Once you realize that school is a ridiculous place for your kids, you start looking for alternatives. Many people ask me what I think of Montessori as an alternative to public school.
To answer that, let’s first look at the reasons that public schools don’t work for young boys:
And here are the reasons Montessori-style schools don’t work for young boys:
1. Berates the things boys care about.
Boys like video games, they like violent games, they like screaming and they all look like they have ADHD. This is not appropriate classroom behavior. In any classroom. Montessori is about going from station to station, focusing on a task, and using indoor voices. None of this is what a little boy would choose to do if you gave him free reign over his learning.
2. Does not have enough outside time.
Boys could be running all day. They can do recess all day and stop only to eat and make a new sword. Sure there are exceptions to this generalization, but you know where the exceptions are? Playing with the girls. Have you ever asked a kid what their favorite time of school is? Every boy says recess.
3. Overemphasizes sitting still.
Every station is different, but every station is small motor skills. Which girls are great at. The stations encourage talking with friends, making alliances, and cooperative behavior. Girls do this very well. Boys don’t care. At least in public school, boys get diagnosed with ADHD and plied with Adderal to enable adjustment to this style of learning. But in Montessori schools, the boys are just tortured – they have all the pressure and none of the medication to alleviate it.
What I love about the picture above is that I have no idea what my sons are doing. Because whether they want to explore, or role play, or just talk, they want to do it while moving around, usually outside, always pushing and shoving each other as they go. This is a picture of what a Montessori classroom would look like if the boys in the classroom were allowed to learn in a way that works for them.