Our Principles & Philosophies

 

“If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man’s future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind?”  By Maria Montessori 

 

 Despite our family’s way of life, my husband and I will say that our kids are some of the most adjusted and optimistic achievers you will meet. Just the same, some people would probably see us, falling into a pitfall of high expectation.

How could we not have high expectations when what we have in mind is the happiness and well-being of our children? Consequently, why would we hesitate to raise the bar up with respect to the way we parent them?

Our children were most decisive and certain of what they will become in the future when they were younger kids. As they grow and become exposed to a bigger world, they began to falter in the arena of confidence. They say that they are just realistic (my oldest child described it as being “practical”), but what happened to utter and airy dreaming of a young innocent?

At some point, children will try to avoid challenges. Before this behavior develops into a concern, parents must step up and intervene.

Our brood (especially our two older kids) is somewhat skeptical about embracing excellence. They enjoy praises and accolades but pause when prompted to challenge bigger endeavors. Are they overwhelmed with the enormity of the task that lies ahead? Are they afraid of possibly failing expectations? Perhaps they are petrified of ending up as an embarrassment not just to themselves but mostly to the people they care about the most. Do we not all feel the same way at one point or so in our lives?

As we look at our children’s sonogram pictures, we begin to wonder. They were fighters from the time they were conceived. Neither one was born predestined to fail. Somewhere along growing up, they have forgotten this; not only did these kids begin to doubt their capacity to succeed, but also their ability to capture life.

What have we done, or failed to do, by making them think and act the way they do about winning life in general? Have we led them to believe that 1st place trophies, medals and straight A report cards are how we define success for them? Trophies and medals are marvelous to be had, even though they tarnish and collect dust. Straight A report cards could lead to pleasant surprises. All these are tangible proofs if not results of a child’s dedication and discipline, but they are neither directly nor indirectly proportional to success. They are garnishes to a delicious meal; delightful tokens of a job well done.

Although we encourage our children to do well, there are teachings we “forced” upon them.

Every waking day, we remind our kids to be open to challenges. We tell them to hone and understand their skills. We encourage them to create opportunities rather than wait for these to come their way. Every success involves a certain amount of pain and suffering. We urge our children to be tolerant of the challenges, rather than make these reason so that they could quit. We remind them to keep an eye on the prize all the while setting their heart on the why. We counsel them to approach one battle at a time.

I wanted my children to experience the challenges of an academic-based competition. Although hesitant, my two older kids joined the Montessori Academy Spelling Bee Contest held on November 2009. My 6th grader advanced to play for the Charter’s Bee Contest. Although he only spent about ten total hours of study time, he was among the last five out of about 40 students who competed this year. He did not get a trophy, but the exercise taught him a valuable lesson of discipline, commitment, and fun.

Regardless of the outcome, there is always splendor to be had on a well-embarked upon endeavor. Our intention and hope as parents is to see our children grow into people they ought to be. Somewhere along the tedious, rigorous and sometimes painful process of their never-ending education that includes preparing for competitions, achieving set goals and sharpening skills; comes a defining moment for every child.

It is that flash in time when realization sets in; and in a positive way, forever changes a person’s view of life. A rendezvous with life’s defining moment is what my husband and I pray our precious kids get out of every task they throw themselves into. We want them to set the stage. We want them to live an empowered life; so that whatever direction they choose later on in life they will remain true to their essence as individuals, even when living in a culture of expectations and competitions.

 Success is theirs to keep.

Related Posts:

http://www.homeiswherethefamilyis.com/2010/04/18/only-the-best-for-our-brood-2/

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