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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Home Schooling Q and A One Answer Begun in Comments

One can look at the comments on the last post in this series, but I shall continue answering a complicated question here. Remember I said that the two most common reasons for misbehaving as this age, outside a physical illness, would be that the child is bored from either not being stimulated enough or over stimulation with tv. computer, noise, too much parental running around. Obedience comes right about the age of two and a half to three.

This post will help with obedience. This is a continuation of a question and comment begun in comments on the last post on home schooling advice. First of all, this author has done a great job synthesizing Montessori on the will.

The will, as Montessori observed, is best divided into three parts. 
   The first part of the will occurs for the child before three years of age when the child is unable to ‘obey‘ unless what is asked corresponds to one of his/her vital urges. The child is not capable of making a decision to ‘obey.’ 
   The second level of the will shows us that the child can obey when told to do something, and most of the time will in order to please the adult. Many teachers stopped here with ‘blind obedience’. But Montessori believes, we as Directresses, should take the will to the third level. 
   The third level of the will obedience has been internalized and the discipline has become self-discipline or self-guided. The child sees clearly the value of the obedience. This type of obedience is called ‘joyful obedience‘ by Maria Montessori. With this third level of the will also comes elf-respect and consequently respect for others. 
   The child then is free to develop within an environment of self-respecting individuals who build a community with one another.   

Check this paper out as well, although I have not read the whole thing, there are good sections.

And, as I posted before, here is an outline of deviancie, which must be corrected asasp. Here is the list of deviancies and why from here.

Dr. Montessori classified deviations in two categories: deliberate (adult-fostered) and non-deliberate (those not fostered by adults). Deliberate deviations are caused by the lack of purposeful activities in the home and/or school environment. These children feel the need to be constantly entertained. They are continually bouncing between toys, TV, and computer time to alleviate boredom, but nothing holds their interest for very long. These children may also have the tendency to cling to a parent or older sibling well beyond the developmental plane of letting go. This is because their independence has been denied and they are unable to recognize themselves as a separate person.

There are several deviations that are not fostered by adults and are often seen as "normal" stages of development. Dr. Montessori referred to these as deviations as fugues and barriers (The Secret of Childhood) and deviations that are demonstrated by the strong and the weak (The Absorbent Mind).

  • Fugues – A fugue is when a child "runs away" from a task. While they are never still, they lack purpose. They begin a work, leave it unfinished, and rush to another.
  • Barriers – A barrier is a deviation which is strong enough to keep a child from engaging in his surroundings. It may be disguised as disobedience or obstinacy. It manifests itself as dependence, possessiveness, power struggles, feelings of inferiority, fear, lying, and psychosomatic illness.
  • Strong – Being strong means being able to overcome obstacles. When children are not strong, they are prone to aggression, violence, rage, insubordination. They can be destructive and unable to concentrate. They are termed naughty, disobedient. Dr. Montessori observed that "They have difficulty in coordinating their hands. They are generally noisy, unkind, and often greedy at the table."
  • Weak – Children who are demonstrating a deviation in the weak give in to unfavorable conditions. They cry easily, are passive, manipulative, and easily bored. Rather than do something for themselves, they exert effort in trying to get others to do it for them. They are afraid of the world around them and cling to adults
So how is an adult to help a child overcome these deviations and help them along the path to normalization? Dr. Montessori stated that first the Montessori teacher must practice patience rather than anger. An adult who is impatient or angry cannot build confidence or independence in a child. She recommended interrupting the misbehavior because it is an obstacle to development, and to offer interesting and purposeful activities to re-channel that energy in a productive way. She believed the only way to re-direct misbehavior was to return to the work cycle. Once the child has returned to a state of normalcy, the adult must not interrupt while the child is focused and concentrating. By observing and protecting those moments, they will become more frequent and the child will not have to deviate as much. His energy will have found a new outlet in his work.

Also read this and this if you want more help with deviancies and order in the home schooling classroom, or serious disobedience.