How to help your Montessori child at home.
Respect and independence
Children who spend their time in Montessori schools learn to think of the world as an exciting place full of possibilities. They begin to know themselves as powerful people who can do all sorts of things for themselves. They think of adults as helpful friends who are always there if needed, but who never try to overly interfere or control their activities. This is because Montessori teachers really respect young children as individuals and treat them as dynamic natural learners.
Nurturing creative curiosity
Your Montessori child will come home buzzing with ideas about what has gone on in the day or what is likely to go on tomorrow! From cookery projects, to learning about the life-cycle of butterflies, to the joy of discovering the skills of counting and writing.
It is really helpful, therefore, if parents can provide home environments that support this burgeoning confidence and creative curiosity. Your child needs you to slow down to his or her timetable, to spend time sharing the things that he is excited about or interested in. Depending on the projects they are studying many Montessori children become incredibly knowledgeable about such things as the different types of beetle, the shapes of leaves or the names of geometric shapes! It can be crushing if a mum and dad are too busy or tired to share in their childs new knowledge or excitement .
Providing the tools
At school Montessori children can access all the things they need without the help of adults. They may want to draw, cut, stick, count, write, make books, build towers or read. At school they learn that everything can be found in its own place and that it helps others if things get put back again in the same place. So Montessori children tend to be pretty thoughtful about others and tidy.
If you can provide the same thing at home it will help your child to maintain the same level of consideration and independence. Special cupboards and shelves, all easily accessible, and beautiful materials and activities, all carefully laid out in boxes and trays, help the child feel that his or her work really matters. Many of the activities that are provided at school can easily be duplicated in the home. And if you ask your child’s teachers they will let you know what things your child is particularly interested in at the time. One of the most important things we can do for children is to follow their interests – to really know what they are excited about and to provide as much support and further activities as possible for them to explore and understand.