Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Montessori-ish ici

Welcome 2012, I am glad you are finally here!

Happy New Year to all of you, certainly a little late, but completely heartfelt.

The new year season is always a time of reflecting for us.  While it might be a little cliché to do this at that particular period of time, we have come to realize, over the years, that this reflections about our values, our goals are visions of us as a family and as individuals, are necessary to keep on going strong.  And we have yet to find another period of time during the year to do it.

This year, a particular event really tainted our discussion, and most of all our visions of our family, which is this:

Tooth bag, pattern found at Sew mama sew.  It was made by both X and I.

looks quite benign right?

But I can tell you it slapped me right in the face when X came to tell me that he had lost not 1 but 2 (!!) teeth while playing outside.  Quite a way to finish 2011!

As I mentionned in this post, both in Waldorf and Montessori worlds, the lost of tooth is seen as a passage, as a transition to a new phase of life.   -  Well, I guess we are already 2 feet in, without completely having realized it.

We are clearly getting further and further away from the 3-6 age period defined by Dr. Montessori.  This period is the best one defined by her, and I have felt over time that is rather easy to go through it with the ginormous amount of information about it all over the web.

Indeed, I remember how the first phases of life was easy while navigating through the Montessori philosophy.  This post seriously reminded me how I miss those time.  I felt like I was much more in tune with my children, and that I could anticipate their needs and their developmental phases a lot more easily.  I felt I was just one step ahead of them, seeing the right moment emerge.  I have to admit that having 3 children also really does make it more challenging to fully live the Montessori philosophy at home as afterschoolers. The needs of my 1 yo are so much different then the ones of my 6 yo, and meeting them all really requires imagination, time and organization. Challenging, but thrilling nonetheless.

For the last months, I have thus lost this feeling of simpleness and easiness in our daily lives. And since we are not homeschooling, and not using the Montessori method, the inspiration and the resources out there are lacking to help me keep on going.  I have read a lot of Maria Montessori's own writing for this new phase that we are facing with X. But she didn't define this period as much as the previous one, and I feel that to keep on going within this philosophy, without using the method that is, I will have extrapolate from her words.

 With this lack of inspiration, and information, I have no idea how "Montessori" we will keep on being. Yes, I still do have 2 children that are in the easy stages of Montessori, but I feel that our new ways, this shift we are taking,   is also tainting the way I do with E and M.   Forget the trays and the list of prepared activities, it doesn't seem to be working for us anymore. My youngests are looking up to X and are much eager to imitate what he does.
And so for all those reasons, I have contemplated the idea of closing this blog.   After all, this is a Montessori blog.  But after much deliberation, I decided to give it another go, and let my inspiration and extrapolation lead the way.  We'll see where that will lead us.  And I hope you'll stay along with me.

I'll take this opportunity to ask a question: what would you like me to talk about?  Is there a topic you'd like to hear about, or something you would like to see about how we go on in our lives?  Please, let me know, I'd be delighted to hear your ideas!

I'll be undertaking my annual blog face lifting in the next few days. (yes, I guess I am a little bit of a creature of change.  I need fresh air, fresh look and novelty once in a while...)  The blog might look wonky for a while, excuse me while I try to make it all new and good.


  1. Many thanks for this post. Enlightening, as always. Personally, I would like to know more about your youngest child and the activities you do. My daughter is approximately the same age and we seem to be on a similar track. There have been some things I had done and then seen you had done as well. Other times, I have just been inspired by you and copied.
    Happy new year!!!

  2. Definitely dont close your blog! You still have so much to share! Perhaps you can change your name to The Free Child like your URL so that you feel free to post less or no Montessori. I am interested to know where you go to next with afterschooling your kids, and I love to see pictures of how your home is set up for them. I find your blog very inspiring!

  3. Oh please don't close your blog. It is one of my favourites. I love your honesty and descriptions of your journeys, so please continue as before. i would love to hear about your parenting philosophies as they evolve.

  4. Oh please don't go!!! I am a frequent lurker here, and I'd be lost without your inspiration! I love what you're doing with your kids.

  5. I think your blog is a wonderful resource. But, your feeling that you need to move on is completely understandable! I, for one, would love to follow along this new path with you, Montessori or not.


  6. Thank you so much for all your comments! They certainly do give me a push to go on happily!

    La bambina felice: I'll be talking about E very soon. He has grown a lot, and we are definelty into different experience with him. Thank you for being there and for posting! Happy new year to you too!

    Louise Allana: THank you for your input. I have indeed thought about this possibility, and I am still deliberating over that. I think it might remove some kind of a burden to really be Montessori. I'll leave myself some time and see. But thanks for the idea!
    Environement really is a topic that is close to my heart. I think it is for you too. I'll be sharing more about this topic really soon.

    Rach:Thank you for being here and reading along. I don,t know where my parenting journeys will guide me to, but I'm sure it will be somewhere fun!

    Emma: Gees, thank you so much! Your comment is really appreciated!

    The Ledgers: THank you for your comment! THis blog is definetly out there to be a ressource for others that share similar ideas and common views of children. As long as it can be useful, I'll be happy to be there. And most of all, thanks for following along, no matter what!

  7. Oh I left a comment when you first posted this but something happened and it didn't post. I would also love to hear more about your youngest because my son is the same age as well. I think your experience and learning journey will be a valuable asset to the Montessori and non-Montessori community. Thank you so much for this beautiful blog- it has been such a blessing to me this past year!

  8. Meghan

    I feel like I have so much to say about E. He is entering a phase where everything goes quickly, and we are so surprised at the facility he has to absorb everything. I LOVE this stage.
    Thank you for being here!!

  9. I absolutely love your blog. Please just keep posting if it still inspires you to do so. If you love the Montessori method then share it but don't let the ideals get you down. They sure do get me down!!! Being in the home is much different in the classroom and can be very challenging for the parent who knows enough and loves Montessori's work with children. You're work as a Montessori mother is beautiful and I'm so grateful that you share it with us.