PREPARING THE HOME
Viewed through the eyes of the child, your home can be designed to facilitate your child’s independence and sense of belonging. Strategic reorganizing of a room can balance the adult and child’s different needs in the daily family life.
The simple elimination of a messy toy box or book shelf creates order the child can manage herself. A carefully prepared home environment — both indoors and outdoors — allows the young child to develop the skills to take care of himself and his surroundings. A sense of intense pride and accomplishment comes from the child exclaiming, “I did it myself!”
TEACHING LIFE SKILLS
Preparation of the environment is a good first step, but alone it is not enough.
The young child is capable of doing so much more than adults are aware because they are learning real-life skills from experiences at their own pace. A child can set the table, sweep the floor, dust and organize shelves and participate in the life of the family. Essential to the process is providing real, child-size tools that work and are appealing to your child. In addition to mastering real-life skills, your child will come to see himself as a valued member of the family. Having your child help at home can bring many rewards.
COACHING THE PARENT
Montessori-at-Home empowers the parent as well the child. In addition to preparing the home and teaching the child, the process includes coaching the parent to:
- Sustain the prepared environment
- Recognize additional skills of daily living that the child is ready to master
- Apply the learning principles demonstrated during Montessori-at-Home lessons to create new learning opportunities
The parent plays a vital role in reinforcing the child’s newly acquired skills through meaningful repetition. Even young children can be routinely involved in the preparation of meals, setting the table, folding clothes, dressing themselves and caring for pets.