Parents are always trying to make life better for their children. That is why you want to raise and educate your child in such a way that they become a complete human being, one who can be compassionate and understanding and think critically in various situations. You also want to know that they can take care of themselves, which is why you enrolled your child into a Philadelphia Montessori School. An excellent choice! But have you thought about bringing Montessori’s wisdom home with you?
1. You Are The Best Teacher
First and foremost, you are the best teacher for your child. You are the only person who knows your child as well as they know themselves (perhaps even better), putting you in a position where you know exactly how to fulfill your child’s needs. Spending time at home or while running errands with your child can teach them a lot about the real world, and you can utilize Montessori methods to further their understanding.
As you learn more about the Montessori method, you will figure out ways to make each second of every day more beneficial towards your child’s growth. For instance, you can arrange the home in such a way that it becomes a Prepared Environment, where learning materials are organized for your child to access them independently. At home, you can also become a role model of appropriate behavior.
2. Learn About Child Development
Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori method, believed that children grow best when they are in an environment that supports natural development. She also found that children develop in stages called “sensitive periods” that focus on different aspects of a physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually sound human being. That is why she created an educational system that focuses on a self-paced learning environment with hands-on activities and collaboration.
Take some time to learn about the developmental stages of the Montessori method. Right now, you should know that Montessori classrooms empower children to follow their interests and allows for freedom within limits. In other words, children can work at their own pace uninterrupted by teachers.
By knowing what to expect during each sensitive period, you will be better prepared to provide what your child needs most at that time.
3. Meeting Individual Needs
Unlike traditional education where the group as a whole is educated at the same pace, the Montessori way is much more individualized. Where do you think children thrive? Spaces where a child’s needs are recognized, met, and respected promote academic success and emotional wellness.
How does recognizing what a child needs help out at home? A child who feels fulfilled and understood will be far less frustrated and, therefore, have fewer temper tantrums when things don’t go their way.
4. Providing Internal Motivation
When a child is internally motivated from a young age, that spark tends to carry through to adulthood. From the Montessori point-of-view, all children have the innate desire to learn, making them naturally inquisitive. The Montessori classroom enables internal motivation by giving children the freedom to solve problems with minimal intrusion. If the child wants more knowledge, they will find out the answers on their own.
Parents can foster this internal drive for knowledge by researching the correct activities and materials required for their child’s current developmental stage.
5. Positive Discipline
Montessori teachers use “positive discipline” often in the classroom. It might sound a bit like a paradox, but it works well and makes children feel more secure and happier. Discipline plays a huge role in the Montessori method, but rather than punishing a child and giving them no reason for why what they did was wrong, positive discipline takes a different approach. With this method, teachers and parents communicate which behaviors are considered appropriate, which ones are inappropriate, and then they explain the consequences for both good and bad behavior.
An example of positive discipline is a positive time-out, where children are placed in a comfortable spot and allowed to think their actions over or when they need to calm down. It’s not considered a punishment. Rather, parents can talk to their child during this time-out to see how their child is feeling. Talking about emotions is encouraged with positive discipline.
The end result? Children who understand how to regulate their own emotions and reactions.
6. Gaining Confidence
You want your child to have self-esteem. Give them a continuous boost of confidence by feeding their sense of accomplishment. Self-correcting activities, such as making a snack and cleaning up mistakes, will help feed independence and self-efficacy. The hard part for parents is not stepping in when your child is having trouble. Try leaving them with enough space to figure things out on their own.
7. A Culture of Kindness
Go to any acclaimed Montessori school in Philadelphia and you’ll find a classroom filled with respect, kindness, and courtesy. Children are greeted every morning by their teachers, and they learn how to kindly speak to one another. You, too, can teach your child respect, because they are already looking to you for behavior to model. Teach your child how to say please, thank you, and how to politely ask for something or make a refusal. Do that, and your child will develop respect for others as well as the skill to make healthy boundaries.
8. Learning to Love, Loving to Learn
With an enriched environment and the proper tools, your child will see an opportunity to learn something new everywhere they look. And they will love it. What parent wouldn’t want their children to have a blast while gaining valuable skills and knowledge?
9. Practical Life Skills
Many young adults these days are missing out on vital skills like cooking and cleaning because their education was lacking. You can give your child a head start and promote success by giving them opportunities to practice life skills like cooking, cleaning, gardening, taking care of pets, writing, mathematics, and more. Let them assist you with common tasks, such as removing dishes from the dishwasher or organizing groceries in the pantry.
One result of a Montessori education is a long attention span. Maria Montessori discovered that, when children are provided the correct tools and activities for their developmental stage, they can pay attention to one activity for hours on end. You can foster that same level of concentration at home by offering materials attuned to your child’s interests. Give them opportunities to explore what they love, and they won’t ever get bored.
Bringing Montessori methods home may sound a bit challenging at first, but it really is about finding out what motivates your child then giving them opportunities to delve into what they love. You and your child will benefit, because they will feel independent, respected, and confident in their surroundings. And that means harmony in the household—something few would ever turn down.