“Montessori” and “parenting”

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

I am so  keen to tell you about my really-fun-outdoor-experience we had today, in the freezing cold, despite all odds.  

A foundation of Montessori theory is the “3 hour work cycle”, that 3-6 year olds are “built” to spend 3-hours-at-a-time getting deeper and deeper and deeper into their work and play and projects and concentration.  

When we interrupt this 3 hour rhythm with screen time or sugary food or car journeys or too much direction we do our children a disservice.  We prevent them from reaching deep concentration.  So goes the theory.  (Although of course I am a massive advocate for us Mums needing to allow grace for real life).

A Montessori-friend recently challenged me to see that this 3 hour cycle happens outside (without Montessori equipment) as well as inside (with Montessori equipment freely available).  And of course I needed to experiment with this idea… which led to us being in a large green park this afternoon. 

We reached 2 hours and 20 minutes before the rain encouraged me to break off the experiment and retreat to the car.  

And my analysis is yes.  Yes!  I saw the same familiar patterns of concentration-building, activity-repeating, boredom and re-engagement.  Even without all our usual puzzles, Montessori equipment, books and paper.  

So yes, here’s to allowing our children enough time outside this winter.  And perhaps to buying ourselves a hat.