Tag Archives: Montessori

Another reason we forgo “Baby Einstein”

“Adults have taken it for granted that children are sensible only to gaudy objects, bright colors, and shrill sounds, and they make use of these to attract a child’s attention.  We have all noticed how children are attracted by songs, by the tolling of bells, by flags fluttering in the wind, by brilliant lights, and so forth.  But these violent attractions are external and transitory, and can be more of a distraction than boon.  We might make the comparison with our own way of acting.  If we are busy reading an interesting book and suddenly hear a loud band passing by in the street, we get up and go to the window to see what is happening.  If we were to see someone act in this way, we would hardly conclude that men are particularly attracted by loud sounds.  And yet we make this conclusion about little children.  The fact that a strong, external stimulus catches a child’s attention is merely incidental and has no real relation with the inner life of the child which is responsible for his development.  We can perceive evidence of a child’s inner life in the way he immerses himself in the fixed contemplation of minute things that are of no concern to us.   But one who is attracted by the smallness of an object and focuses his attention upon it does so, not because it has made a striking impression upon him, but simply because his contemplation of it is an expression of an affectionate understanding.”

-Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood

Reverence before the mystery of creation

“Our attitude towards the newborn child should not be one of compassion but rather of reverence before the mystery of creation, that a spiritual being has been confined within limits perceptible to us.”

“But if in the child are to be found the makings of the man, it is in the child also that the future welfare of the race is to be found”

-Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood

I often find myself amazed that the great respect and awe Montessori had for the child.  This respect informs and underpins her whole philosophy of growth and learning, which I like more and more as I read through it.  I’m looking forward to implementing some of these attitudes into my homeschooling over the next few years (although much of her work applies more to child-rearing than “schooling” – good thing I don’t have to draw a clear line between the two!)

Release from solitude

Allow me a lenghty quote, and a few (less lenghty) comments. ? Is it me, or does anyone else wonder why it is taking so many Americans so long to realize some of the things Montessori mentions below? ? (More on this later – I think I can combine some of my readings!)

“But let us think, for a moment, of the many peoples of the world who live at different cultural levels from our own. ? In the matter of child rearing, almost all of these seem to be more enlightened than ourselves–with all our Western ultramodern ideals. ? read more »

Agents of Creation

(If the quote looks familiar, it’s the same one from the “Interdependence” post, so feel free to skip ahead. I promise the rest of the post is different!)

“In fact, we are always meeting in nature with admirable examples of the close correspondence between the forms of the organs and the offices they fulfill, even when these bring no actual benefit to the animal. read more »

Interdependence

“In fact, we are always meeting in nature with admirable examples of the close correspondence between the forms of the organs and the offices they fulfill, even when these bring no actual benefit to the animal. The insects which suck nectar from flowers of a certain kind, develop probosces adapted to the length of corolla which those flowers possess. But they also develop a coating, quite useless to themselves, by which they collect pollen, and this fertilizes the flowers they will visit afterwards. … read more »