We recently had the chance to listen to Trevor Eissler, author of Montessori Madness, give an engaging talk, explaining this crazy thing called Montessori.
Throughout the talk, Trevor shared personal stories about how he came to appreciate Montessori, including the time he watched his one-year-old son take his first sustained walk ... down a concrete driveway!
As the story goes, Trevor was instinctively worried about the child's safety as he staggered on the hard surface towards the street. Yet, as a proud parent familiar with Montessori principles, Trevor didn't want to interfere because the child was building confidence and learning so much with each tiny step. Conflicted, Trevor ultimately allowed the child to follow his own path, on and off the grass, down the curb, zigzagging through the middle of the street. Throughout this trailblazing experience, Trevor was there shadowing the child, careful to keep his presence unknown. Had a danger approached, Trevor was there, ready to jump in or steer the child in a new direction.
Do we, as parents and caregivers, have a responsibility to think and act like Montessori teachers outside the classroom? Have we ever interfered with a child's activity because we felt it was too challenging? Are we too eager to give them the answer? These are the types of questions that Trevor raises, with precision, passion and humor.
Children are curious and intrinsically motivated to succeed. The next time your child uses a Montessorium app, you might want to consider allowing their intuition to lead the process. Let them try, fail, and try again. Be in awe and shadow them, just like Trevor did, and enjoy watching them discover, learn, and build self-confidence. And breathe a sigh of relief knowing your child is playing with an app and not out in the street!