I'm late b/c I just got the book this week...
First of all - my goals for our children & M. In a nutshell, we want to raise children that LOVE to learn. That are not learning things just b/c some teacher/test/task makes them, but rather b/c they are truly interested in a topic and want to really explore it. These are are underlying principals that I keep having to come back to when I get wrapped up in minutia (like has he started multiplication yet?!?!? LOL)
We have other reasons we chose an M school: concentration, freedom of movement, learning thru the hand then mind, etc. But these are added bonuses, tacked onto to our goal, kwim?
As for Matt's 2nd though - this is part of what I mean about having children that love to learn. Instead of simply doing something b/c they 'have to' in a traditional school, M school inspires the child to dig deeper into topics of their own volition, topics that interest them at a point in time they are interested in it. So, for example, if my son is obsessed with airplanes, he can create all sorts of projects for himself off this topic and encompass many traditional subject areas (history, math, science, physics, etc.) In the primary program (where he is now) he can work with the beads until math concepts are 2nd nature if he chooses. Or in his case, work with that pink tower till he's five years old just b/c he loves it so much.
He can do float/sink experiments with all sorts of objects, then come home and apply that to other types of experiments (mommy, we can see if it will stick to the fridge, let's try all sorts of things to see what sticks, etc.).
I think the traditional schools can certainly teach some children, but not b/c it is a great model to build our school system on, but rather b/c those children can learn despite the system.
I've been trying to figure out how we could effectively transform traditional schools from a blank slate model to one where children are given choices about their learning, and have been hitting a brick wall. The infrastructure in place is so massive it makes my head hurt to think about how to change it. Same way you eat an elephant I suppose...