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Early Learning without categories


Carisa’s post today on 1+1+1=1 is a beautiful example of mixing all kinds of ‘categories’ of early childhood activities to give children a wide variety of experiences to draw from.


Her Tot Trays organize and isolate activities in a Montessori way.


Free play makes everything fun.



Practical Life activities are used for practical purposes!


Isolated activities mixed in with


commercial activities and


more free play!

The categories of Montessori, Free Play, Traditional, Reggio, Waldorf, and other terms reveal more about adults than children. We love to categorize and align ourselves with categories, they get what they need from everything. The awesome power of the Inner Teacher at work!



  • Carisa

    John, you summed up my entire philosophy! That’s why I don’t label myself! Each week I try to do what I feel she will benefit most from and work within her desires and limitations. It was neat to see my week through your eyes! ;-)

    • John

      Among all the other positives – materials, links, photos, information & ideas, big energy – that’s what makes your blog such a wonderful resource & example for parents. If I could be a kid again (my wife would argue that’s not far off sometimes!) I’d want you for a Mom!

  • Jennifer Altman

    This is exactly how I feel about learning! I don’t think there is a one philosophy fits all, all kids are different, there is so much that you can do with them to guide their learning! :D

    • John

      Exactly, Jennifer. It’s we adults who get into our ‘camps’. Kids are smarter than that. If you really want to follow the child as Montessori directed, you need to be open to everything – the child is!

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