I've talked before about how much I love the Montessori educational philosophy. Both our kids are in Montessori schools (Unity's elementary school is a public school, so it's about half Montessori and half state standard curricula) and I really love the ways that it helps them develop independence, confidence and curiosity.
They both have an ability to really focus on a project and carry it out largely on their own. Whether it's pattern blocks or sewing, or even helping fold the laundry, they will choose their activity, set it up themselves and then come and show me the finished results.
That's not to say they never get bored, or need help, or ask me for suggestions. And I only wish our toys and materials were as organized and calm as a Montessori school. But I really appreciate what this philosophy has done for our family.