I’ve been seeing a lot about Trevor Eissler around the blogosphere lately, and that makes me glad – not mad. But Trevor Eissler’s Montessori madness does need to be spread.
I already posted an inspiring Trevor Eissler video in my article “Why I Used Montessori Principles in My Parenting Philosophy.” I’d love to see Eissler get as much publicity as possible to help spread his message.
If you haven’t heard, Trevor Eissler is a Montessori parent who wrote the book Montessori Madness! A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education. It’s rare for a Montessori book to be written by a parent rather than an educator, and I think that makes the book all the more powerful in its message about the importance of Montessori education.
Eissler is a powerful advocate not only for his children but for all children – who he believes should be given the opportunity to have a Montessori education.
Here’s an excerpt from Montessori Madness! telling why Eissler believes in the Montessori method:
Four reasons won me over to the Montessori method of education. First, I was astonished by the intellectual and social maturity of the students I watched in observation sessions. They were more advanced at their ages than any group of students I had ever seen before. They radiated the very qualities I hoped my children would have one day.
Second, my support rests on faith. It is not a religious faith. Rather, it is an acceptance and a confidence that my children are growing and progressing according to their genetics and the quality of their environment; they will hit the various milestones when they are ready. My wife and I began our journey toward Montessori schooling with our first son’s birth and our compulsive concern with milestones and charts and weights, trying to force him to grow and develop more quickly. Since learning about Maria Montessori’s philosophy, enrolling our children in the school, and observing their development, we’ve learned to back off, give them some room to develop, and concentrate on providing an environment that helps them choose their own developmental path. We’ve been delighted with their progress, and we don’t have a single test score to prove it.
Third, I remember my own schooling. Looking back, I can’t help but wish it had been different—more like, well, home. I am convinced home was where I learned much more than in the classroom, and certainly with more joy. . . . My home life felt different from my life at school: deeper, more real, more loving. Montessori feels like home.
Fourth, through the study of Montessori’s philosophy, and with the daily feedback I receive from observing and interacting with my own three children, I am convinced that her method is more effective than traditional school methods.
In Montessori Madness, Eissler uses lots of personal anecdotes and examples from his observations in a Montessori classroom to explain Montessori principles and tell how they’re used in Montessori education. It’s a fascinating read and one I highly recommend for any parent interested in or wondering about Montessori.
You’ll find the book helpful whether you’re considering a private or public Montessori school, considering Montessori homeschool, or just thinking about using Montessori principles at home.
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video you can find many places around the Internet right now:
Trevor Eissler “Montessori Madness!” – 321 FastDraw
Here’s another short video of Trevor Eissler with his speaking interspersed by clips of Montessori children at work. You can gain a lot from these two minutes!
Here’s to spreading the madness!
UPDATE: Trevor Eissler now writes Montessori-inspired children’s books as well!