What is normalization?

This is a question I hear quite often- parents come in and they have a general idea of Montessori methodology, and a belief that is is a great fit for their children…but the word “normalization” sounds a little…well, strange.

It did to me too, at first. Ummm….my children are already normal thank you. Luckily, I learned quickly that that’s not really what it means.

One of my first required reading texts was a book written by E.M. Standing called Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work, 1957) He listed the characteristics of normalization as the following:

  • Love of Order
  • Love of work
  • Spontaneous concentration
  • Attachment to reality
  • Love of Silence & working alone
  • Sublimation of the possessive instinct
  • Power to act from real choice
  • Obedience
  • Independence & initiative
  • Spontaneous self- discipline
  • Joy

The Montessori Method has been around for over 100 years. The terminology may be a bit confusing here in 2016 (for example, obedience doesn’t mean they are obedient to their teacher, or to their parents, but to their own self), but as a parent…all of the above characteristics of a normalized child are things I want for my children. And for yours.

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