At La Prima Casa Montessori, we are honored to be a partner in your child’s education and social development during their most formative years. And while our teachers instill important lessons and values throughout the day, many aspects of a Montessori education can be carried through to the home life.
Parent involvement is essential throughout every child’s education. Studies show that the most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school is the extent to which that student’s family is able to (1) create a home environment that encourages exploration and learning, (2) express high (but not unrealistic) expectations for child’s achievements, and (3) become involved in child’s education at school.
Here are a few little things you can do to help instill a continuity from school to home and back again:
1. Make Room for Montessori Education
Set up a room or area in your home that is designated for learning. Make activities accessible for your child, including proportionally sized tables and chairs. Like at the Montessori school, children need to have some choice in their activities.
2. Instill Organization
One of the primary principles of a Montessori education is organization, so it’s important that it’s reflected at home the same way as in the classroom:
- Have a designated a place for every item in your house.
- Put things on low shelves to make it easy for your child to reach. Keep a stool handy for anything that needs to be placed on higher shelves.
- Use baskets and bins to help organize items. This is especially useful for school and art supplies, toys and games.
- Reflect these principles in your kitchen as well, placing healthy snacks, juice, water, or other items that are part of your child’s everyday diet.
- Provide some variety to your children by rotating books and toys every so often, helping to promote curiosity and alleviate boredom.
3. Promote Practical Life Skills
In the Montessori classroom, it’s not just the ABC’s and 123’s that are being taught. Teachers also emphasize practical life skills, such as cleaning, dressing, preparing food and exhibiting common courtesies.
At home, even younger children can contribute to household duties, but it’s important to match the task with their age and abilities. Watering plants, feeding pets and wiping the table after meals are great tasks for younger children. Older children can be assigned more difficult chores, like helping with cooking, doing the dishes or sweeping and mopping the floor.
One activity that should be emphasized among the youngest of children is pouring, which will help them develop a key motor skill while giving them their first taste of self reliance.
4. Take It Outside
Montessori education doesn’t have to be confined to the house. You can help your child connect with nature through a garden or flowerbed in your yard. Make sure they have a role to play, including helping with planting, watering, weeding and harvesting.
You can also bring nature indoors with a nature tray or table, giving your child a chance to see and touch leaves, plants, flowers, rocks, bugs, sticks and dirt. Getting them involved in the cleanup will also reinforce practical life skills.
5. Foster Respect And Independence
Respecting your child as a person and giving them the independence to make their own choices about their learning and development is the fundamental principle of the Montessori philosophy. At home, whether you allow your child to choose what snack they want to ear or decide what clothes they want to wear, it will help you raise an independent child who knows what he/she wants and is capable of making his/her own decisions.
There are many ways parents can help promote Montessori education at home and our teachers would be glad to share other ideas. Just ask!