Remember when we said that there were ways to apply the Montessori method at home now that school is out? Our previous post discussed a few ways to do so, but there are many more things you can do so that your child can continue to benefit from the Montessori method this summer.
Practical life lessons are some of the most important of all the Montessori principles, and they are easily carried over from school to home. Practical life lessons allow your child to develop their sense of order, coordination of movement, concentration, and independence. They are as simple as involving your child in everyday tasks around the house.
Follow the Child
The concept of following the child is a key principle of the Montessori Method. What we mean by this, is that whenever possible, take the time to observe your child just doing what they want to do. Take note of what interests them most, what are they drawn toward doing or learning, what do they seem to need to do? Now give the child the opportunity to (safely) pursue these interests.
Following the child means giving your child the freedom to choose their activities/toys/materials based on what their inner developmental needs are driving them to seek out. Then stand back a bit, watch what they do without interrupting. Sometimes the best thing you can do to aid in your child’s development is staying out of their way.
Let the “Prepared Environment” be the Teacher
Another fundamental principle behind the Montessori method is what Montessori called the “prepared environment.” When you prepare the environment in a way that enables your child to do for themselves, the environment becomes the teacher. Now your child can follow their inner teacher.
An essential piece of the well-prepared environment is that it should be self-correcting. This means that you, the parent, won’t have to tell your child when she has done something right or wrong. Your child can see for themselves, for example, when she has poured a glass of water from a pitcher without spilling. If they do spill, refrain from correcting them. Allow them to clean up the spilled water and try again until they master the skill. Do not force the issue either. If they are experiencing a developmental need to learn how to pour, they will want to work at it. If they show no interest, move on to something else. Again, follow your child to see what they are naturally inclined to do.
Consider the Summer Conquered
Although summer is a time in which children get a break from school, parents can make sure their children continue learning and expanding upon the lessons they learned during the school year by applying techniques from the Montessori method at home. Be on the lookout for more ways to keep your child engaged this summer.