Let the rejoicing begin. I've returned home. My home is in wonderful order thanks to my husband and children. I can mostly walk through my garage- it's been a long time since I haven't hopped over chairs, bikes, Goodwill piles, boxes to get to the van or car. I'm ever so grateful. And as an extra bonus, Buck decluttered the walk-in closet we share. I don't know how, but he cleared a perfect path to the back wall.
The conference I attended, Montessori Essentials, offered me hope for my homeschooling, family life, and personal call.
I'll throw out a few quotes and thoughts here from the panelists.
On bringing a child to a peaceful, settled place- "Joy makes noise."
On considering things from a child's view- not a perfect quote but the heart of a story, "I was assigned to observe children at the zoo early in my Montessori training. The very first day I observed, I learned an incredible lesson. I watched as both sets of grandparents and a child's two parents brought an eighteen month old child to the prairie dog exhibit. The adults were pointing out all the fun activities of the animals, all the while, the toddler was strapped in the stroller. All the tiny girl could see from where she sat was the brick wall directly in front of her. The adults never once noticed the line of sight for the child and traveled on to the next exhibit with her still strapped in her stroller. It's essential to consider things from the child's perspective."
Commentary on making mistakes, also not a perfect quote- "Have you ever seen the poster of a child poised at an easel with paint on his smock, hair, arms, shoes, walls, floor, and no paint whatsoever on the paper before him? The caption underneath reads 'A mess is a sign that someone has tried to do something.' I say
'If there is no error, there is no learning taking place.'"
On building independence in children- "Whatever we do for the child becomes an obstacle for him. Whatever he does for himself becomes a triumph."
All these are credited in my notes to a miraculous Montessori teacher named Edna Smith.
The following, I believe, is from the lovely and gifted Montessori teacher named Anna Hurdle.
"The goal of education is independence and concentration. The goal of the atrium (Christian spiritual formation) is relationship with the Good Shepherd."
These goals fly in the face of the trends I see in most education and religion. Education and religion push fast and furious cram downs of the 3 R's and naming values. What if we actually guided children in such a way as to become independent and increase in concentration skills? What if we moved away from religion, identifying values, into relationship with God? Would the world be a different place? A better place?
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