I am a Montessori Parent, Montessori Primary guide, Administrator at a Montessori school ……I want to share my thoughts on the simplest idea behind the Montessori philosophy: “Follow the child”.
I would like to share a true story about my child and a Mother’s day card she brought home from school when she was almost 3 ( this was before she moved to a Montessori school).
The card had lovely flowers cut and glued almost like a store bought card— it was too perfect…. Hmmmmm………..was it really?
I asked my child about the card and she said that “she choose the colors of the flowers”.
Ok, and then …. teacher made it mommy.
The teacher probably made it so the parents would appreciate it.
My thoughts as a Montessori Parent : ” I wanted ‘my’ child’s art work”, not what the teacher made.
My thoughts as a Montessori Educator: Montessori philosophy is based on “Follow the child”.
Child should be independent.
Provide and prepare an environment to ensure it meets the needs of the child. Do I appreciate that the teacher made it?
No, not one bit. It has to be the “child’s work” no matter how it looks. Process is more important for the child in the 1st plane of development.
When you look back at the memories….. you want the things the child made to reflect their age and development at that time.
There is and will be a difference in a card made by a 2-year old and a 5-year old. That’s the beauty of it.
If you are a Parent, provide the art supplies that are safe and appropriate for the child – Let the creativity unfold itself. Let the child manipulate the supplies a create their “own masterpiece”.
If you are an Educator, ensure your classroom is prepared to meet the development needs of the children. Have a simple “self-expression” shelf with supplies like scissors, glue, paper, markers, color pencils, crayons and let the children create their “own masterpiece”.
Always remember, ‘Every child is an artist”.