Montessori in the Home
Many parents over the years have come to me with the notion that it would be wonderful to provide their children with Montessori materials, including the movable alphabet, sand paper letter and the addition strip board. This is a well-intentioned idea but not usually in the best interest of their children’s Montessori journey.
So we are back to the question of how you, as a parent, can support this wonderful journey your child is on, when you’re at home. So often we are so busy in our own daily routines that the obvious goes unseen or seems too time consuming. The reality is with repetition your child will be doing things independently, gaining skills, and ultimately helping with household duties.
So how do we start? Go through your home environment, asking yourself how your child could be included in meaningful activities. Give your child the ability to do what they can. Include the child in your work.
Here are some examples. In the kitchen, have a low cabinet where there are items for the child to set the table, get a drink, and clean up a mess. Have the child work along side you in the preparation of a meal. This task can significantly aid in developing small motors skills in preparation for writing, concentration, grace and courtesy, language and math skills in measuring. But above all, this gives a sense of accomplishment and worth.
Television and electronic games have become today’s entertainment and even a babysitter for the young child. This deprives a child of the opportunity to work with the hand and mind. The hand is an extension of the mind and utilizes the child’s natural development through the use of the senses. Television and computers at a young age should be monitored and limited.
Outings are opportunities to learn about our society and the world. A simple trip to the grocery store can provide the child with self-control, language, manners, math, sensorial stimulation, nutritional lessons and so much more. Almost any outing can be turned into a fun field trip for the young child and holds endless possibilities for learning.
In the home environment, when possible, design furnishings at the child’s height. Children approach work very differently than adults. They welcome the chance to work side by side with the adult, and this will give them the best chance for success.
Above all, children are busy watching and listening to the adults in their lives. Providing role models of love and kindness is “Montessori in the home”!
Please always feel free to contact me should you have any questions or are in need of some advice!