- “The child seeks for independence by means of work; an independence of body and mind.”
- “Montessori is an education for independence, preparing not just for school, but for life.”
- “Independence is not a static condition; it is a continuous conquest, and in order to reach not only freedom, but also strength, and the perfecting on one’s powers, it is necessary to follow this path of unremitting toil.”
I could go on and on. I know in my bones that our aim as educators is to prepare children in a way that they will no longer need us. Children know how to ask questions, find the answers, develop skills, build relationships, persevere, and dream up new ideas! BUT, is this the goal for parents as well?! Promote independence in our children?! Isn’t’ that just the teacher’s job?! Of course it is a shared goal, but I am surprised, as a seasoned Montessori educator, how hard it can be to live this truth as a Montessori parent.
Our 3-year-old daughter had her first overnight at a friend’s house. The family has children the same ages as ours, and we have been friends for years. The father is an educator and the mother is a community leader in the arts. They are responsible, friendly, bright and compassionate people. I mention all of this to demonstrate that there is no reason for any sane-minded parents to be concerned about the well-being of their daughter spending the night in the company of these good people and their darling children. And yet, we couldn’t stop checking our phones. We sent texts reminding the family that we could come at any minute to pick her up if need be. They sent pictures, reassuring us that she was having a good time. We stared at the photos as if our daughter had been gone for weeks instead of hours. We enlarged them on our phone screens to better see the nuances of her expression. She, without doubt, was having a ball! We, on the other hand, realized we have a lot to learn .