Fourteen years ago the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement addressing children’s screen time that created a media hubbub. The statement was weak and ineffective. The ruckus was in grand disproportion to the Academy’s ho-hum recommendation that parents “avoid television for children under the age of two years.” It generated no positive results. Screen time for all children continues to increase. Parents still consider the television a member of the family. Mobile apps are every parent’s new best friend.
As the director of a Montessori school, one of the most frequent questions I get from parents is, “What should I be doing at home to help my child academically?” My answer is always the same: “Talk and read with your child.”
We are all aware that creativity stems from a well-developed imagination. You have to imagine something before you can create it, right? We also rightly assume that the capacity to imagine is formed in early childhood (a time when children are read fantasy stories and are encouraged to participate in pretend-play). And yet, you won’t find a single fairy tale, doll, or talking animal in a Montessori classroom!
Dr. Maria Montessori discovered a brilliant and elegant solution to the challenge of meeting every child’s needs. She created, tested, and refined the through observation auto-didactic (self-teaching) materials to convey particular knowledge to children. Today’s Montessori teachers rely on the same materials and do very little direct instruction.
Geeks hunt for the best. Movie geeks want theatres with the best sound systems and projectors. Fashionistas shop for cutting edge, unique fashions. Education geeks pursue the most elegant and effective educational practices and my search led me to the Montessori Method. I beg your indulgence as I share my journey.