All the Philosophies

I’m a bit of a dabbler when it comes to philosophies and styles and theories of education and development. I read a lot, but I’m unable to choose just one.

I love Erikson because his ideas about an identity struggle at each stage of life makes so much sense to me. As infants we’re struggling with trust or mistrust of our world. At eighty we’re looking back and either discovering integrity or despair with the way we’ve lived our lives. As a mama I feel like my job is to do all I can to support my child’s struggle in her developmental level and to live my best life in my stage of development.

I love Montessori because Maria Montessori rocked education when she opened our eyes to simple tools and allowing children to take the lead as they learn. The prepared environment for learning, allowing freedom of movement, and choice within limits speaks to my mama voice. Also practical life. Oh, and grace and courtesy. Really, all the things.

I love Piaget because his stages of development make sense as a child moves from physical to more mental capabilities. Knowing which stage my child will fall in helps me remember what I can expect of my child.

I love Waldorf because of the emphasis on creativity, nature, and practical living. Admittedly, I have a lot to learn about this one, but I love what I know already.

I love Maslow because his hierarchy of needs helps me when I feel like I focus too much on making sure my family gets enough sleep and fresh air and quality food. These things really are so important as they form the foundation for greater growth in creativity, problem-solving, and spirituality.

I love Mr. Rogers because his calm and encouraging presence helps us provide the same to our children. The way he inspired us to love each other the way we are and the constant reminders that play is so very important for children.

I love RIE because teaching our children about mutual respect from day one is beautiful. I love learning to talk to my child as a real person rather than talking down to her. The idea that impulse control to make wise decisions isn’t developed until they are older than 3 or 4, helps us remember the challenging behaviors can be addressed, but the problem is not the child. So. much. sense.

I hope to learn more about all of these philosophies/theories and more in the coming years! I think not choosing one is okay. I don’t want to create disorder for my child or my home by dabbling. My hope is that by intentionally choosing for our family from different philosophies we’ll find our own style and what works best for us at this time. What do you think? Is choosing one developmental theory best or should you adapt based on the needs of individuals and lifestyle?