Following the Child

“The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.” – Maria Montessori.

Of all the Montessori quotes it’s this one that strikes at my core. It guides me through my days and unfortunately occasionally keeps me up at night.


What has he seen today?


Did he see beauty (not the superficial Hollywood kind)? Did he see patience and kindness?

Allowing the child to move at their own pace is often difficult if not extremely frustrating. This is made worse for us when we are in a rush. I tend to just want to do the thing he’s taking so long to do. It’s these times that this quote rattles around in my brain and I have to take a step back.
Other times it makes me stop and think carefully about our day. Did I rush him? Did I make time for him to watch the little family of sparrows that have made a nest in our maple tree? He loves them so much.

There have been many books written (most of Montessori’s own works) that touch on the act of “Following the Child”. Much of this is done by first observing (thats for another post) the child. I would encourage anyone who is interested to find a copy of “The Absorbent Mind” for more information on the subject, or speak with a Montessori teacher.

Today was a great day. Beautifully warm and sunny. Quentin completed a new work independently for the first time, worked on puzzles and woke up dry from his afternoon nap. We also stopped to watch the sparrows.

There is another Montessori quote that keeps me up at night:


“It is the child who makes the man, and no man exists who was not made by the child he once was.”


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