Montessori is a strange thing. A lot of people who know nothing about it falsely assume it is some kind of soft, hippy-dippy type of school that is all mung beans and tree hugging, that teaches children nothing about discipline, rules and the outside world. Some people who know a bit about it think it is too structured, not focused enough on play and that it teaches children that sharing and group work are not important. I get told this all the time and really, at the risk of sounding harsh, I couldn't be bothered with answering these statements. Information is too readily available right now, there is no need to assume, if you are interested enough in something to have an opinion on it, google it!
I was feeling really disheartened that my kids aren't going to get to go to a Montessori school, there are none close enough to where we live and even if there were, money would be too tight. But then I remembered; parents are the first and most important educators, whatever we want to instill in our kids we can. Isn't that a great concept? We can encourage them to explore, learn, be empowered, be self disciplined, respect and sometimes question authority, work hard and believe in themselves. Knowing you can be and do anything is a great lesson, but only if it goes hand in hand with lessons in pro-activity, planning, hard work and persistence. Sure I don't have all the material and I can't teach them jack about maths after short division but I can teach them lots of other things that go hand in hand with what Dr Montessori was all about.