Can you extend your child’s Montessori education into the home environment? Early learning doesn’t stop at the end of the preschool day. Take a look at the easy ways to connect school and home, create consistency, and help your child to develop in Montessori-friendly ways.
Celebrate Holidays the Montessori Way
From Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa to the Fourth of July (and everything in between), you can use holidays as a starting point for Montessori education at home. To celebrate the next holiday at home in a way that reinforces what (and how) your child learns in school:
- Explore cultures. How do people around the globe celebrate their special holidays? Help your child to explore these celebrations through books, foods, and other hands-on activities.
- Create holiday-themed art. Forget about Santa coloring pages and ready-made Valentines. Encourage your child to choose materials and explore the art process that connects to the next holiday.
- Engage in sensory experiences. Give your child the chance to explore holidays through a multi-sensory approach. Create experiences at home that focus on the holiday in a way that allows your child to use their sense of sight, smell, taste, touch, or hearing (or all of the above).
Along with major or religious holidays, celebrate other special days at home in a Montessori way. These include birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or other occasions your family observes.
Create an Uninterrupted Work Period
The uninterrupted work period is something your child is used to by now. This daily period gives your child the chance to learn at their own pace in a way that’s meaningful on a personal level.
Even though your child doesn’t go to school on the weekends or during holiday breaks, they can still enjoy the Montessori uninterrupted work period at home. To use this educational approach:
- Block out the right amount of time. Teachers typically give young students (ages there through six) three-hour uninterrupted work periods. Choose a three-hour window for your child that works with your at-home schedule.
- Encourage exploration. The classroom uninterrupted work period won’t include group activities or teacher-led lessons. Give your child choices and allow them to guide their own learning process.
- Eliminate distractions. Limit the potential for distractions during the work period. Turn off the TV or computer, give your child space away from their siblings, and observe instead of interrupting.
If you’re not sure what types of activities or materials to use during your at-home uninterrupted work period, talk to the teacher. The Montessori educator can explain how this period works in the classroom, suggest items for the at-home learning environment, and recommend ways to set-up your child’s home classroom.
Engage in Independence-Building Activities
Montessori schools help young children to build self-confidence and independence. Instead of the teacher taking the lead, the child puts themselves in charge of their own education. To foster a sense of independence and encourage self-motivation when your child isn’t in school:
- Choose practical activities. Give your child the chance to help prepare their own meal, organize their own in-home classroom space, or engage in similar practical activities.
- Give your child freedom, within limits. Even though it’s still important to supervise your child, you can give them some freedom. Instead of hovering over their every move at home or facilitating activities, take a step back and let your preschooler lead.
- Allow self-correction. Your child needs the chance to fail — sometimes. If your child doesn’t succeed at a task the first time, let them self-correct and try again. When your child does master the new task, they’ll also have a new sense of independence.
Like holiday celebrations and the uninterrupted work period, your child’s Montessori teacher can help you to choose independence-building activities for the home environment.
Are you ready to help your child begin their Montessori educational journey? Get in touch with Miniapple International Montessori School to learn more and to get started.