Montessori and My Children – Theory vs. Reality

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Montessori and My Children - Theory vs. RealityMy children are adults now, but they were raised with Montessori principles from the time they were babies. (See “How to Set Up Your Home for an Infant by Using Montessori Principles” for the start of our Montessori journey at home.)

Montessori Resources

I have a page of Montessori Resources with lots of posts about the Montessori principles my husband and I used to raise our now-adult children.

(Note: If you’d like to use Montessori principles and wonder where to start, I have a post called “How to Start Using Montessori at Home” with links for different ages of children and different ways to use Montessori at home.)

My Now-Adult Montessori Children

Will in the Montessori Classroom at Age 2, 1987

Will in the Montessori Classroom at Age 2, 1987

Christina in the Montessori Classroom at Age 2, 1992

Christina in the Montessori Classroom at Age 2, 1992

In one of my first posts at Living Montessori Now, I said that many former Montessori students are known for their initiative, creativity, and self confidence (“Famous People Influenced by Montessori”). Would I apply those terms to my children? Definitely!

Actually, I have to say that Montessori parenting in reality is better than I expected from Montessori parenting in theory. In “Why I Used Montessori Principles in My Parenting Philosophy,” I wrote about some of the qualities Montessori principles helped my children develop:

  • kindness
  • love of learning
  • competence and the ability to be successful
  • sense of order
  • ability to concentrate
  • persistence
  • independence
  • no education burn-out
  • academic success.

But, when I think about it, one of the qualities that impresses me the most (and I’m sure it comes at least in large part from Montessori principles) is the comfortableness both my kids have with being who they are. As teenagers (and adults), they didn’t feel a need to experiment with drinking or drugs to fit in with their peers. They’ve stayed lifelong vegetarians even if their peers encouraged them to eat meat.

Will and Christina are both entrepreneurs and very comfortable with running their own businesses and finding new, creative ways to improve their businesses. If you’d like to see my kids in action as adults, I’ll share a few YouTube videos of them.

Will decided at age 10 that he wanted to be a DJ when he first saw a DJ at a roller skating rink. At age 16, he started DJing in Colorado Springs. Will moved his DJ business to San Diego in 2007. In San Diego, he has two very successful businesses as a skating coach and DJ (owner of Dancing DJ Productions).

Here’s DJ Will’s Wedding Video:

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Christina’s bachelor’s degree in Performance and Professional Practice is from England. She earned it while competing internationally in ice dance for Great Britain. Her bachelor’s dissertation is called A Study to Investigate if There is a Need for Acting Lessons for Competitive Figure Skaters. Using the results of her dissertation, Christina started a new business as a performance coach. Here’s a video of one of her performance classes in England:

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Christina, with her former dance partner Mark Hanretty, also starred in a Learn to Dance on Ice DVD. You can see Christina and Mark at the beginning and end of this promotional video:

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Now Christina is a successful coach/choreographer in San Diego and fitness specialist with a website and two blogs. UPDATE: Here are some fun dance workouts with Christina on YouTube.

Both Will and Christina are simply used to following their interests and doing what works for them. They are true lifelong learners. I have to say, that’s much better than I ever expected when I started this amazing parenting journey!

***

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting with the theme Parenting in Theory vs. in Reality. This month our participants are sharing how their ideas and methods of parenting have changed.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • My little gastronomes — “I’ll never cook a separate meal for my children,” Maud at Awfully Chipper vowed before she had children; but things didn’t turn out quite as she’d imagined.
  • Know Better, Do Better. Except When I Don’t. — Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy was able to settle in her parenting choices before her children arrived, but that doesn’t mean she always lives up to them.
  • Judgments Made Before Motherhood — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks back on her views of parents she came in contact with before she became a mother and how much her worldview of parenting has changed!
  • A Bend in The Road — Lyndsay at ourfeministplayschool writes about how her visions of homeschooling her son during the elementary school years have changed drastically in the last year – because HE wants to go to school.
  • I Wish Children Came with Instruction Manuals — While Dionna at Code Name: Mama loves reading about parenting, she’s not found any one book that counts as an instruction manual. Every child is different, every family is different, every dynamic is different. No single parenting method or style is the be-all end-all. Still, wouldn’t it be nice if parenting were like troubleshooting?
  • The Mistakes I’ve Made — Kate at Here Now Brown Cow laments the choices she made with her first child and explains how ditching her preconceived ideas on parenting is helping her to grow a happy family.
  • I Only Expected to Love… — Kellie at Our Mindful Life went into parenting expecting to not have all the answers. It turns out, she was right!
  • They See Me Wearin’, They Hatin’ — Erin Yuki at And Now, for Something Completely Different contemplates putting her babywearing aspirations into practice, and discussed how she deals with “babywearing haters.”
  • Parenting Human BeingsErika Gebhardt lists her parenting “mistakes,” and the one concept that has revolutionized her parenting.
  • Doing it right: what I knew before I had kids… — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud, guest posting at Natural Parents Network realises that the number one game in town, when it comes to parenting, is judgement about doing it right. But “doing it right” looks different to everybody.
  • A synopsis of our reality as first time parents — Amanda at My Life in a Nut Shell summarizes the struggles she went through to get pregnant, and how her daughter’s high needs paved the way for her and her husband to become natural parents.
  • Theory to Reality? — Jorje compares her original pre-kid ideas (some from her own childhood) to her personal parenting realities on MommaJorje.com.
  • The Princess Paradigm — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen had planned to raise her daughter in a sparkly, princess-free home, but in turn has found herself embracing the glitz.
  • Healthy Eating With Kids: Ideal vs. Real — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs had definite ideas about what healthy eating was going to look like in her family before she had kids. Little did she realize that her kids would have something to say about it.

If this is your first time visiting Living Montessori Now, welcome! If you haven’t already, please join us on our Living Montessori Now Facebook page where you’ll find a Free Printable of the Day and lots of inspiration and ideas for parenting and teaching! And please follow me on Pinterest (lots of Montessori-, holiday-, and theme-related boards),  Twitter (blog posts by me and others along with the Parent/Teacher Daily and other interesting information), and  Google+ (post updates and Montessori Community). I’m also a Parenting Expert on Sulia. Thank you for following me there, too. And don’t forget one of the best ways to follow me by signing up for my weekly newsletter in the right sidebar (and get two awesome freebies in the process)!

Linked to Tuesday Tots, The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions at Milk and Cuddles and Crystal & Co., Hearts for Home Blog Hop, The Weekly Kid’s Co-op, Learn & Link TGIF Linky Party, Preschool Corner, Sharing Saturday, Saturday Show & Tell, Share It Saturday, Show-and-Share Saturday, The Sunday Showcase, Link & Learn, Afterschool Express, and Sunday Parenting Party.

 

Safari Ltd. Review and Giveaway - 5 TOOBS (Farm/Horses/Dogs ARV $60)
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