I have heard people say that Montessori may be all right for girls but is not suitable for little boys who have so much excess energy and need to be able to run around. How is this excess energy catered for in a Montessori environment that focuses on the development of concentration?
It is true that one of the main aims of the Montessori approach is to help the child find engagement so that he can bring his actions under the control of his mind. This is essential for all children regardless of their sex. However children cannot be be forced to concentrate. The route to concentration is through activity - children are not able to concentrate simply because an adult tells them to.
Any activity that helps the children take control of their bodies must be done by helping them to use their bodies and so the children are offered activities that require them to do this - to scrub a table, to clean the windows or balance on a line for example. The control that the child gains in this way feeds into all of his physical activity and as a consequence he finds that playing sport and climbing trees all become a fulfilling experience for him.
Furthermore because choice is an essential part of the Montessori approach the child is never compelled to sit at a table and concentrate and if at any one moment his choice is to dig up the weeds in the garden or clean everyone’s Wellington boots then he is perfectly welcome to do so - there are plenty of activities that help soak up those boys excess energy!