Choosing Montessori

August 11th, 2012

As I’ve mentioned in passing, we’ve enrolled Miss Mouse in a Montessori program.  She’ll be spending at least the next three years at DMS (____ Montessori School).  That trajectory would have her complete her kindergarten year at DMS, then roll into first grade in public school.

I hadn’t really considered Montessori education while we lived in Pittsburgh because I loved our daycare/preschool and the public schools are excellent.  But when faced with the prospect of moving to rural Kentucky, I had a moment of educational panic and signed my girl up “just in case” because I’d heard good things about the method.

And the more I’ve read, the more intrigued I’ve become.

Above all else, the Montessori method of education focuses on allowing its students to be self-directed learners.  Rather than a conventional teaching style wherein a teacher delivers a set lesson to an entire class of students, Montessori allows students to select projects they’re interested in and focus on those for as long as they’re interested.

Fascinating.

And, ahem, not my daughter’s strong suit.  My girl is many things, but self-directed is not among them.

This Tuesday we had an epic — EPIC — meltdown when I tried to make her play by herself for ten minutes.  This was after she’d gotten out three separate activities (with me) and not finished them.  We started a puzzle…and then quit.  We played Candyland…but didn’t finish.  We got a magnet matching game out…and lost interest.

I’d had about enough of that and announced my intention to sit on the couch and read for ten minutes while Miss Mouse entertained herself with the an activity of her choice.

It did not go well.  She whined.  She pleaded.  She whined some more.  She cried.  She screamed.  She kicked me (sparking a timeout upstairs with attending fireworks, stomping, door-slamming, and shrieking).

All because I wanted her to play by herself for ten measly minutes.  With me in the room.

So yeah, let’s just say I’m looking forward to seeing the impact that Montessori schooling might have on my offspring.

One response to “Choosing Montessori”

  1. jaclyn says:

    Never fear….I had the same fear with C & B in Montessori…they are NOT AT ALL able to be self directed and are used to having each other involved in every activity they do. Surprisingly, they saw the other kids pulling out their activity mats, did the same, and proceded to stay focused on their mat activity. It was a learned behavior. At the beginning, they could only do the activity for a mere 3 to 5 minutes. As the year progrssed, they could focus longer and longer. The teachers helped them to refocus when needed at the start, and later, they did not need redirection. It was miraculous. However, at home, they refuse to sit and play quietly on a mat activity. Good luck with that part!

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