Such a joy for a child to spend the moments of her life choosing one compelling struggle after another, learning practical skills of her time and place, and engaging in the life of her community. She gains a deep feeling of self worth, an authentic sense of belonging, and a confidence for her future challenges. She experiences the joy of extreme effort, delights in her immersion within one unsolved mystery after another, and finds the satisfaction of the series of masteries of a splendid variety.

When our granddaughter learned to tie shoes in her Montessori school, she spent a lot of time on the floor at the feet of friends and relatives untying and retying their shoes. When she learned to braid there, she sought out braiding opportunities everywhere we went. She braided the long heavy silk cord fringe hanging all around from on the chair seats in fine restaurants and she braided the long slender leaves of the red yucca plants in landscaping all over town.

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