I am often told I ask too much of mothers. Mothers just want to know what to do.
Evidently Maria Montessori had the same problem. In A Montessori Mother written by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, who was trying to explain to Americans what she saw in Montessori schools in Italy, I read this:
"...ideas, hopes and visions are as important elements in a comprehension of this new philosophy as an accurate knowledge of the use of [the methods], and my talks with Dr. Montessori lead me to think that she feels them to be much more essential.
"Contact with the new ideas is not doing for us what it ought, if it does not act as a powerful stimulant to the whole body of our thought about life. It should make us think, and think hard, not only about how to teach our children the alphabet more easily, but about such fundamental matters as what we actually mean by moral life; whether we really honestly wish the spiritually best for our children, or only the materially best; why we are really in the world at all.
"In many ways, this 'Montessori System' is a new religion which we are called upon to help bring into the world, and we cannot aid in so great an undertaking without considerable spiritual as well as intellectual travail.
"The only way for us to improve our children's lives by the application of these new ideas is by meditating on them until we have absorbed their very essence and then by making what varying applications of them are necessary in the differing condition of our lives. "
The work here at WEH is simply a continuation of and building upon ideas set forth by educators who came before us. The 'hope and vision' is far more essential than the specifics of 'how' to do it. We, too, are called upon to 'help bring' these new ideas into the world, and we 'cannot aid in so great an undertaking without considerable spiritual as well as intellectual travail."
If you don't take time to 'catch the vision' until you have absorbed 'their very essence', no instruction in methods will bring about the outcomes you hope to obtain: improving the lives of your children; helping them to live lives of maximum joy.
Art credit: Hide and Seek by von Bremen
The Well-Educated Mother's Heart