How To Integrate Montessori at Home

How To Integrate Montessori At Home

Are you curious on adjusting the way your child learns? Are you completely new to the Montessori theory? Allow me to elaborate on how to integrate Montessori at home.

Montessori in short, is a child-centered and hands-on approach to natural child development and teaching, based on scientific observations and evidence. This philosophy was established at Association Montessori Internationale in 1920 by Maria Montessori. As a doctor, she specialized in psychology and pediatrics.

When I first heard of Montessori I needed answers. What is this method? How is it different from traditional learning and teaching styles? Most, importantly, how can I integrate Montessori philosophy at home and into my child’s life.

Since I needed more information, I went to the library and I snagged some books they had available on the subject.

In conclusion, what I learned was Montessori is plenty more than I anticipated it to be. It is a way of life. It is how you interact with your child. And schools have adopted this philosophy in their techniques to teach children curriculum.

Being pregnant at the time of stumbling across this method, I felt it my main duty to learn as much as I could about raising a child in a healthy, peaceful, and safe home environment. The Montessori philosophy fit perfectly into what I wanted to create for my child; an environment that allows for independence.

How to Establish Montessori Principles at Home

The first years of life, the time between 0-3 years old, are the most fundamental in the child’s potential and development (mental, physical, social, and emotional). The AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) state this period is a time where “the core of personality, social skills, and human values are developed”.

The environment you create for your child is crucial to their individual development. In schools, what is called the prepared environment, facilitates independent learning that is age appropriate. The essence of this space should be calm, organized, and intentional. In other words, everything in the child’s environment will have a purpose, will be easy for the child to explore, and will not be chaotic.

You can create an Montessori inspired environment at home by making sure to keep these ideas centered:

  • Get on the child’s level. Firstly, what do they see from their perspective? For an infant that is not yet mobile, think of their play area. How can you make this area peaceful that fosters independence and exploration?
  • Organize your entire living space. Secondly, create a space for everything. This allows the child to learn where everything belongs and be responsible for cleaning up.
  • Encourage independence by emphasizing life skills. (Feeding themselves, brushing their own teeth, and choosing their own toys is a great start). Young children have such absorbent minds it only takes but a few times for them to accomplish a task on their own. We mirror the action, then allow them a turn. Try not to correct or control them as they learn and make messes.
  • Focus on their own inner voice instead of praise and reward. We have been told over time, praise is what makes children behave. This idea ultimately stems from a control need to get the reaction we want. The key is to allow the child to feel proud of themselves. We can aid this by saying things like, “I see you worked so hard! You must be so proud of yourself” or simply “You did it!”. Never “Good job”.
  • Rethink discipline. This may be the hardest idea to grasp, as it was for me, but this is most important (in my opinion) in integrating Montessori at home. There is never reason to punish or shame a child, one who’s brain is not fully developed. Make limitations and boundaries clear yet allow for natural and logical consequence to take place.

Research and Resources

I encourage you to check out these studies I found to be beneficial in my decision to integrate Montessori method at home:

In order to raise an independent whole child, we first have to help them understand who they are. Self-praise, self-awareness, and self-knowledge is the core of them understanding they are autonomous. A free spirit. Children are not their actions, not their grades, their beauty, their social status, or how they succeed in life, but who they tell themselves they are.

To sum up, traditional parenting tells us we are in control of what our children do, what they say, how they interact with the world, and who they become. My belief that parents do not own their children, and that children do not belong to us but rather themselves, is what drew me into the Montessori philosophy.

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