Tips for doing Montessori at home the way that we do in the classroom
It is difficult to summarise Montessori in a blog but I have tried to give some short, easy to apply guidance on some of the most important aspects of the Montessori method that, if applied at home, can go a long way to creating a Montessori environment. These can be applied to all that you do with your child, not just when doing Montessori style activities.
· Follow your child’s interest, desire and developmental stage – don’t put your own desires or goals above theirs. Let THEM choose.
· When your child is trying something new or trying to achieve something don’t intervene if you think your child is doing something “wrong”. This just teaches them that adults can do things better than them. Give them time to experiment and figure it out.
· Demonstrate an activity as many times as required for your child to grasp it without criticism or correction. Repetition is how we all learn, this is particularly true for children.
· Try to encourage one activity at a time and pack away one before the next comes out. This encourages your child to focus without distraction on what they are doing. It also encourages them to take care of and to take responsibility for their own environment.
· Work on a mat on the floor or a tray on a table where possible. The mat on the floor acts like a table or work space for your child, this creates a boundary for their activity.
· Always sit with your child on your non dominant side when demonstrating an activity to them. For me this is my left. This means my body is open and turned towards them and my right hand will not block their view of what I am demonstrating.
· Foster independence and high self esteem by allowing your child to do the things he/she can do for him or herself. Children are always much more able than we believe.
· Have activities on low shelves or tables so your child can choose without asking for help. This fosters independence and the confidence to safely move around and interact with their own environment.
· Don’t make a big issue of “mess” just incorporate cleaning up into the activity. If chidlren become nervous of making a mess they will become nervous to try things with the potential for mess. Mess and mistakes are not bad things they are opportunities to learn something new!