We’re experimenting with a new system to keep us on task for the second semester of the school year. I’ve never tried anything like this before since our school has been extremely Montessori influenced. I follow Maria Montessori’s philosophy that children don’t need a flashy system of rewards in order to work. The satisfaction of accomplishment is reward enough. So that being said, this chart doesn’t have any reward accompanying it.
On the other hand, I have felt a little sluggish coming back from our Christmas Break and I can sense it in the boys too. I decided to try a chart to see if it would help motivate us and keep us on track. John Robert’s chart includes the main skills we are working on at the moment: Reading, Math, Riding his Bike, Tying his Shoes and a space for “Free Work” (aka his Montessori Work Period). Asher’s chart has: the 4 letters he’s reviewing, Red Rods (a work he never chooses on his own), Riding his Scooter, Lacing and his “Free Work.” This chart can be updated weekly depending on what we want to work on.
I’ve heard of Montessori classrooms of older children offering similar guidelines to keep children accountable for their work load. The children are allowed to finish the work in whatever order they choose and can spend however long they want on each subject, but they are required to complete all of the subjects asked of them.
Which brings up these questions: How do you feel about charts, lists or guidelines for work in Montessori environments? Do you think it compliments or conflicts with Maria Montessori’s philosophy? Would you ever use a chart, list or guideline in your school room? I’d love to hear from both Montessori moms and educators. What’s your opinion?