The perfect Montessori Parent
Montessori at Home.
After working in a Montessori Centre for two years I can say that implementing Montessori at home is as simple as altering a few things around the house.
Even at a young age children are extremely capable and excited to act independently. By setting up your household to the Montessori way, you will be enabling your child to take care of their selves, become independent and create valuable life learning oppertunities. Plus the added benefit of a little extra house work being done by your toddler, now what mom or dad wouldn't want that?
One of my favourite Montessori terms is
"Help me do it don't do it for me."
By giving our children opportunity for independence is giving our children courage, motivation and the ability for them to do things on their own before they even go to school!
The perfect Montessori bedroom.
Place a rest mat on the floor of the bedroom or a bed that is low enough for a child to clime in and out of. This provides the child with freedom to go to his/her bedroom when the child feels tired and then when the child wakes can move from the bedroom freely. This provides independence.
Sense of Order -Use Low shelves around the room and place natural materials on them. Use baskets, Tupper wear containers and fill them with practical life activities and sensorial activities, cognitive activities. Once a child has grasps these materials expand them onto challenging activities such as language, mathematics, sciences, cultural and geography. These can be found and purchased from www.a2zmontessori.com.au
Place low photographs at child's eye height. If displaying child artwork place their artwork in a photo frame and attach to the wall.
Another nifty accessory in a Montessori bedroom is the cot and hat rack its as simple as mounting a cot and hat rack on wall these little devices can be brought from IKEA for under $10 at www.ikea.com.au
Have small sized draws for your children's clothes in his/her room so your little one can see inside and pick their own outfit for the day. This also provides the foundation for independence from the moment they wake up and through out the daily outfit changes.
For the activities go to your local fabric store and ask them for any spare materials that they have, these can then be used for mats for their workspace when they use their activities. Have a few mats of a similar size and colour and roll them up, place them into a natural basket and place this basket at the end of one of the shelves.
I also suggest to have a small sized table and two chairs in the room to provide the option of a mat or table for the child to work on.
The perfect Montessori Kitchen.
Clear a low shelf in the refridgerator to ensure that the child has independence and access to food and drink. This will allow the child to serve themselves.
Have a special eating table sutible to child's height. This table is where the child can take his/her food items from the fridge and serve themselves.
Have a small sized cupboard that includes glass plates, bowls, drinking cups and cutlery.
Have a cleaning shelf. The cleaning shelf should include a small sized mop, broom, dust pan and brush, cleaning clothes and two buckets. I colour code my buckets to my clothes. Blue is for floor and Purple is for the tables. This fosters a child's independence.
Make room in your kitchen for your child to observe and help with food preparation and washing up of the dishes.
The perfect Montessori Bathroom.
Ensure that the child has a small sized stool for access to the sink and toilet areas. Also place dirty hamper basket for your child to place their dirty clothes into.
There should be a place where the child can assess his/her own towel and face washer, this is placed at the child's height.
The child should have a place where he/she can reach the sink, apply tooth paste to his tooth brush and see himself in the mirror. On the sink should also be a bar of soap or a hand dispenser for the child to wash his/her hands.
Place a small sized bin in the bathroom for tissues, paper towel or any other rubbish used.
Montessori around the house.
The most important thing I can tell you about creating a Montessori Environment is to keep a sense of order, organization and small sized, child height items. The easiest way to do this is to crouch down onto your knees and have a look around, look up and look across. Can you see clutter? Are there objects over powering you? If so adapt these.
Follow these simple tips for the Montessori home and watch your child flourish.