Thursday, September 22, 2011


I know very little about Montessori philosophy; however, I am lazy. 

Therefore, I have taught my child to handle ceramic and glass, use the refrigerator himself, and draw only on paper.  I figure it's less work in the long run.  Bug is allowed to use tools for their purposes: he helps cook, pour, stir, put away, etc.  He can get his milk out of the fridge, and when he's a little older we'll work on how to open yogurt.  He gets big-people silverware (he always preferred it to kid spoons; I don't care) and real dishes.  One day he'll throw one on the floor and it will break, and then he'll help me clean it up.  The markers and crayons sit on the counter, in boxes; he knows that to use them, he can ask, and I'll give him paper.  He paints in the kitchen, and helps me wipe up the floor afterwards. 

Sometimes, however, I forget to put all the not-toy things away before other children come over.  The lure of a 25-pound bag of rice is, apparently, irresistible, as is the box of screws, the not-really-locked lazy susan cabinet, and the silverware drawer.  Ack. 


  1. Is this the Montessori philosophy? I was just talking about the basic idea with my brother, who does as you do, and who has lovely competent, helpful children. And yeah, the issue seems to be Other Kids. It's certainly encouraging to know this can work, and that one can call it Montessori rather than Lazy!

  2. I teach a Montessori-based catechism program and one of the key points is that the very young child wants you to "help me to do it myself." They really are very happy when you give them the means to care for themselves and they love doing what we call "practical life" tasks and will sometimes do them over and over and over again until they get it right. This isn't too hard to figure out on your own, though, and a lot of people say that Maria Montessori just wrote down things that mothers have always known.

  3. i get all my montessori advice from starhillgirl, who says i am right to set the baby on the ground and carry on doing my laundry. so convenient when the right thing and the lazy thing intersect.

  4. Bionic: And eventually he will Help. Chucking things into the laundry is so fun. Also, at some point they've peed on everything in sight and laundry is an inevitability. :)

    Mrs. W: it definitely makes mine happy!


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