Chesapeake Montessori School is an advertising partner of MyActiveChild.com
This guest post was provided by Chesapeake Montessori School, a premier private Montessori school serving families of infants, toddlers, preschool, and elementary students from Hampton Roads, VA.
Encouraging independence, order, and self-motivation are integral to the Montessori approach. Montessori classrooms are meticulously designed to allow children to become competent in caring for themselves and their surroundings. In earning that sense of pride from doing things themselves comes the confidence that builds independence and self-sufficiency.
Bringing Montessori principles into your home can help incorporate what your child is learning at school into home routines and help build the connection and solidify the foundation of the Montessori principles.
Providing children with a home environment that is adapted to their size and capabilities will help them in their innate search for independence.
A great resource for incorporating Montessori principles into your home is the blog, Parents from Mars, which is written by an Austrian Montessori educator, Anna, who provides an abundance of information and room-by-room tips on how her family incorporates the Montessori environment into her own home for use with her daughter. The blog is written in German but is easily translated using Google Translate.
In one blog post (http://elternvommars.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/unser-montessori-inspiriertes-zuhause.html) Anna describes the bathroom set up she has arranged for her daughter complete with photographs of the arrangement in the family’s restroom. She has made sure to provide a child-sized toilet for her daughter as well as easily accessible reading materials to make the sometimes laborious activity a little more entertaining.
On hand she also has hand washing supplies such as soap, a small wash bin and a towel that her daughter can easily access without having to utilize a stool to reach the sink, as well as cleaning supplies for herself in case it is necessary to clean up an accident.
Anna also discusses having a small stool available to your child to help them reach sinks, light switches, and even their own dishes, so they are able to access these necessities at all times.
Another idea that helps incorporate the Montessori philosophy into the home is to create an ordered environment for your child, much like what is present in the Montessori classroom. Having a place for everything, that your child can easily access, encourages self-discipline and independence.
Make things accessible for your child by providing low shelves and drawers for clothing and lowering the rod in the bedroom closet. Store toys and games on low, open shelves that provide a particular place for each item, and store smaller items in trays and baskets by category such as puzzles, art supplies, and blocks.
Provide a space in the pantry dedicated to your child’s snacks that is low enough for your child to help himself and pour drinks into small, manageable pitchers placed on a low shelf in the fridge to promote self-sufficiency. Make sure you also have a sponge or other child-safe cleaning supplies available as well, to encourage your child to clean up any messes.
There are an abundance of resources available online to help you with ideas for transforming your home into a more Montessori-friendly environment, you just have to look. Many parents have blogs (such as Anna’s) devoted to how they’ve transformed areas in their home, and Pinterest has a ton of pins dedicated to bringing the Montessori environment into your home.
Photos courtesy of Anna, author of the online blog "Parents From Mars"