The past few weeks Joseph and I have decided to stand back a little and watch Scarlet. Montessori believes that if you observe the child it allows them to show you how they learn, what they learn from, and how quickly they are capable of learning it. We’ve realized with Scarlet, that she learns much quicker once we remove ourselves and our control of the situation. We stand back and watch her do things like dress herself, brush her hair, and take a bath. It’s amazing what children are capable of at such a young age. The frustrations of “I want to do it myself!” are gone. Although, I constantly have to fight wanting to do it for her because she’s not doing it the way I would. 😉 One of the things we have yet to figure out is how to handle those things that she just can’t do on her own yet. Like, picking up a pen and drawing all over Mama’s favorite (vintage) Cookbook. We still use the time out method or “reminder” method for these types of situations. We have created an environment that is very organized, clean, and easy for her to learn in. She can grab anything and play or learn with it. The other frustration we have is how to successfully leave that environment and enter the world, where she can’t see and touch everything. There are way more “no don’t touch that’s” and “Scarlet, stay here’s” outside than there are in the safety of our home.
I also see that most people do not use the Montessori method to homeschool. Most of Montessori is about the freedom in the classroom and the teacher’s sole job is to allow the children room to learn. It’s hard to juggle that + laundry + nursing + dishes + this errand + that errand + nursing (did I mention… nursing?). I would really like her to be around other kids in a montessori evironment and see how she does. There should really be a montessori homeschooling play group around here!
Many people have asked us about the Waldorf method and if we use it. I would say that we have pulled many ideas between Waldorf and Montessori and are sort of trying to feel it out and find a perfect fit for us, our family, and our beliefs. One of the things that concerns us about the Waldorf method is how much imaginative play they say to encourage upon the child. We totally love her using her imagination to play and very much encourage her to do so. We just have seen people use this method who get so much into make-believe that they can’t find reality when the time is right. I have a whole theory on Santa and all that (mentally saved for another day) that is a really easy way for Christians to introduce there kids to Santa or the Easter Bunny without lying to them or causing confusion later in their life.
We are moving through this journey as parents and in many ways we’ve found our groove. In other ways, we are working to find the groove. Do you have any good advice, experience, or… (ahem) silly make-believe hats… you would like to share? I’d love to hear what works for you. Going against the grain is not always easy. I do wish it was easier to connect with other Alternative Parents both locally and over this blog world.
Hope you have a sunny day!