After understanding the concepts of the Montessori method, I was excited and started looking for ways to implement this method at home. As initially, I was reluctant to admit my kid at such an early age into the school and also there were no good Montessori schools in the nearby distance to my house. So my search for methods to implement the Montessori Environment at home became little exhaustive and this article is all about my learnings from that search and the lessons I learned from my mistakes.
Dr. Maria Montessori had observed and stressed the child’s inner developmental need to gain independence in all her lectures and books. If one is observant of the feelings expressed by the child after attaining the independence in any activity, they are absolutely priceless moments. As the child would be expressing absolute bliss and delight after they conquer some skill. Don’t you all agree that as a parent, we are delighted in capturing those moments in our mobiles?
Montessori is just not limited to the classrooms and this method is not that complex that, one needs to be a certified Montessori teacher to bring Montessori philosophy into our home environments. It’s all about how we create the “Prepared Environment” depending on the age of our child in our homes.
“The man who does not live in an adaptive environment can neither develop his faculties normally nor learn to know himself.”
– Dr. Maria Montessori
The moment one hears the word “Prepared Environment“, it looks like it’s going to take a lot of effort and money and deters most of the people from implementing the “Montessori Environment” at home. But trust me, with little effort and time one can change the way the child will learn to do by him/herself. The “Prepared Environment” is nothing but a beautiful place/corner created in every room based on the child’s growing needs. In this place, the child is happy to explore, play and develop their habits, routines, and independence.
How to set up a Montessori environment at home?
- Childproof everything: This is anyways the first and foremost step we would take as the child starts crawling. So keep it that way, till the child reaches 5-6 years, where he understands NO means NO clearly.
- Choose the Child-Friendly space in every room: One can’t restrict a kid to one particular area or room in the house, as the child is free to roam around the house. So, we need to identify one corner in each room which is child-friendly space.
- Ex: We can allot a small corner on the kitchen slab filled up with the kitchen toys for a toddler to have the pretend play, while we are cooking in the kitchen
- Low shelves or display units: Have a place around that corner in which we can display the work materials that are apt for that particular room. This would allow the kid to pick up that work which kind of interests him only.
- Ex: On a small step stool, we can place the items/toys that the child would use in that particular room
- Simplify: Don’t overload this child-friendly space with too many toys or books. Keep things simpler. Too much stuff would create confusion in the child’s mind. So the best is to rotate the toys once in a while.
- Minimalization is one of the important aspects prescribed in the Montessori method
- Don’t hover around the Child: The key factor in setting up this space is to let the Child be independent. So don’t jump and help the child if he/she has any difficulties in completing a task. Let them autocorrect themselves so that they would know how to overcome the problems.
- Include Nature: Try to get nature into the room, in the form of Montessori trays as per the season or the moods. Let the child touch and feel the natural elements like twigs, leaves, and plants.fy: Don’t overload this child-friendly space with too many toys or books. Keep things simpler. Too much stuff would create confusion in the child’s mind. So the best is to rotate the toys once in a while.
- Ex: Please teach how to take care of a single plant and observe the beauty of the same on a daily basis to the child.
So here you go my dear friends, it’s really easy to implement the prepared Montessori Environment at home with little observation and planning. This prepared environment would help the child gain confidence and independence in a lot of areas. The life skills which these small spaces teach him are really valuable for him in his future.
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Dear Reader, this is the fourth part of the eight-part Montessori Method and its philosophy Series and please stay tuned for further updates on the same topic. You would get to read about How to refine your parenting skills as per Dr. Maria Montessori.