Although the Montessori style of teaching has been around for well over a century, Montessori has continued to grow in popularity, especially with social media showing what it looks like in action. Montessori classrooms are colorful, organized, and full of learning. This is very visually appealing to many parents. After having a child enrolled in a Montessori program, the benefits of teaching children focus, independence, and playing with one thing at a time and putting it all back before moving to the next thing may make you want to duplicate a Montessori classroom at home as well. Setting up Montessori at home will not only reinforce the Montessori ideas in the classroom, but the benefits of seeing the Montessori method at work will make homelife more organized and your child more independent.
Taking a Montessori approach at home means clearing the main play places like your child’s room, as well as any playrooms or areas of toys and putting them away in bins. Keeping your child’s play place organized is one of the essential Montessori principles. Labeling the bins will allow you to easily get the toys down that you want to display for your child.
Giving your child a limited number of options will allow them to choose which activity they like while keeping some toys as options for another day.
Giving your child a set time for playtime and choice of toys or activity at a regular time of day will create a predictable schedule for your child. Before they can get something else out, you can first show your child how to pick it up and put it away so the next time, your child knows exactly what you expect them to do in order to get out the next activity.
When it is time to start cooking dinner, doing the dishes, or setting the table, involve your child in all the activities. Things may be a little messier than you would like or they could also take a little more time at first, but your child will be developing crucial skills that will prove to be quite helpful in the future. Your child is also developing confidence and a sense of usefulness that you want to cultivate in your child. Let your child:
- Wash vegetables in a colander in the sink
- Peel carrots and potatoes (when they can do so safely)
- Set the table
- Stir bowls full of ingredients
- Unload the dishes
Put things at your child’s level
If your child is able to reach things like a water dispenser or a coat hanger that is down low, they suddenly have the ability to hang their own coat up and get themselves a drink of water. If you put some snacks on a lower shelf next to a small stack of bowls, your child is able to get their own snack. Developing independence will bring a host of benefits for your child as well as for the entire family.
If you are looking for a Montessori program for your child, check out Fountainhead Montessori School in Pleasant Hill, Danville, Livermore, and Orinda, CA today!