family, chopping down trees for firewood, and all the other more "practical life" things adolescents need, far more than they need schooling while their brain development takes a back-seat to their physical and hormonal changes.

    I keep telling myself - it's not they stop learning; it's not that their brains STOP - it's just that it slows compares to the 6 years previous; and the body is where the focus is --- and learning to balance the new construction of the body (heavier muscles, new shapes), thus we need MORE practical life to provide lots of opportunities to work out the awkwardness. But still somehow maintain the academics enough.

    I'm still exploring that balance. I have 3 1/2 years to get there! Yikes!