Saturday, December 10, 2005

Montessori trickery

Montessori schools are built off trickery, and a good thing, too. Every day, they structure your child’s time relentlessly, breaking periodically to tell her she can choose whatever work she want. Of course, everything there is educational, and you have to use it according to an elaborate set of rules, but you can do anything you want, Ashleigh. Children love this faux freedom, and develop their own rituals freely doing familiar things. Wish I’d thought of that.

It's a great model for parenting, by the way. Guile and trickery should start young ("Do you want to walk to the car or do you want to be carried?"), and you should still be breaking even with them up until age 6.

But decades later, I have not forgiven Montessori schools their cookie trickery. Those were not cookies, they were a form of cookie-shaped biscuit which reflected the staff's flour and sugar biases.

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