Looking over this blog last night, I realized how my life might look to readers who don’t know me extremely well: a home brimming with child-sized items and furniture; tasteful wooden toys and plenty of books; children who happily cook, clear the table, dress themselves, and play neatly with one object at a time; a family that sits down every morning to a wholesome breakfast… did I miss anything?

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Child-sized items and furniture – check. Tasteful wooden toys and plenty of books – check, although the kids are much more interested in the tiny choking-hazard-sized plastic dinosaurs someone gave them (I’m not naming names, Bubbie!) Children who happily cook, etc – it depends on what your definition of “happily” is. As Montessori Dad would say, screaming and crying can be happy, right? They’re just ignoring us and hiding under the table because they’re so happy about their impending bathtime, right?

Uh, right.

Our home is sometimes peaceful, orderly, playful, and fun. Other times it is full of tears, tantrums, pantsless (even diaperless) children running away from the adults who would dress them, and messes that nobody wants to clean up. It happens. Our discipline is sometimes effective and sometimes not. We don’t always succeed at taking our children’s concerns seriously, as evidenced by our tendency to crack up when one of them says (or does) something completely ridiculous mid-tantrum. One of my kids – guess which one… I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! – has been known to go a week between baths simply because we don’t have the energy to fight that particular battle (I never get into a battle that I probably can’t win.)

All this is by way of saying that we are just regular parents, and the children are just regular children. They’re not especially gifted or compliant or coordinated. They do do some really neat things, though, and they are rather independent – but that’s not my kids. That’s Montessori.

And that’s the point of this blog. Not to say how competent my kids are (even though I think they are), and not to say what a great parent I am (my standards are pretty low right now; if we all emerge from their childhoods alive and unscathed, that’s a success), but to explain how Montessori philosophy and techniques allow kids to become competent and help create great parents… or at least great parenting moments.

So… if you’ve been thinking that I sound a bit “sanctimommyous” on this blog, please go and read it again with this in mind: Montessori isn’t for gifted children. It’s for all children.

Oh, and also this: I spend my time finding new materials and tools for my kids and then blogging about it… and that’s why there’s unfolded laundry all over the living room.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Edith
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 23:48:11

    seriously sarah, as if i didn’t love you already. i have laundry all over the place too and it takes me more than a half hour to get my ONE child dressed. and i’m getting into this montessori thing the more i read so… thanks


  2. HannaO
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 21:08:47

    If you are not too picky about how the laundry s folded, that is possibly one of the most fun activities one or more of the kids may like. Try it. The may also love putting stuff away, when it is your stuff. Great post!


  3. HannaO
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 21:10:19

    Pls forgive my iPad for skipping letters above. Must desk check from now on ;-/


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