'Work' is a positive thing for children!

Those who are not familiar with the Montessori method will most often associate the word 'work' with a tiring, boring, monotonous duty that one must engage in, in order to keep up with daily living or earn money. In fact, most will also attempt to organize their work schedule to have regular holidays in order to avoid, get away, or take a break from work. As adults, work is most often thought of in a negative way.

In a child's eyes, work is about energy: learning, engaging, strengthening, overcoming obstacles, becoming independent, and achieving self discipline. When children are young we can see how they deeply desire to learn to talk, walk, feed themselves, dress themselves, clean themselves, and eventually they want to do all the things we consider household 'chores'.

A child's work is all about creating himself, learning independence and achieving self discipline.  A Montessori environment is specifically set up to answer the call of the children; "Help me to do it myself". All of the materials and the general principles in a Montessori environment are indeed 'work' for the children, but are full of positive energy that bring about happy, positive, peaceful and self disciplined children.

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  • 2/16/2011 1:00 PM Lori.cusick.niedenzu wrote:
    I truly appreciate these philosophy updates. I often share these with parents of my students to better explain what their children are experiencing in Montessori preschool.
    After reading every available book and transcript of her speeches while working to receive certification as a Montessori directress, I often find it difficult to translate Montessori's ideas for sharing effectively with the general population. Thank you for putting Dr. Montessori's philosophy of education and the development of young children into an easy to read and comprehend format. Sincerely, Lori Cusick Niedenzu
    1. 2/16/2011 10:12 PM Montessori Print Shop wrote:
      Hi Lori,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the post.

      We all can use these reminders - whether we're Montessori teachers, educators using a different system, parents, or a combination of them all!  It's a challenge for most Montessori educators to fully explain the Montessori philosophy ... it's packed full of concepts and ideas that only get deeper and more intricate as your experiences and exposure with the materials and children lengthens and broadens.

      The greatness of the Montessori philosophy still overwhelms me to this day ... and it's been over 17 years since my training!

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