Choice (excerpt from "Getting Your Money's Worth: Your Investment in Montessori")

The following is an excerpt from "Getting Your Money's Worth: Your Investment in Montessori", by Edward Fidellow

Choice is the quintessential action of life. Start at any point in your day, your week, your year or your life and ponder the place of choice. What you eat, where you go, what you do - all are choices. Some choices have more importance than others but all choices (and even non-choices) have one thing in common - they cause something to happen.

The essence of Montessori life - of all life - is to teach our children to make wise choices. The challenge for parents and teachers is to allow children to make choices - and let them live with the consequence of their choices. This can only be done in an environment that is safe, accepting, and encouraging to choice makers. These premier environments should be home and school.

The sad reality of life is that so many people are incapable of making choices - wise or otherwise. They have never received adequate practice to give themselves the confidence to make wise choices. A major success principal of life is that when you make a choice and it proves to be a poor choice you can always make another choice. Yes, there are consequences to every choice - some better than others - but the principal of choice is to learn how to come to the right choice - and it is often by trial and error. It takes tremendous confidence in the first place to make a choice.

Is there a cost to all of this? Of course. For youngsters, it is mostly a cost of time, which they seem to have in abundance. As they get older, the costs become both monetary and social. Eventually, the cost becomes one of opportunity. Make the wrong choices and certain opportunities are not available to you - getting a job that requires a degree and you don't have one; not making a good first impression etc.

Life is full of choices. What will I eat? What will I wear? Where will I live? Where will I work? Who will I marry? Being able to make wise choices takes time and practice. That is what a Montessori environment offers your child.

There are many kinds of choices. Making wise choices has a lot to do with priorities. Learning how to choose to do what is important first is crucial. There there is the ultimate wise choice (especially when I don't have any choices) and that is to choose my attitude. The whole Montessori environment is a life laboratory for children to practice and learn how to make wise choices.

Pioneer Valley Montessori School, 1524 Parker Street, Springfield, MA 01129 • 413-782-3108

Web Design by