Colourful, Carefree Monday
Transferring water with a dropper (using concentration and care)

Let the children choose

Otis with magnetic shapes

I know that I cannot really 'make' my children do anything. It's up to them to decide what they do and I just hope that I'm raising them well enough that they make the right decisions. Just as I cannot make them eat I cannot make them learn.  

It's why I feel it's so important we consider the materials we make available and the activities we present. It's why Montessori classrooms have so many shelves. It's why in Montessori each child is doing their own work. It's why Otis walks into the study, picks up a tray, takes it to his table and starts working. I know if I presented him with that exact tray and asked him to do the activity it's likely he wouldn't want to do it. 

While I've been able to see first hand the love of learning in a young child I had my doubts if it exists in older children. I've had doubts about how well Montessori works for Cycle Three or 9-12 year old children. What would they do if they had a choice? Well it turns out they choose to learn too. Not because they have to, it's because they have and always have had the choice when and what to learn. 

Otis with magnetic shapes 2

So often I'm asked how this works in our home. It's simple and I really don't think about it much. I love looking for and finding fun and attractive developmentally appropriate materials. I make those materials (mostly) freely accessible to the children and they choose when and what to use. There is no 'Montessori time', there is no 'tot school', there is no list, there is no schedule. There is no mandate for learning - the children choose. 


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