Montessori at Home

This is a quick guide for parents who are interested in bringing the Montessori method into the home.

The Montessori method is ideal for the home, especially since it is easy to allow our children to lead us in their interests in the home environment. From birth into their school years, we can support our children’s education using Montessori techniques, toys and materials in our home.

There are some key things to keep in mind if you are planning to support your children’s education with Montessori at home.

First, you need to prepare the environment. What this means is that your home is organized, safe and comfortable for your children. The items you use at home need to be quality, reliable items.

Don’t just fill your house with tons of toys, but instead carefully choose toys that promote learning, are appropriate for your children, and that the children truly use. This requires constant observation since as your children change and grow, so will their interest in their toys.

Children do not need an overwhelming amount of toys. With a small group of simple toys that promote creative play, it will be easier for them to learn how to organize and clean up after themselves. You can rotate their toys to match their interests as they grow and develop.

Second, you have to be on the lookout at all times for potential learning activities. There are countless opportunities at home for constant learning. When children express interest in an activity, be prepared to explain what you are doing slowly and calmly and let the children become involved with the activity. The children can begin by assisting you then slowly gain independence as they learn to do it alone.

Third, set routines. These are as simple as limiting the amount of time a child can watch television, having family dinners together or reading together before bed. Young children need routines as they learn about the world, and having set routines that the children recognize and enjoy helps them with their emotional stability. These routines also all involve communication between parents and children, which is very important for the development of self-esteem for the children.

Children are naturally curious about everything that is going on, and as they grow into mobile toddlers and young children, they want to participate more often in the day-to-day activities they observe at home.

This is perfect if you want to implement Montessori methods in the home, since you can slowly integrate your children into the daily routines, like cleaning and organizing, cooking, taking care of the pet and garden and any other routines you establish.

It is important to set up the environment for this, however, by choosing tools that are the best quality and safe for children to learn to use. Cooking, in particular, is something that draws kids from a young age. So why not allow your little ones to assist you while cooking? You can have wooden cooking utensils and foods for pretend play, but kids will be more excited if they can actually do some cooking. Let the children help you in the kitchen and they are learning a true skill as well as experimenting with texture and measurements and learning about coordination and math.

Take a walk outside and talk with your children about what you see. Allow the children to explore their interests and learn naturally, both in and out of the home. Be there for support.

Overall, incorporating Montessori at home is totally doable. Stay alert and alive to the fantastic possibilities for learning and “work” that are all around your home. Favor quality over quantity when it comes to the toys you give your children. Encourage them to help you in the real tasks you must complete as you maintain the home.

And most of all, strive continually to feed and encourage your children’s native intelligence, imagination and curiosity in every work and play activity they engage in.