In regards to your child’s education, it is essential that the lessons absorbed in the classroom are continued outside of the school environment. Children are naturally eager for knowledge and want to discover and develop their interests and talents in a way that feels true for them. A Montessori school can provide your preschool student with the tools to access their highest learning potential, but it is important that these tools are used at home as well.
There are a number of simple ways to support the Montessori Method at home, keeping your student engaged in their learning and allowing you to join on that journey alongside them. Here are 7 ways you can reinforce the Montessori philosophy in your home.
Create the Right Environment
While in class, your preschool student is learning in a calm and orderly environment. The Montessori classroom is designed and organized in a way that helps students to build independence, lower anxiety levels, and creates a sense of ease around learning.
A prepared environment can be recreated at home by aiming to make a minimal amount of activities, tools, or toys available at one time. By making sure every item has a designated space, you can help to reduce distraction and increase accessibility to tools your student may need for their work.
Initially, reorganizing the flow of your home may sound like a daunting challenge, but your Montessori student has experience with this process from class and can help you to create a more prepared environment.
Encourage Open Communication
Studies show that children develop the framework for language long before they speak, which is why many parents begin speaking to their children early on. As your child develops their own voice, beliefs, and understandings, encourage them to express their ideas and engage them in conversation.
Young students flourish with words of encouragement and recognition, and listening to your child boosts their self-esteem and encourages them to feel heard, understood, respected, and valued.
It is vital to your student's development that this type of communication continues regardless of how old they are. Positive, non-judgemental two-way communication is a powerful tool for building your child's confidence in communication.
Give Your Child Options
In preschool classrooms guided by the Montessori Method, the students' daily agenda is guided by the student’s individual choices in learning exercises and subjects.
While trained teachers will help to guide your student's decisions by offering a number of options for lessons, the choices are limited by the tools and activities the student has already been shown how to use and the availability of those resources. By providing options, the student is given agency in their learning. By providing a fixed amount of options, the student can find focus and guidance on their educational expedition
Creating similar opportunities for choice in your home can help you to reinforce self-motivated learning in your preschool student.
Join Movement and Cognition
Movement activities, both large and fine motor, are an intrinsic part of Montessori education. Dr. Maria Montessori's research and many current instructors find that when the act of learning engages the whole body, it better supports the student's cognition. Put simply, it’s important to make learning a physical act.
In the classroom, your student is able to do this by using Montessori learning tools and sensory activities, but the blend of physical and cognitive is something you can do at home, too.
By creating activities that use all the senses and encourage your student to move their body as they learn, you can reinforce the Montessori Method at home and improve your child's retention, recognition, and cognition.
Going hand-in-hand with movement, making time to play, walk, read or just be outside is integral to a student's growth and education. Nature provides students with a vast, complex world to explore and many organic lessons to learn!
Daily movement and exploration are healthy for a growing mind and body. This is a rule that no one is exempt from, so get outdoors and explore with your student!
Work and Play Together
Spending quality time with your student can take many different forms. Two activities that can help to reinforce the Montessori Method are working and playing.
There are a number of games that are kid-friendly and fun, like Bingo, Candy Land, or Guess Who. These games also provide great tools for strengthening skills like counting, reading, strategizing, and working as a team.
The fun does not have to end when playtime is over. Reading with your preschool student will help increase their vocabulary, problem-solving skills, comprehension, and imagination. Discuss what you read with your child, ask questions and share thoughts.
Implementing the Montessori Method at home does not have to be a grueling task. Keeping your student immersed in their education can be an enriching experience for the whole family.
The Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff was the first school in Arizona to have its application for a charter approved by the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools. We offer a strong academic program that recognizes and addresses each child’s individual social and emotional development. Visit our blog to learn more about our method or reach out today to begin your journey with The Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff.