Myths about Montessori-at-home busted
Did you know that it’s easy to practice Montessori at home or you could be doing it at home intuitively without prior knowledge of the Montessori method?
Remember at the core of Montessori is how well can you support your child to learn from their experiences. Fact is we all learn more from the experience of doing something ourselves and it’s the same for children. And Montessori-at-home is all about giving opportunities to your child to learn from their experiences.
Despite any preconceptions you have heard about Montessori, any parent / or adult in the house can support a child to create independence with limited space and a busy schedule.
Montessori at home is about the simple activities that you do at home. Most of the time these are practical life activities. Other times it is allowing for avenues to solve a problem, learn new skills, find opportunities to show respect towards the child and others.
Look for simple ways your child can help in the house according to their age. And the best part is that it is budget-friendly since you can use whatever you have at home.
Let’s demystify myths surrounding Montessori learning at home.
Myth 1: You need a lot of space to practice Montessori at home.
Fact: You can do with whatever space you have. From wiping the windows to spreading butter on the bread, your child can do these activities just as you do. All you need to do is involve your child in the regular house chores. Simplify and make these activities enjoyable and attractive, and your child will be eager to help you every day.
Myth 2: You need special equipment to do Montessori at home
Fact: It is easy to set up the Montessori home activities with what you already have in the kitchen/ pantry. Think of the daily equipment that you use to cook, wipe stuff, stick things, cut up fruits. Just ensure it can fit into your child’s little hands. You don’t need fancy shelves or expensive toys. Less is more. Few natural purposeful toys based on the child’s interest and their development stage are a nice to have.
Myth 3: You need to be extra patient to support your child to learn new skills
Fact: You must be patient with your little munchkin with almost everything. We get it, it is hard to let your child practice independence and allow them to strap on their shoes when you are in a rush to leave the house. So, give it a go when you are not in a rush and can allow your bub ample of time to make mistakes and learn new skills from them. Remember struggle is good and mistakes are ok. Wait 15 seconds before you jump to help.
Myth 4: You must DIY a lot of stuff
Fact: Practical activity set up requires use of what’s available. If you can tailor, it to their size then that’s all the DIY you’ll need to do. Just remember to give them the complete activity. e.g.: When you give them something to pour ensure they are cups and grains to pour in a tray (to contain the mess) with a sponge/cloth (to wipe any spillages (this teaches the ability to self-correct)
Benefits of Montessori at Home activities
- Young babies are happier and calmer when they help since they love modelling your activities.
- They learn to be responsible.
- When they repeat these tasks, they gain mastery which helps to build concentration
- It helps develop and refine their motor skills, e.g., wiping the windows.
- They learn to communicate and collaborate.
- They gain independence when they learn new skills. With enough practice, they can do some activities without supervision.
Montessori methods that you can do at home. Here are activities that your child can learn with little prep.
- Learning self-care: e.g., comb their hair.
- They can help sort the fruits in the rack according to colour and size or shape. e.g., oranges, kiwi, apples, or bananas.
- Serving food: They can use a spoon to spread jam on a slice of bread. Use a kitchen towel to wipe the table after eating. These are simple pieces of equipment that you already have in the house.
- Sort home tools according to colour, size, and shapes e.g., bowls, mugs, and spoons.
- They can play with pegs and arrange them on the bucket according to colour.
- They can help with matching or sorting clothes such as socks in pairs.
- Children enjoy playing with water. They can help wash their bikes, windows, and toys.
Remember that Montessori at home should be fun. Focus on teaching them fundamental skills and not how perfectly they can do it. Don’t deny them the fun and a chance to learn new skills. The trick is to keep repeating the task, and soon they will master it.
Involving them in daily activities allows a stronger bond with your child as they critically learn life skills.