I’m Being Followed By Kim Jong-Il Reports

Filed under: AMI Montessori, Montessori

This post isn’t really about the shocking news that not only am I being followed by “Postpartum Depression” on Twitter – and I’m not sure how I feel about that or why they are following me – or about how I’m also being followed by Kim Il Jong Reports (more on that below).

This post is really about Montessori school. 

Fi spent much of her first year in Montessori school washing tables and arranging flowers.

My husband and I are over-educated Type A types so this concerned us.

“Why isn’t she doing math?” my husband asked the teacher.

“Because she’s three,” was the teacher’s reply, trying not to roll her eyes at him.

She told us to give it time, and to trust that her interest in practical life activities would in time lead her to the mathematical equipment. As we left, Fi gave a little wave from where she stood, arranging flowers. 

Maria Montessori says to follow the child, and we believe in Maria so that’s what we try to do even when it seems counterintuitive. We’d want to suggest different “work” for her to choose – like the Pink Tower, or the geography puzzles.

But at the end of that first year she began getting into stacking the pink tower, and working with the remarkable math equipment they have in Montessori classrooms.

Here we are seven years of AMI Montessori school later. A child spends 3 years in one classroom and has the same teacher for those 3 years. They’re in mixed age groups (primary: 3 to 6 year olds, lower juniors: 6 to 9 year olds, and upper juniors: 9 to 12 year olds). Fi is now in her first year of the upper elementary, and I’m finding myself once again having a similar response (“fear of endless flower arranging”) – only this time it’s topics she’s choosing for her reports.

Montessori elementary children do a lot of reports – first, they pick a topic. No one tells them what topic to pick, it’s their own choice and it can be anything from cotton candy to quantum physics. Whatever. Then they find a partner who agrees to work on it with them, and together they research the topic, take notes, write a draft of the report, finalize it, illustrate it, and present it to the class. There’s a lot of learning that goes on in this whole dynamic, not least of which is the “working with others” part – and I’m pretty impressed with it.

Working in a small group to create a timeline of Ancient Civilizations.


However, I’m having flashbacks of my “fear of flower arranging” days when Fi was a primary, because I’ve been wanting to see her choose “meatier” topics than the ones she has been choosing (skunks and honeybees). But Maria says to “follow the child” so I’m trying hard to keep my trap shut (although a few weeks ago I did suggest she do a report on The Spanish Inquisition, Catherine the Great, or one of the more current and despicable world despots – but then I dropped it, because in Montessori the parent is not technically supposed to meddle.)

I resigned myself to the idea that for her next report she would be featuring another cute rodent, like meerkats.




Last week she told me that she’s chosen a topic for a new report.

Me: “Oh?”

Her: “Natural disasters.”

Me: “Oh.”

Her: “And the first natural disaster I’m going to start with is Kim Il Jong.”

Ha! That’s my girl.

I tweeted about Fi writing the report on Kim Il Jong, and within minutes Twitter alerted me that:

“Kim Il Jong Reports is now following you.”

A little unsettling.

If she were doing a report on meerkats I don’t think that “Meerkat Reports” would be following me, do you? No, because unlike the North Koreans, meerkats know how to mind their own beeswax.

I know it isn’t really Kim Il Jong (who’s dead) following me, or his freakish son, who isn’t.

But I’m creeped out by the speed at which Twitter monitors free speech the way it does, how it spits us back out into the great, wide open where there are Kim Il Jong Reports to follow us dangerous mom-bloggers.

Linking up with Bruna at Bees With Honey.

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17 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. A little post about #Montessori elementary school: http://t.co/MgMwc2sj



  2. My son is in his first year of Montessori, and we ALL absolutely love it. The part about Fi’s teacher trying not to roll her eyes when explaining, “Because she’s three!” cracked me up though, as we had a similar experience with his teacher at the beginning of the year. And I have had to practically put tape over my mouth to not “suggest” work for him to do, but stepping back is slowly (slowly!) getting easier for me. Now the part about Kim Il Jong Reports following you – that is freaky!!
    Twitter: S_Supermommy



    • I think the first year of Montessori is excellent practice for us parents for how to restrain ourselves for the rest of our lives…in a way! (-:



  3. I am continually amazed at not only the speed of that email notification, but the WHO. How do some of these twits, twats, tweeps, whatever find me?
    I am not sure what it is about my bio and pic, but I sure attract some strange ones.
    Except Yoda.
    Darnit…what do you have to say to get a tweet from Yoda!?
    Twitter: rorybore



    • Rory, let’s get followed by Yoda on Twitter. It might not be as easy as getting followed by Mr. Jong but I bet it’s doable.



  4. Ok, that really freaks me out about twitter and Kim II Jong, yikes! Really unsettling…..It sounds like your daughter is doing great in school though, what an awesome report idea :) Great post and I think a good reminder for us as parents, sometimes the best “help” we can be is to hang back and let our children go at their own pace.
    Twitter: mommy_padawan



  5. I need to learn more about Korean naming conventions cause I always thought it was Kim Jong Il. But I can totally see it being one of those stupid. . . yeah, you can rearrange it that way if you’re an AMERICAN. . . sort of things.

    So yeah. . . Kim Jong Il. . . Il Jong. . . whatever is a natural disaster now?
    Twitter: blogginglily



    • I could be wrong. I’m not well-versed in the Korean names either! (-:



      • I went with the Wikipedia version – Kim Jong-Il. But I’ve seen it both ways. “I wonder what it all means….”!



  6. I’m becoming more and more convinced that Montessori is the way to go for my boys when they’re of age. I need to move to a country where there’s a good school!!

    And once I tweeted a blog post I drew involving a lizard, and some lizard person/ bot started following me on Twitter!! Also, zombie bots when I mentioned zombie ONCE.
    Twitter: AlisonSWLee



    • I mentioned Bob Dylan and a Bob Dylan bot followed me. Go figure.
      Alison I am a big huge fan of Montessori for all kids – if you can, go for it. Seriously – it’s the bees knees…!



  7. Ohhhhh my goodness, I would be so freaked out. It is super creepy the way the internet follows you. Fi’s school sounds awesome. I want to go!
    Twitter: sarcasmgoddess



    • I want to go too. I wish I could have gone to Montessori when I was a child. It would’ve been a way better experience for me, esp. since you can spread yourself out on the floor if you need to do some work there – you’re not limited to sitting still in a little desk all day. Just the freedom of movement would’ve been SO much better for me.



  8. Did I know you had your kids in Montessori? I know we’re both Suzuki loving parents. I love, love, love Montessori. Both of my kids have spent a good amount of their early years there.
    Twitter: literalmom



    • What a coincidence! I don’t think I knew that about your kids either (I knew the Suzuki part but not the Montessori part). I think Suzuki is a really good pairing with Montessori – it’s like the musical equivalent to it. Both are filled with joy, both are out of the box style thinking.



  9. That is crazy and freaky! Since they’re following you – have you blocked them? I would!
    Twitter: AnnHolly



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