Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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FREEDOM VERSIS RESPONSIBILITY
One of the most wonderful aspects of Montessori education is the freedom for the child to create the adult she is meant to be. This is accomplished by a prepared environment and a Montessorian trained to guide the child gently through the work of education. But with this freedom comes a reciprocal responsibility, both for the child and for the parent.

For parents, it requires a commitment to adopt a philosophy of parenting which supports both personal responsibility and intrinsic motivation. While the child must accept the responsibility of choosing challenging work and executing it, the parent must both allow the choice and support it. This can be hard when the child is choosing to collect every pillow in the house to build a monstrous pillow room in the parlor. It’s really challenging when the time comes to support that project by insisting that nothing gets broken and that every pillow be returned to its proper place.

Parents love the Montessori idea that learning is its own reward, the idea of intrinsic motivation. This is the idea that good work has its own reward. But then we set up a system of external rewards and punishments. We give prizes or stickers or trips to McDonald’s in exchange for desired behavior. As parents, we don’t role model our own belief system of establishing family goals and enjoying accomplishment of those goals for the intrinsic value of accomplishment. When our children recognize that outside forces reward or punish them, then when those outside forces are no longer present, the behavior we desire is also no longer present. It’s a sad thing to watch a 25- or 35-year-old person who has no intrinsic motivation struggling to achieve life goals. If they’re able to define a goal, they’re not able to maintain the energy it takes to accomplish the goal, or worse still, they’re not able to enjoy the goal once it’s achieved.

As we strive to gain these two pretty nebulous concepts for our children, perhaps the most difficult part is parenting ourselves to define our responsibility, to have the energy to accomplish the goal, and then to treasure the total delight of having truly competent children. Fortunately, you have as a resource our teachers who have committed themselves to the study and practice of preparing an environment where the child is truly motivated to perfect himself, where the child is excited to do hard work, and where a peace and beauty permeate the microcosm of our little society. As part of this, your teacher has studied your child to understand what motivates her. Join with us in the adventure. We love to share.

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