“Sorrel began the day here at Shining Dewdrop Peaceful Heart Song Montessori Children’s House with an absorbent mind, eager to self-construct! During our first concentrated work cycle, he participated in some creative woodwork.”

Translation: “This morning’s drop-off only took your wife twenty agonizing minutes, as opposed to the usual thirty-five. After Lisa bolted out the door, Sorrel crawled under the art table and gnawed on the wooden table leg like a rabid beaver. By the time we extracted him, he had two large splinters in his tongue. We extracted those as well.”

“Around 10 a.m., Sorrel began to lose focus on the exercises of practical life available in our prepared environment. Our educators identified this behavior as false fatigue. We gave Sorrel space to self-regulate, and he soon began the purposeful activity of classification. We celebrated his independent choice of a task essential to the development of intellect!”

Translation: “After dumping a basket of washcloths on the floor and pulling bristles out of an Amish corn broom, Sorrel got bored and started wandering around, humming the theme song to Paw Patrol while searching for a battery-operated toy. When he couldn’t find one, he resigned himself to sorting rocks and pinecones into burlap sacks. Thank god he stopped that fucking humming.”

“During lunch, Sorrel became immersed in a culinary sensory experience. Discoveries made during self-motivational activity have the potential to trigger a learning explosion, so we allowed him to continue until his curiosity was satisfied. By the time this was achieved, your little one was quite a mess! Luckily for Sorrel, an older classmate, Ember, stepped in to help him clean up. As a psychic embryo of our multi-age community, Sorrel is often the recipient of mentoring from older children.”

Translation: “For the third time this week, Sorrel slathered himself in Greek yogurt like it was body paint at Burning Man. I was too tired to deal with it, and Melissa was already cleaning muesli out of Taz’s hair, so we got the oldest girl in the class to pull her weight. Luckily, your kid is cute, and all the little girls treat him like a baby doll. This is probably because we don’t allow baby dolls in the classroom.”

“After lunch, we bundled up and ventured outside to explore nature. Sorrel required extra time to manage the toggle fasteners on his peacoat. Although he looked to me for assistance, the look clearly said, ‘Help me help myself!’ Since children constantly seek opportunities for independence as a means of achieving individuation, we waited patiently while he completed the task. When his coat was fastened, Sorrel’s smile was confident and his attitude harmonious.”

Translation: “Yesterday at pick-up, I watched you cram Sorrel’s arms into his coat and button it up while he thrashed around like an inflatable tube man at a car dealership. I know you were in a hurry to pick up your Goldendoodle from doggy daycare because, as you’ve mentioned numerous times, they charge $5 for every minute you’re late after 4:00 pm. But I just want you to know that what you did was very un-Montessori, and all of the teachers judged you for it.”

“Outside, our educators presented the creation of nature rubbings using found objects, recycled crayons, and wax paper. Through control of error, a hidden quality within these didactic materials, the activity provided opportunities to assess progress and receive instant feedback. This cornerstone of the Montessori approach allowed Sorrel to experiment with methods to improve his technique throughout the activity. Independent correction of task is an important part of Sorrel’s auto-education.”

Translation: “Art rubbings are one of the easiest things we do. Even the littlest kids can pick some crap off the ground, shove it under a piece of paper, and scribble on the paper. But for whatever reason, your kid had trouble remembering to put his leaves under the paper and kept coloring directly on the leaves. It would have taken about ten seconds to show him the right way to do it, but Maria Montessori would be rolling over in her grave, and no one needs that on their conscience. To his credit, Sorrel kept at it for nearly three solid minutes before he crunched up his leaves and wandered off to whack a tree with a stick.”

“Our day wound down with a final work cycle featuring basket-weaving, loom-work, card-sewing, and table-setting. Sorrel engaged in… actually, you know what? I don’t even remember. Well, fuck it, he must have been doing something. Christ, it’s been a long afternoon, you know? Anyway, Sorrel had a fun day—he’s a good kid. You need to stop sending him to school with Greek yogurt, though. We’re all super over it. Oh, and head’s up: the afternoon snack was freshly foraged fiddlehead ferns, and none of the kids ate a single bite. This is probably for the best because, to be honest, I’m only like seventy percent sure those things we yanked out of the ground are actually fiddlehead ferns. At any rate, you may want to consider hitting the Burger King drive-thru on the way home, because Sorrel’s probably starving. Okay, have a good night. Tell Lisa ‘Hi,’ for me. See you guys tomorrow!”

Translation: No translation required.