Elementary children need to experience themselves as increasingly powerful agents in the world. As their personal power increases with age and maturity, they begin to encounter all the classical questions about power with which humanity has struggled and continues to struggle. At the root of these questions is the fact that power and its uses define relationships.
He was a sweet child with an angelic face, this new six year-old from another Montessori school. And he was so eager to please. How was I to know that he—during the very first week of school–would treat the parents at departure to the most spectacular display of temper I’d ever seen, complete with language I’d never in my life heard used against me, by anyone, much less a sweet child!
As a stay at home mom, I am constantly looking for ways to incorporate Practical Life exercises into our home and routine. The great thing is, this isn’t all that hard… though it does require more time and patience, and I will likely have to go through and re-do things afterwards anyway. This can be frustrating sometimes, but it can also be really fun and rewarding – there’s nothing like realizing your kid really can do a lot more than you’d given him credit for.
A parent of a new student called me to let me know I should “put Steven in a time-out if he is being naughty.” I thanked her for her suggestion, and mentioned that in Montessori we don’t believe in using time-outs. She didn’t seem convinced that I could “handle” her energetic son any other way, but after observing Steven in the classroom just a few months later, her perspective changed.