I find myself often explaining to people that when I say we are a Montessori family, I’m not
Montessori is the spirit with which we approach life. It is the guide for our interactions with one another and our commitment to our community.referring to the type of school the children attend. Sure they go to a Montessori school and in an educational setting there are very clear expectations and guidelines for implementing the Montessori Method. But Montessori is much more than that for our family.
It is how we live. We strive to be conscious of those around us and see the good in everyone. We live with purpose and evaluate and change as needed. We work together and separately improving ourselves, our community, and our environment. For starters.
One way we do this is through Practical Life. This is the work Dr. Montessori described as taking care of ourselves, our environment, and our relationships. Young children do this in a very concrete way and they do it in order to build themselves. They create who they are through their activity in their environment. Sweeping the floor helps them build coordination of movement, concentration, and a connection to their environment and community. The other great part about it is that with the right size tools young children are drawn to this work, with a passion. They don’t sweep because an adult has asked them to, they sweep because they feel compelled to sweep. They are moved to do so.
I believe as adults there are many Practical Life activities that we come to dread. Like washing dishes or mopping the floor, but there are others we still loose ourselves in. For me there are many of these, and one such task is baking. As today is Thanksgiving, I am looking forward to a day of meal preparation.
But more importantly, our 9 year old is looking forward to baking a pie all on his own. He has been baking ever since he was one. And this year he received a baking cookbook for his birthday and has been practicing and trying out recipes for his contribution to today’s celebratory meal.
He made me a list of ingredients and today I will work side by side with him while he makes a banana cream pie all on his own. I will be there for support, but not there to do for him. Stay tuned… Sarah