To see a child in the classroom completely lost in the moment of what they are doing is a captivating and wonderful experience. I truly wish that I could read their thoughts at that moment – however I know that really being lost in the moment doesn’t involve much thought at all. It’s the beauty of the motion, the sound of the water, the spill of the droplets into a glass that grabs the child’s attention. In an over-stimulating society, it’s a great thing to see children slow down and be entranced by aligning the Pink Tower properly.
Lately I’ve been looking up Montessori school sites to get an idea on what to expect in Canada. I love school websites that feature pictures showing the classroom environment in use. A child focusing on their activity and completely ignoring someone pointing a camera at them is a sacred thing.
Isn’t it amazing that Maria Montessori’s materials are over 100 years old, and still hold a current child’s interests? We have iPads, cell phones, music at the push of a button; yet a set of long red rods of varying length will occupy a child for 20 minutes solid regularly. Watching that child build with the Red Rods I see much higher self-satisfaction than playing for 20 minutes with an iPad. Of course there is excitement and joy from playing with technology, but it’s a different feeling to be proud and feel accomplished after mastering a physical task. Aren’t adults the same way? The sense of accomplishment in having painted a room or a sewn project or planting a garden is more satisfying than having watched an hour of TV or puttered about on the internet. (I’m guilty of the latter, for sure) It’s a physical accomplishment demonstrating our mastery (attempted or expert) in something. Trying to get children up and moving has become a big focus these days. Why not encourage that from a young age?
[Please realize that I’m not saying I hate technology – it’s really the opposite. We’ve never been more informed or educated, and that’s something to be celebrated. But as is everything in life, MODERATION IS KEY. ]
Observing a child at work is a beautiful thing, especially when you see the confidence and smile afterwards. A child walking away from a shelf after putting down the tray of a completed work walks a little straighter and a little taller. Isn’t that the best result?