ADHD? Montessori Is For You!

Understatement of the year: I'm not the most organized person.

As a child, I was diagnosed with that-disorder-we-prescribe-too-many-meds-for (none for me, thankfully). I always had a desk at my public school crammed full of bits of paper, old gum wrappers, and last month's homework that I failed to turn in and had to rewrite, due to it being in shoved into the back of my desk.

I carried home a backpack with every single book I used at school because I never had enough time to complete assignments during classtime.

I failed a lot of tests because half the answers were blank - unfinished.

My room was a continual disaster zone and I kid you not - even as a grown adult when I go for a visit, my parents still complain about finding old peach pits on the furniture. Every. Single. Time.

Those stories about my messy childhood self will never leave me. I would never leave a peach pit on an end table now, I swear.

Well, maybe if the doorbell rang!

In The Classroom

As a teacher, I rarely turned in my daily attendance to the office. The receptionist at my school really loved me. I can still hear her voice, ever so professionally polite, over the intercom and feel the burn starting at my temples as my face flushed and I realized an hour had passed since I'd last looked at the clock. "Mrs. Hargis? Is anyone absent today?"

I'm pretty sure my mother must suffer from similar personality traits because she's the only one I know who literally safety pins post-it reminders onto her clothing. It's safer than tying a string to your finger and is just short of embarassingly noticeable (a good thing!).

The Montessori classroom is the absolute perfect prepared environment for someone like me. Why? As a child attending Montessori through the third grade, before I was issued a standard desk to cram papers into, I was allowed the freedom to move at will, read to my heart's content, and daydream.

What a gift it was, the freedom to daydream!

Why so important?

Because daydreams can be where creativity and inventions are hidden. A child who yearns to daydream and is always hustled along might never reach his or her full potential. Just ask the ghost of Leonardo Da Vinci. Daydreams are soooooo important. Even for us regular, non brilliant folk.

As a teacher, the Montessori Method allowed me to move at will, observe to my heart's content, and spontaneously decide to give lessons.

Teaching Montessori made me feel alive.

My "let's learn about this right NOW" lessons were received by the children with surprise and delight. My messy notes about the children belonged to me and me alone.

Freedom, beautiful, beautiful freedom!

The fact that I am a forgetful, creative, spontaneous person by nature has led me to my current predicament: an obsession with organizational tools, reminder apps,  cleaning schedules, and minimalism in general.

As a Homeschooler

Montessori is perfect for my children, and I refuse to consider diagnosing them with any labels. There’s simply no need while homeschooling unless there is a defined need to seek outside support, such as occupational therapy, and obtain documentation for it. Learning at home allows for a lot of flexibility.

Whenever I find myself worried or annoyed by my children’s quirks, I remember Maria’s continual call to follow the child, providing support and guidance only when necessary. The rest of the time, when the children are doing fine learning by themselves in their own way, we can use a hands-off approach and appreciate them for who they are.

And what they are is what I am: an imperfect human being trying my best to learn and grow and be kind.