Fostering a Love of Learning at Home… the Montessori Way
Your child’s learning experience doesn’t stop when he leaves the classroom. Learning happens all around us, and that makes YOU one your child’s most important teachers. Luckily you don’t need a teaching degree to create a seamless learning environment for your child outside of the classroom.
We have compiled the following tips that will help you integrate the Montessori methods followed in the classroom with your normal routine at home to foster a love of learning. By implementing even a few of these suggestions, you will go a long way toward continuing your child’s educational journey at home and helping your child discover the joy of learning all around us.
Ten Tips for Integrating Montessori Methods in Your Home
1. Take the time to observe your child’s needs and interests and let him direct the activity at hand. You will be astounded at how naturally your child will take the lead when learning is channeled in the right direction.
2. Once your child has chosen a particular activity, feel free to demonstrate it to help get your child started and minimize any possible frustration.
3. Allow your child freedom of movement throughout his environment, including the ability to explore both indoor and outdoor spaces.
4. Give your child as many opportunities for hands-on learning as possible and try to avoid introducing more abstract concepts, which are more appropriate for later education.
5. Design your child’s environment to be orderly and attractive to help him develop a sense of mastery and organization.
6. Emphasize practical life skills and sensory activities, such as teeth brushing, plant watering, meal preparation, and using manners. These activities can help children improve their concentration, coordination, and independence and prepare them for new academic challenges down the road.
7. Provide ample materials and real tools whenever possible, and place them on trays and baskets on low shelves, giving your child the opportunity to choose his own activities without relying on adult guidance.
8. Resist the urge to interrupt your child while he is working to help him develop his ability to concentrate. Avoid relying on arbitrary competitions, rewards and punishments as your child will feel a sense of satisfaction just from completing the activity successfully.
9. Give your child choices as often as possible, allowing him to be part of the decision-making process. This helps him feel like he is an important and contributing member of the family.
10. Always remember the words of Dr. Maria Montessori: “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”
Bringing Montessori teaching methods into your home will help create a more independent, curious child who feels safe to act on his natural inclination to explore his surroundings. This love of learning will inspire your child not only as he transitions from home to the classroom and home again, but as he matures and develops in later years. And you will undoubtedly feel a sense of fulfillment in watching your child achieve important milestones right under your own roof!