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.
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.
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.
Her: “Natural disasters.”
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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