You know that joke that is like “How do you know if someone does Crossfit? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.” You can insert the phrase Montessori in there and it’s the same joke, but for parents.
I came to my conclusion a few months ago when scrolling on Facebook and I had some friends talking about Crossfit and others (parents) talking about Montessori. The conversations were eerily similar although on different topics. I’m lazy so this took months to actually write, I am clearly not a follower of either Crossfit or Montessori.
I posted the words in that picture on Facebook and it got a lot of likes, so I know other people felt the same way. But I wanted to actually show the similarities so I did a little bit of crude research and here is what I came up with.
Once someone is sucked into Montessori, everything is Montessori. Much like Crossfit. You will hear about it all the time if your friend starts Crossfit/Montessori. It’s best to not engage too much if you have no interest. Smiles and nods work. Do not ask questions.
Crossfit has special gyms and equipment? Montessori has special schools and equipment.
Crossfit calls their equipment special names? Montessori calls their toys “Montessori” whatever. Even if it’s just a block. But no. It’s a Montessori block, so you know you are getting your ($2k/month) money’s worth. Montessori’s equipment tends to be wood. Wood everything.
You can do Crossfit at home? You can do Montessori at home too! I’m not sure if it’s a prerequisite but if you have a Crossfit gym in your garage, you tell everyone. If your playroom is “Montessori style” you also tell everyone. Your child can also have a Montessori bedroom.
Crossfit is big into group work, Montessori touts their “mixed age groups.” Crossfit likes to have activities where you use other people to do things like push ups and lifting. Montessori likes kids to play in groups, or not. Whatever they want.
Crossfit encourages you to use your whole body to become more physically fit in all areas (cardio, strength, flexibility etc). Montessori encourages children to use their senses to teach themselves basically everything they need to know.
They both claim to be for “anyone.” Which is pretty awesome… Until you look at the price tags. Montessori is more for the yuppies. Crossfit tends to be more affordable. So Crossfit is for anyone who enjoys pushing their body to the limits, Montessori is for people who enjoy pushing their budget to the limits.
Obviously both have very devoted followers, and various people claim that each is the best option in their respective fields. (School and fitness in case you were wondering/not smart).
If you are like me, the devotees of Crossfit seem a little intense… Much like the followers of Montessori.
Now I’m no hater, I can’t speak for Crossfit because I’m allergic to that type of exercise, but Montessori style playrooms do look pretty cool and appeal to my minimalist aesthetic. And I like the community both things promote.