1. My house is not an obstacle course.
My kids put away their work when they’re finished with it. They are not allowed to choose another work until they clean up the first one and put it back on the shelf. This means my floors are clean (of toys, anyway…) and I can walk around my house practically with my eyes closed.
2. I have never stepped on a Lego.
Work rugs. Floor works with many pieces (such as Legos) are done on a work rug. All of the pieces must stay on the rug while in use. When they’re done playing with Legos, they must put them away and roll up the work rug. This dainty foot has never felt the sharp pain of stepping on Legos, but I hear it may be worse than childbirth. (Hard to imagine… a man must have decided that.)
3. Free housecleaning.
Montessori kids love to clean. My Montessori kid especially loves to move the furniture I haven’t cleaned under so she can sweep it up herself. I’m not complaining.
4. Instant sous chef.
I can’t even remember the last time I
got to had to cook alone. I constantly have a little sous chef in the helper tower beside me in the kitchen, usually eating the broccoli when she’s supposed to be cutting it up.
5. I am not a butler.
There are no bells to ring or commands to yell when Montessori kids want something. That kid is thirsty? She can pour herself a glass of water. And then put the empty cup in the dishwasher.
6. No screaming from behind bars.
Am I the only one who thinks cribs look like mini prisons? Montessori kids sleep on floor beds. They don’t need to scream for Mommy when they wake up, because they can get out all by themselves. Instead, they’ll read a few books before running to the door to knock on it and yell, “Come in!” over and over again until you do.
7. I am not a lady’s maid.
Not only do I not have to dress a Montessori kid, I AM NOT ALLOWED TO. She has made it clear that she can do it by herself. So I get to sit back and merely comment on the fashion choices of the day while she dresses herself. That may mean that
some days most days she’s not wearing any pants… but can you really blame her?
8. I am not an entertainer.
My kids are busy. All day. Their works provide them with purpose and teach them concentration and focus like no TV show or battery-operated toy ever can. I don’t have to perform to keep them occupied all day. In fact, as a Montessorian, I’m not supposed to interrupt them when they are concentrating on a work.
9. They think washing toys is the best game ever.
Give a Montessori kid some dirty toys and a scrub brush with a soapy basin of water — hours of bliss. Hours. I’m not kidding. You won’t even know what to do with yourself.
10. I know my kids are learning through a scientifically-founded and developmentally-appropriate method and I get to watch them work to reach their highest potentials — and have fun doing it!
Is there anything more beautiful than a child who feels like she has a purpose and is proud of what she can accomplish all by herself? I don’t force my kids to do any of the activities mentioned above — they WANT to do them. They INSIST on doing them. I just let them. It’s as easy as that.
Can you think of any other perks?