- Parenting a Montessori Child
Look at your home through your child's eyes.
Children crave a sense of both belonging and of independence. The first step toward increased self-reliance is often having predictable access to the tools and materials needed to contribute to homelife.
How to Include Your Child in Everyday Activities
Only by participating in the routines of everyday life will they feel fully connected to the larger household. "Help me do it by myself" is the preschooler’s mantra but the three to six-year-old child is also hungry for responsibility, for connection to family and to community.
During the course of the day, many opportunities are presented for your child to be an active participant in family life: meal preparation, cleaning, gardening, caring for clothes, shoes, and toys, etc. Follow your child's interest.
It is important to avoid interrupting when she or he is engrossed in an activity. Social development comes from being in a positive environment where contributions are respected when given with sincerity and love.
Lessons from the Classroom
Although it is not feasible (nor advisable) to incorporate Montessori materials into the home environment, following Montessori principles at home can greatly enhance your family life. Specifically, it is to your advantage to encourage your child’s natural urge to be independent. Even small changes in your home to increase a child’s perception of order (structure) are a great way to reinforce what your child is learning at school.
You can begin the process by taking stock of your home, including how your child uses and accesses items for daily living. Then, make modifications to increase age-appropriate independence.
When reorganizing a space, consider the simple mantra:
everything has a place, and everything is kept in its place.
By making the commitment to assign a consistent place for important items, your child will find it easier to return objects to a predictable spot.