Are Montessori kids weird?

When you write a blog and you check your statistics you can see how people ended up on your site. You can see a list of search engine terms readers put into Google to end up pecking thechookhouse floor.

Like when they have searched for Guns. Imagine their dismay when they end up reading of small boys collecting branches and bits of old wood. Of a balcony full of adults while below on the dunes children run amok searching out wood for pistols and rifles freshly washed up from the sea and dropped from the Pines. This is because I wrote a piece about small boys marauding with stick guns on our holiday isle, Rottnest Island, and called it Young Guns. No doubt people searching for guns were not meaning this innocent, old fashioned play with driftwood.

Also having written about my son leaving his Montessori school I have found people searching for; Are Montesorri children weird? My short answer is No.  And perhaps a little affronted – how dare they? They are ordinary kids given a chance to learn in a non-competitive environment. They are self-determined, love to learn for learning’s sake and think tests and bells and a scheduled morning tea are a little strange. Because Montessori schooling is not the norm in Australia it has been mystified by those who don’t know it and people get an impression it is a flaky, hippy kind of education where children simply do as they please. This is the view of people outside of Montessori.

Jasper sees the difference in his new school. He sees that kids are less attentive to learning, need to be reigned in constantly by teachers and show little self direction. Strangely, even acknowledging these inadequacies, he is happy at his new government school. He likes the bigger social engagement. He likes the soft ball at lunch time and the kicking around the playground waiting for the bell to signal the start of the day. He tells me he is one of the four in the class to get all his spelling correct, something he would have had no notion of previously.

Montessori has given him resilience to work independently, something that is well ingrained in him now and hopefully cannot be eroded.

But if there are people searching this query perhaps there is some truth in the belief. Perhaps it is weird to not be motivated by tests and gold stars. Perhaps we are so used to pushing children to strive and do better and beat their peers we don’t know how good they are at pushing themselves. My conclusion is that parents are weird. Being a parent is weird. Being weird is weird. I am weird.

So now if someone is again searching whether or not Montessori kids are weird, the first place they might end up is here. Not weird, just given a different way of looking at what it is to learn.


About Nicole Lobry de Bruyn

Born in the psychedelic sixties to hard working and conservative parents my sister and I grew up in sleepy suburban Perth, Western Australia. We played by the river, the beach and in the bushland of the cementary. I loved a chocolate Dachshund enough to make me want to become a veterinarian. I did. I became paralysed from the waist down when car hit tree. But not running, walking, standing or kneeling didn't prevent me being a vet. I am still a vet but would prefer to write and read and read and write about walking and not walking, feeling and not feeling, knowing and not knowing. So this is what happens when you enter thechookhouse.
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2 Responses to Are Montessori kids weird?

  1. I’m often fascinated by what people search for to arrive at my blog (and I imagine some of them too are rather disappointed with what they find).

    I’m also interested to hear about your Montessori experience as I’m considering it for my little boy – in fact I only hear positives about it, so it’s really time I made the appointment to go and visit the school near us (Info’s been on my pin-up board for months now!)

  2. Nicole Lobry de Bruyn says:

    Hi Amanda, do go check out your local Montessori school – I think it’s a fabulous start for any child. Such a positive environment in general. nx

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