Trying to draw a line between learning and the home life can be both confusing and discouraging for kids. Parents can be very helpful to their children and their educators by following some simple advice on integrating the Montessori classroom with the home environment. The first step is to be as inclusive as possible with your children by communicating with them regularly and making them feel like an important part of your daily life. After that, bringing parts of the Montessori method into the home will benefit all aspects of your children’s lives.
Scaling to Size
Set aside a section of the home for your children to learn and grow. Incorporate furniture that is built for children, including appropriately sized chairs, tables, and bookshelves. When a child can personally relate to an area as their own, they are going to be more likely to spend time there. The educational tools should be similarly selected. Small children will be attracted to objects that are easier to grasp, for example, and replacing the items with things that are appropriately sized as the child ages reinforces a sense of importance and belonging.
Encourage Self Expression
Children learn differently from one another. Trying to impose a rigid set of rules or behavior patterns will not encourage them to learn and grow, but providing an environment that is exciting and educational will. If a child expresses an interest in music, then make song and dance opportunities available. Likewise, make an effort to fit into your children’s environment instead of forcing them to adapt to yours.
Understand Your Child
Your daughter is not a miniature version of you, regardless of how much you want that to be true. Hang pictures that she likes on the walls at her eye level. Talk to her about what she likes and do things that she enjoys. Montessori education promotes a sense of self, and fostering that confidence is an important role for parents to continue when the school day is done. Do not spoil your child, but make an effort to include her.
Promote Order and Organization
To a large extent, children need to have some order in their lives. While it is okay for there to be a bit of daily fluctuation, too much variation can be confusing. This is true of the subjects you cover as well as the structure of the environment. Encourage putting things away when you are done, and provide a positive example by doing so yourself. When a child learns to organize and prioritize, they gain a sense of structure and will be better at planning out their own projects and goals.
Children do not stop learning at the end of the school day. When parents blur the distinction between learning and living, children gain a different perspective. As parents, we all want our children to be the best that they can be, and incorporating the Montessori method into the home will be a huge step in the right direction.
At Mission Valley Montessori, our teachers work with our parents to assist them in continuing the Montessori method outside of the classroom. We believe in teaching the child as a whole and instilling the same values both at home and at school. If you’re looking to learn more about the Montessori method, contact us today to schedule a tour and talk with our teachers and parents about how Montessori education has had a positive impact on their lives.