Guest Post: The Appeal of Montessori Parenting

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t blogged much recently because I’ve been busy settling into the routine of having two little ones – not to mention all the company we’ve had here too recently! But never fear, today I bring you a guest post from my friend Emily to fill the time while I’m away-ish.

Emily is married to Paul and together they have a 7 and a half month old daughter Ariane (it’s German – you pronounce it ah-ree-AH-nuh in case you were wondering). I’m somewhat crunchy and Emily is too – she’s a breastfeeding, baby led weaning, cloth diapering, babywearing mom. She’s also a little bit nerdy like me – she’s a Whovian who loves science, superheroes, science fiction, and pie! I hope you enjoy hearing from her today as she talks a little bit about her discovery of Montessori methods and why she finds them so appealing.

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Montessori! Most people hear that and think, ‘Oh, that’s that lovey dovey type of school where kids get to learn whatever they want.’ Right? Wrong, actually. And I’m sure you know deep down, even if you’ve thought that statement at one point or another, that there has to be something to this Montessori thing. Otherwise there wouldn’t be so many schools, teachers, and – most importantly – children that attend the schools and learn from the teachers.

My educational background is as a teacher, and when we went over the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori in class I was really drawn to it. At the time I was involved in student teaching at an inner city Milwaukee Parental Choice school, so I put my interest In Montessori on the back burner. Until a Montessori school moved in down the street from me. I was reminded of how drawn to the philosophy I was, and I wondered what it would be like to teach there.

Not long after this I became pregnant with Ariane, and my teaching career took a different direction. I was due with her in March, which makes for an awkward interview conversation as a December graduate…so I decided not to get a teaching job right away, and stuck with my hardware store job until the next school year began.

It was at this time that I decided to become a nanny. I wanted to be able to care for my daughter as much as possible, and as a nanny I could bring her with me to the homes of the families I work for. Here’s where my story starts getting to the point. So if you hadn’t been paying much attention before, here’s your cue!!

Start paying attention here! 🙂

A week or two ago, I discovered something amazing. Montessori parenting. If you’ve come across this idea before, awesome for you! Hope you take some useful things from it! If you have never heard of it at all, that’s fine too. I mean, I spent 24 years of my life not knowing about it, and people have been using it for about a century!

Now, I understand that this method may not be for all people, and that’s totally fine. All people parent differently, and all kids need different styles of parenting. But for me, I feel like this is the way I want to raise my kids. It just seems so intuitive and appropriate to me. I love it!

Here’s what I love about it:

  •  The emphasis is on the child learning to interact with his or her surroundings in a way natural to them.
  • As a mom with an educator’s background, I know that I can use the same practices at home that I can find at a school and my kids will have the same expectations in both places.
  • I can pick and choose what I love about this philosophy and blend it with other philosophies if I so choose, in order to best parent my children.
  • It encourages independence and curiosity among young children, while helping them learn practical life skills.
  • I can trust that my children will have a solid foundation of experiences and knowledge once they reach school age, so they won’t have to play catch up to meet expectations.

There are more things I love about Montessori, but they all relate to these five in some way or another.

Another thing: I think that as a parent it’s important to do what’s best for the child as far as the style of parenting goes. That’s why I plan on blending what I love about Montessori with what I love about other styles like Love and Logic, for example, in order to create the best possible atmosphere for my daughter and future children to grow up in.

I’ve also used a lot of blogs and other resources to gather as much information as possible on the Montessori philosophy. Some of my favorites and the ones that are most informative I have included links to below!

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to writing more!! Who knows, maybe I’ll make some videos!

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Thanks Emily! Feel free to leave any questions or comments for Emily below 🙂

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