Educational adventures

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We (that is, I) have decided that we want Lil Blue to have a Montessori education. Luckily, Cincinnati is unique in that we have multiple public Montessori schools, and even a Montessori High School. I've been reading this book which is what the Cinci Montessori Society recommends for the 0-3 year old crowd. Its very interesting, although I wasn't aware that Montessori had so many...rules. Yikes. With the different mobiles at different ages and the special beds and the blah blah blah. Luckily Lil Blue seems to enjoy Waldorf and Montessori type toys (I mean "materials") so I've been kind of doing my part. For instance, she has a wooden play cookware set that she enjoys chewing on and throwing down the steps.

I agree with most of the Montessori philosophy, and I think Lil Blue will definitely benefit from a program that allows her to focus on her interests. She's shown already that she has a strong will but becomes very focused on things that interest her (such as dogs, certain puzzle pieces from her "shapes" puzzle, and DOGS). I can't say that I fall completely in line - sometimes I feel like the Montessori approach (at least as laid out by these authors) wants to force a child to become independent instead of creating an environment in which the child naturally achieves independence at her own pace.

Of course, one could argue that attachment parenting and Montessori are fundamentally opposed in many ways. I think that it is possible to reconcile the two, but my blended AP/Montessori approach probably would get me kicked out of both camps. At its heart, Montessori is trying to create an educational system that respects children, albeit as little proto-adults. AP also wants to respect the child, but doesn't offer much in the way of advice for how to help the child achieve independence (AP seems to say only that if you parent this way, the child will ultimately become an independent adult. So, hopefully we'll muddle through and give Lil Blue both an excellent education and a strong, attached foundation to her parents.

Oh, and in case there was any doubt that I'm raising a little my work we have a bunch of different posters propped up on the floor. Today Lil Blue crawled over to one with a pink fairytale castle on it and started patting it and laughing. She even tried to kiss the unicorns. Then she wanted to buy a pair of shiny pink shoes (she pointed and made her "gimme" hand gesture) So much for my kid that I thought I could go camping with! Instead I'll have the kid that wants to wear a tutu to the grocery store.

Posted by oballard at 8:50 PM  

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