I read an article in my Montessori training that discusses the idea that a child is “normalized” (what Dr. Montessori considered the optimal development of the human personality with the ability to complete a work cycle, in other words to focus in the environment) when certain conditions are provided to the child. Her work told us that these conditions were liberty – freedom to be allowed control over the activity – and “work”. When a child feels respected and as though he is contributing positively to his environment, then he finds joy. The way to achieve this joy is by giving wide parameters in a well prepared environment (whether at home or in the classroom).
The author of this article discovered that “joy comes from going beyond what one has already achieved, from mastering new skills and new knowledge.” The purpose of flow, he writes, is to keep on flowing, not looking for a peak or utopia but staying in the flow…so, with a young child, we might look at “repetition” in this way. There is no reason to keep pouring water in and out of a cup except the pouring itself…a form of self communication.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
“The only direct control of experience is the ability to derive moment by moment enjoyment of everything we do.”
“Let a child discover writing and reading, rather than be taught to read and write. Then they become life long readers.”
“The essential thing is for the task to arouse such an interest that it engages the whole personality.”
“It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, whether good or bad, that we find happiness – not by trying to look for it directly.”
“Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue…as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.”
I completed my Montessori language training today. I am feeling so inspired and cannot wait to share ideas and lessons with you.