Monday, August 06, 2007

Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful

When I posted my summer reading list I forgot to add another book I had ordered ... Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful, by Donna Bryant Goertz. I had seen it recommended on an email list, and when it arrived I wondered how useful it would be. It is essentially a series of case studies of off-the-wall children in a Montessori early elementary classroom (ages 6 to 9). My eccentric, non-peaceful child is nine, the child I am thinking of taking a Montessori approach with is only one, and this is not a classroom situation. Despite my initial reaction I am finding it an interesting and worthwhile read, both for the insight it provides into how a Montessori classroom works, and for illustrations of ways in which difficult behaviour can be handled respectfully.

The first thing to grab me was this statement in the introduction:

Children today respond to the Montessori prepared environment in various ways, just as they did in the early years. Children who are surrounded at home by excess in the way of toys and pampering require greater talent and effort on the part of the teacher over a longer period of time to reach regular, deep, and lengthy engagement ... children who lead less cluttered and indulged lives respond more immediately to the Montessori classroom.
To what extent do my children have cluttered and indulged lives? Are they surrounded by excess? Are they pampered? In some respects I fear the answer is yes.

What do I need to change?

Food for thought.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Ooh, spooky, a friend has just recommended this to me -- looks like I'd better get hold of it!