“Montessori – a system of education for young children that seeks to develop natural
interests and activities rather than use formal teaching methods”.
You may not know much about Montessori other than it as a school system, but you can use some of its principles at home, to raise your children. By doing s few simple things to prepare your home environment you can help your children to thrive, explore and become independent.
There are certain periods where your child will be more focused on one thing rather than others, for example learning to walk. During a sensitive period like this it is more important that you take your child out walking in the park perhaps, rather than a playgroup where they may be sitting down more. If we are aware and can adjust activities according to their needs, it will greatly help their development.
A few little things you could do at home include:
- Try to avoid fragile decorations in the home (that are in arms reach of the children anyway). Then they can more freely explore without you having to worry and they will avoid being punished for breaking something.
- Keep some kitchen utensils in a low down drawer in the kitchen. It’s a simple thing that I hadn’t really thought of before but if you do this, when you are cooking in the kitchen, they can join you and get out some utensils or cooking bits (wooden spoons, spatula, plastic bowl) and play along whilst you cook.
- Organise their Toys. Yes, sometimes this seems really pointless. But when they are at an appropriate age, if there is some kind of order to their toys and they are classified in a certain way, children will be able to classify in their heads. This really helps them to improve concentration and improves memory.
- Let them make decisions. This is important to help independence. You of course need to think what is age appropriate for your child but if all of their toys or activities are in reach, make sure they choose what they want to do. If their craft box is hidden away in the top kitchen cupboard, when would they ever choose that as an activity, especially if it is never suggested by you?