As the pandemic encourages more and more families to home school their children, the principles of the Montessori method have become more relevant than ever before. Follow these steps to turn your home into a cozy and educational Montessori environment.
Preparing the Classroom
One of the core features of a Montessori school is the curated classroom environment. Choose an area of your home where your children can work and play. This could be a separate room, or it could simply be a designated part of the living room. Either way, this space should include shelves full of learning materials, a child-sized table, and mats that your kids can lay out on the floor to work on. In the modern day, you may also want to include a screen or a computer so your child can take advantage of virtual lessons in their personal Montessori environment.
Curating the Home
Montessori homes are usually organized following the same principles that are followed in the classroom. Any items that your kids are expected to interact with should be small enough for them to use. This includes shelves, furniture items, and even tools like brooms or dishes. Luckily, most toy stores and educational stores contain child-sized versions of everything you’ll need for an accessible educational environment.
Letting kids help with cooking and chores is core to the Montessori method. Although you can’t make your entire kitchen child-safe, you can do things like buying a step stool, providing kid-sized dishes, and leaving prepared ingredients on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Let your students help cook at least one meal every day so they can learn important motor skills and competence strategies.
Another important part of the home to pay attention to is your child’s bedroom. Kids should feel like they have control over their space; let them choose the colors and decorations, and provide everything they need to keep the room clean and organized. Because you’re the adult, expect to step in and help tidy up all of your child’s spaces; after all, you’re trying to help them learn, not to reduce your own workload.
Following the Method
The Montessori educational day starts with work cycles and gets broken up with lectures, meals, video lessons, and anything else that helps your child learn and engage with the world. Once you have the right environment, following the method is as simple as providing learning materials and letting your child have freedom of choice within the options you’ve laid out for them.
Unless you’re a certified Montessori instructor, you’ll have the best at-home Montessori experience if you work with another academic institution. Reach out to the teachers at Austin Children’s Academy to learn how to incorporate Montessori into your child’s life.