Create an Ordered Environment

Montessori-at-Home---Bottom-PicInterested in implementing Montessori at Home? Having a place for everything, on a child-friendly scale, encourages both independence and self-discipline. Children know where to find what they need, and where to put it when they’re done. An ordered environment also has fewer distractions, allowing children to focus on the task at hand.

To make things accessible to your young child:

  • Provide low shelves or drawers for clothing; lower the rod in the bedroom closet.
  • Keep a small step stool in the bathroom and kitchen so your child can reach the sink.
  • Arrange toys and games on low open shelves with a particular place for each. Sort smaller items into trays or baskets by category, such as puzzles, art supplies, and blocks.
  • Put healthy snacks and foods on a low pantry shelf so your child can help himself.
  • Pour drinks into small, manageable pitchers placed on a low refrigerator shelf. Keep cups within your child’s reach—along with a sponge to clean up spills.
Teach Real-Life Skills

Montessori-at-Home---Middle-PicMontessori students are taught to take care of themselves and their classroom and to be helpful to others. They wash tables, organize shelves, prepare their own meals, and assist younger children. In addition to mastering real-life skills, they come to see themselves as valued members of the community.

Having your child help at home can bring similar rewards. Take the time to teach each skill separately and to repeat the lesson as needed. Each task your child masters adds to his confidence and self-esteem.

Young children, for example, can peel vegetables, fold their clothes, match their socks, and care for pets. “Tweens” can sort the mail and take out the recycling. And adolescents can prepare the family dinner, read to their younger siblings, help with computer maintenance and home repair, and manage their own bank account.

Promote Concentration

The ability to focus and concentrate is an important skill for learning. You can help develop your child’s concentration by observing what sparks her interest. Set her up with the means and materials to explore it, and let her work without interruption.

While your child’s work environment should be free of distraction, it doesn’t have to be away from family activity. Some children prefer working at the kitchen table or reading in a cozy corner of the living room to holing up in a bedroom or study. Observe your child’s response to various environments, ask questions, and make adjustments as needed.

Nurture Inner Motivation

Children are most willing to apply themselves when they feel there’s intrinsic value to their work. Some parents use external rewards as motivation, but pride and pleasure from within has lasting, and meaningful effects.

Montessori teachers refrain from using traditional classroom rewards such as gold stars and merit-based privileges. Instead, they focus on nurturing each child’s personal sense of accomplishment. Even praise is given sparingly—saved to acknowledge a child’s effort, rather than the outcome of her work.

By expressing encouragement and appreciation for your child’s efforts, you—like her teachers—help nurture an inner motivation that will serve her for life.

Source: American Montessori Society

Recommended Readings

How to Raise an Amazing Child The Montessori Way. By Tim Seldin.

How to Raise an Amazing ChildYou have probably already read this! Great book. Must read. I would recommend it to anyone who is new to Montessori and wants to get a feel for what it is really about. I found this a great introduction to Montessori and left me wanting more. Tim has done an amazing job at attracting thousands (millions?) of families to Montessori through this book.

This is another warm and friendly read. It also contains lots of great activity ideas even if you don’t take the Montessori path.

The Absorbent Mind. By Maria Montessori.

The Absorbent MindI would recommend this to every parent who has an interest in Montessori with some existing background knowledge. The first time I read this book it was like now everything makes sense. It really explains the why, the reasoning behind so many of the Montessori concepts.

I also think that if your interest in Montessori is progressing, perhaps you are considering a Montessori school or taking Montessori in the home further, you need to read Maria Montessori.  I think this is the best place to start.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. By Adele Faber.

How to Talk so Kids Will ListenInternationally acclaimed experts on communication between parents and children, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish “are doing for parenting today what Dr. Spock did for our generation” (Parent Magazine).  Now, this bestselling classic includes fresh insights and suggestions as well as the author’s time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships, including innovative ways to:

  •  Cope with your child’s negative feelings, such as frustration, anger, and disappointment
  •  Express your strong feelings without being hurtful
  •  Engage your child’s willing cooperation
  •  Set firm limits and maintain goodwill
  •  Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline
  •  Understand the difference between helpful and unhelpful praise
  •  Resolve family conflicts peacefully
Lessons for Purchase