I really like how the author of this post really gets down to the fundamental of Montessori – providing the rich environment and showing the “why”:
Another post of the same author’s – equally balanced:
To emphasize her points in Montessori terms – that rich environment is one which provides the “keys”. We don’t “worry” about mastery of math facts or of reading by a certain age – but we do utilize those natural ebbs and flows within a child’s development to provide corresponding sets of keys, such that the child can take them in most deeply at certain times in life — then USE them when he, the individual, is ready to do so.
So we provide the keys to reading and writing and mathematics (among others) – and then the child can “read” or “have those facts memorized” when it works for him.
This is very different from those who are strong proponents of “Better Late than Early” who see Montessori only as an “Enforced Early Academics”.
Montessori is about rich environment, sensory exploration, feeding a child’s interests — providing keys for the fun of learning. REAL life experiences above all else.
The academics come naturally and without fight or harm, when the keys are in place.