The home is an important place. We spend most of our time in it. Some people think Montessori is limited to the classroom. However, Montessori is a way of life. It is a philosophy. Both the parent and the child have much to gain through Montessori principles. Montessori at home benefits everyone who live there.
Montessori at Home Benefits for the Child
Multiple studies have uncovered the benefits of Montessori education. Montessori starts at a young age and inspires the child forever.
Maria Montessori recognized that up until age 6 children are very impressionable, making early learning very important. She coined the term “the absorbent mind” because young children soak up their environment. You can take advantage of their absorbent mind by preparing the home according to Montessori principles.
Why Montessori at Home?
The first 6 years of life are crucial. Almost all of a child’s brain growth happens within the first few years. This is the time when personality is forming. The best predictor of a student’s success in school is parental involvement and the extent to which the home encourages learning. With Montessori in the home, you’re offering your child a private education tailored for them.
Montessori at Home Fosters the Following:
In Montessori, the environment fosters independence from an early age. However, this doesn’t mean the adults push the children to grow up fast. Montessori teachers and parents never force children to be independent and readily offer help when the child requests it. Additionally, as Maria Montessori famously said, “Play is the work of the child.” Montessori children still spend much of their time playing.
Love for Learning
In a Montessori environment, learning is child-centered. The adult adapts the environment and materials to meet each child’s needs, skills, and interests. It’s a hands-on, individualized approach. Dr. Montessori believed that all children are born with a love of learning and that education should seek to nurture the inborn desire to learn.
Focus and Concentration on a Task
The Montessori home is organized and without clutter. Activities are meant to be completed one at a time. Montessori parents and caregivers refrain from interrupting their child when the child is engaged in a work, even if the work is as simple as an infant studying a shadow on the wall. This approach helps children develop their focus and concentration.
Respect for Others
Montessori emphasizes social growth. Children develop emotional intelligence and learn to play together. They also learn courtesy and grace. Since adults in a Montessori environment respect the children, children in turn learn to respect others.
Respect for the Environment
Outdoor time helps kids connect and engage with nature. The use of natural materials teaches respect for the earth’s resources. Children form connections with their home environment. As children help around the house in practical life activities, they develop respect for their environment and a sense of responsibility. The Montessori By Mom Helping Hands Toolbox includes many tools to help children develop practical life skills.
Healthy Confidence and Self-Esteem
The Montessori environment helps the child develop freely. The adult trusts the children and gives them responsibility. Additionally, Montessori advises against using external punishments and rewards to change a child’s behavior. This allows children to act on intrinsic motivation and thus develop their self-esteem.
Ability to Problem Solve and Resolve Conflict
Montessori activities are appropriately challenging. Children learn skills for decision-making, logical reasoning, categorizing, and negotiation.
Montessori at Home Benefits for the Parent
Montessori at home benefits extend to the parent or caregiver. When you bring Montessori principles into the home, you also reap rewards. Dr. Montessori said, “The child developing harmoniously and the adult improving himself by their side make a very attractive and exciting picture.”
Montessori parents learn to be introspective and practice self-reflection. These are healthy skills to develop that can help you in every aspect of your life. You’ll also find yourself being challenged. Ask Yourself Questions Like:
- Why do I want my child to do this?
- Is this my own insecurity?
- Am I being influenced externally?
Make sure your child’s development doesn’t become connected to your own experiences or unfulfilled desires.
You Hold the Key
As a caregiver, observer, and guide, you are your child’s most influential teacher. You have the ability to unlock their true potential. You prepare the environment for learning. It’s not a simple job, but it’s truly rewarding. You can take some credit for your child’s growth and happiness.
Strong Parent-Child Relationship
Montessori parents and children believe in respecting the child. The role of the parent is not more important than the role of the child. One way we show respect is by involving the child in our everyday life. This collaboration creates connection.
The adult is still in charge and responsible for respectfully setting limits. As you treat the child similarly to how you would an adult, you will build a mutually respectful, healthy relationship with your child.
Montessori helps parents let go of preconceived notions about who their child should be and instead encourages them to fully accept the child for who they are.
The parent plays an important role in Montessori. You are the observer. Your job is to pay close attention to your child so you can properly adjust activities and the environment based on their needs. This observation also helps you understand their learning style.
When carefully observing, you are physically, mentally, and emotionally present with fewer distractions. It’s an intentional slow-down. Mindfulness can extend to other facets of your life. As you focus on mindful parenting, you may remember to slow down and smell the roses. When we take time to pause and relax, we can focus more on our child’s needs. By becoming being an active observer of your child’s learning, you’re able to know them at a deeper level.
Another benefit of Montessori at home is the perspective you gain. Parents design the home with the child in mind. Items are intentional. Materials create wonder and harbor learning. Part of your job as a parent is to see the world through your child’s eyes. This is important for safety and functionality, but it also allows you to appreciate the beauty of discovery.
Montessori parents ask a lot of questions. “How does the water feel?” “How do you make a sandwich?” You are promoting your child’s sense of wonder. You’re creating more joy for both of you. You may find yourself learning, too!
Montessori homes are communal and items can be shared. You don’t have to buy kid versions of everything. For example, the child uses the same plates and cups as the adults. You’ll save money and accumulate less stuff.
Lastly, Montessori can improve the physical appearance of your home. Traditional homes are sometimes cluttered with loud, plastic toys. A Montessori home, on the other hand, is well organized. Montessori at home toys are made from natural, attractive materials such as wood. Everything has a designated place. Since children learn to clean up from a young age, it’s easier for Montessori parents to keep their homes orderly.