Math for the child is like all the other subjects found in the Montessori Tides curriculum, it develops from the child’s own interest and desire to learn. Many people misunderstand, at first, what it means for a child to desire to learn math at such a young age (3-6). They remember how they learned addition, subtraction and multiplication tables, hours upon hours of tedious and painful repetition.
Today this same boring method is still the approach in many conventional preschool and elementary school settings. I will never forget the day when my daughter was in 2nd grade and made an alarming statement, “I hate math as much as my teacher hates teaching it”. I can assure the root of her statement wasn’t the child’s lack or teacher’s lack. Clearly the school system had allowed math to take on the disguise of a requirement rather than a love.
Recently I read a great story about a marriage that demonstrates the difference between requirement and love. As silly as this may seem, my story is purposed to highlight this concept of requirement and love on an adult level.
A beautiful young woman married her childhood sweetheart. Immediately after the wedding on their honeymoon night, her husband revealed a list of duties and responsibilities he demanded that she fulfill as his wife. She spent the next ten years trying to comply with all his requirements, but she never could measure up. Then one day, her husband dies of a heart attack.
A few years later, this wonderful woman married again. This time she married a real prince! He loved her and lavished her with affection. Many years passed, and one day as she was cleaning out her old hope chest, she ran across the list her first husband had given her on their honeymoon. As she reviewed his requirements, anxiety began to fill her heart. Then something remarkable happened. She suddenly realized all the demands she could never fulfill when she was married to her first husband had become the things she did naturally for years out of passion and love for her prince.
This is precisely how children learn at Montessori Tides School, out of a natural passion and a love for it. Maria Montessori said, “Of all things love is the most potent.” Giving a child a lifelong love for learning is our mission and has proven to be a more excellent way!
Over the next several weeks, we will take a MATH journey through every level at Montessori Tides School, beginning in toddler and ending in upper-elementary. We will show how each level builds off the other, moving the child from concrete to abstract.