Friday, October 13, 2006

Is it ever too late to start Montessori?

This comes up now and then in the Montessori groups I'm in: Is it too late to start with Montessori?

My response: It's never too late.

Montessori isn't about the method. Maria Montessori avoided using the word 'method' for a long time because she didn't want people to get stuck on the idea of 'this is how you do it all'. Of course, that's what people were looking for and so it became a method.

Montessori is about the kids. I think of Alfie Kohn when I write that. It's about respecting children, believing in them. It's about guiding them, helping them. It's about working with them and avoiding doing things to them. It's about recognizing children as people in their own right.

Of course, Montessori, as an educational approach, is more than just that. It's about figuring out ways to help a child's development, the whole child's development. Figuring out ways to help them become gradually more and more independent and free.

And so, it's never too late to start with Montessori because it's never too late to start to focus on an individual child's needs. Never too late to look at what sort of obstacles--mental, emotional, etc.--a child may have that the adult can help break down. Never too late to do what you can to inspire a child.


Debbie said...

How inspiring. I was just talking to a close friend about this very thing. Her 9 yr old son goes to public school. He's very distracted, unfocused, and forgetful. I was asking her to explore the idea that may-be nothing she can do (cajoling/yelling)will change his ways. What would it look like to accept him? I struggle with this same issue. Accept my children for who they are and teach them better skills at the same time. "Never too late to do what you can to inspire a child." I love that statement.

Daisy said...


Accepting a child, or any person, for where they are at is crucial. It's so easy to blur the line between not accepting certain behaviours and not accepting the child.

I'll add that there are those who ask the same thing about homeschooling, too: Is it too late to start homeschooling? Never. It's never too late to try to find something better for your child and if you think homeschooling is one of those things, then go for it!

bskr mccor-blog said...

your post made me smile :)