How to Use Montessori at Home
The Montessori Method involves empowering children to make their own choices and decisions as they develop. It can be a wonderful way to teach your child real world skills and encourage a love of learning. If your child is being taught via the Montessori Method at school, it's recommended that you create a Montessori atmosphere at home. Let your child make their own choices about food, toys, and homework. With some dedication, you can enrich your child's life via the Montessori Method.
Creating a Montessori Environment
Keep enriching toys within reach.When setting up your child's space, make sure things like drawers and toy boxes are low enough for your child to reach. Pick boxes, closets, and other storage devices your child can open on their own. Stock them with enriching toys, like crafts, puzzles, and books.
- If necessary, you can place stepping stools near areas your child may struggle to reach.
- Make sure anything you keep within reach is safe for your child's age range. Depending on your child's age, you may have to hold off on providing easy access to toys with small parts.
Provide access to healthy food and drink options.With the Montessori Method, children should develop their own tastes. In your kitchen, make sure your child can access the cabinet and refrigerator that contains their snacks and drinks. Stock these places with nutritious choices, like fresh fruits and veggies, water, nuts, and whole grains.
- If your child's old enough to pour, stock the fridge with small, pourable containers and cups so your child can serve themselves.
Develop a strict organization system.Children will thrive in an organized environment. Make sure things like toys and clothing have their own specific space in your home. Encourage children to put items back in their proper place when they're done using them.
- For example, have a small bookshelf where your child can keep books and a separate shelf to store puzzles.
Have a "ten minute tidy period" at the end of the day.Children of all ages can help clean up at the end of the day. This helps preserve the organization system you created via the Montessori method. Even small children can do basic tasks, like placing toys back in bins. Before bedtime, spend ten minutes cleaning up.
- Make sure your child sees clean up as something positive rather than a chore. Talk about how cleaning will keep things organized so they'll be able to find their things to play the following day.
Encouraging Your Child's Development
Help them create their own study schedule.If your child is currently enrolled in school, you want to encourage enthusiasm about learning. Keep materials your child needs for schoolwork, like pencils and paper, in a spot they can easily access. Sit down with your child each day and make a to-do list. From there, have your child set up their own schedule for completing work.
- Ask your child when they want to do their homework, encouraging smart choices. For example, "When do you think you'll have the energy to do quality work?"
- Present your child with a list of the assignments they need to complete. From there, it's up to them to decide when and how they'll do their work.
Let your child to make their own choices about daily activities.Making small choices throughout the day helps foster your child's sense of responsibility and individuality. In the morning, let your child choose their own outfit. When your child is hungry, let them look in the pantry and choose a snack themselves. During play time, let your child choose a toy, book, or puzzle on their own.
- Remember to present your child with a variety of enriching choices. For example, provide things like educational video games and age-appropriate reading material so your child can learn while playing.
Encourage movement.While it may seem trivial, movement is important to learning as well as basic health. Encourage your child to play outside and take study breaks to do things like run around, play catch, and engage in other activities that require physical exertion. Regular physical activity will help your child stay focused and engaged.
- Try signing your child up for activities that involve movement. If your child loves to dance at home, for example, look for a dance class in your area.
Help your child learn in context.You can encourage learning at home by looking for opportunities to teach your child something in context. See all activities as an opportunity for your child to learn.
- If you go for a hike one weekend, for example, get a field book and talk about local flora and fauna in your area.
- Make your own products at home, like homemade soap or food, to teach your child some science.
Invite peers over.Social interaction is an invaluable part of any child's development. Reach out to other Montessori families and host get-togethers that encourage social development and learning.
- Start your own club at your home. You can have, for example, a craft club or writers club to encourage creativity.
- Have your child form a study group with their peers. Have a few of your child's classmates over each week to do homework together.
Model positive behavior to address mistakes.Children learn behavior from watching adults. Instead of correcting your child when they make a mistake, model how to do a task correctly. This allows children to learn on their via observation instead of simply being lectured.
- For example, your child is learning a language and mispronounces a word. Repeat the word, pronouncing it correctly instead of telling your child they're wrong.
Teaching Real Life Skills
Talk to your child.Use a clear voice and proper grammar when talking to your child. Model how adults talk, using big vocabulary words and proper grammar. This will teach your child invaluable communication skills, as your child learns from observing you.
- For example, when checking out at the grocery store, say "Please" and "Thank you" to the cashier loud enough for your child to hear.
Have your child help with basic chores.Even doing small tasks teaches your child the responsibility of chores. Let your child do small tasks throughout the day so they learn how to care for themselves.
- For example, after doing laundry, let your child fold their own clothes.
- At dinner time, have your child do simple things like set the table or peel vegetables.
Let your kids serve themselves for meals.If your child is old enough, present food and drink choices on a table they can reach. Have your child fill their own plate and pour their own drinks. This encourages your child to make their own choices and helps them develop a sense of portion control.
- You can help empower your child to make good choices by buying plates with different sections for fruit, vegetables, grains, and proteins.
Encourage a sense of accomplishment.Things like gold stars and other physical rewards are not usually given out in the real world. To teach your child motivation that will be helpful later in life, teach your child achievements are a reward on their own. Praise your child throughout the day for completing tasks like homework and chores so they learn to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments.
Video: How To Teach Montessori At Home
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