Like many families, yours may be affected by school closures and e-learning alternatives. However, many parents are challenged by teaching their children at home and need help. Using the principles of a Montessori elementary school may help your children with distance learning, or may help you replace the daily routine of pre-school.
1. Encourage Child-Led Learning
Children are inherently curious, and with the Montessori method, they are encouraged to ask about the world around them and explore topics they are curious about. While there are certain core concepts to teach children, determine things that children are interested in and tailor each activity to learning more about chosen topics.
2. Set Up a Child-Friendly Learning Center
Create a learning center for children, gated off, or in a separate room. Use child-sized furniture and bins or containers that are at the right height for little hands to reach. As your child grows, maintain a learning environment appropriate for their developmental stage and capabilities. This can be simply having small beans that they scop from one container to another, which helps develop the grip needed for writing or child-friendly puzzles.
The environment should have ease of flow, allowing your child to flow from one center to the next as their interests dictate. If the furniture is lightweight enough, your child may be able to carry it around the house to help prepare their snacks or assist with age-appropriate chores.
Inspire a love of nature with elements from the outside. Exploring the world around them and discovering the way nature changes over the course of the seasons is another integral part of the Montessori learning method. Set up a nature table and collect leaves, seeds, gourds, and flowers – whatever is available in your location each season.
3. Allow Your Child To Self-Correct
Most children won’t master a new concept right away, so be prepared to be patient when teaching new things. If your child is frustrated, relax, and allow them to try again, instead of promptly reaching in to correct them.
Self-led correction is part of the Montessori method, and many of the materials are constructed with a built-in self-check system that allows a child to see if they correctly completed the task. The motivation to master each task comes internally, from the child’s desire to learn rather than from external motivation like stickers or grades.
4. Emphasize Life Skills
Bring learning and development full-circle with age-appropriate chores and tasks around the household. Children may learn to fold laundry, prepare small snacks, and put away their toys. These tasks not only teach a child to participate around the house, they also foster independence in children. As they grow, increase the activities that encourage children to participate in the running of their home.
5. Emphasize Courtesy and Kindness
Another principle of the Montessori method is kindness and gentleness. Teach children to use quiet voices and encourage them to use their words if there is a disagreement. Foster kindness to others by caching a child on how to play nicely with others and how to make new friends.
Hill Point Montessori in West Hills, California offers the following programs – Infant and Toddler Care; Primary for Ages 3-6; Lower Elementary for Ages 6-9; and Upper Elementary for Ages 9-12. Montessori education groups students according to their abilities, unlike traditional education where students are grouped by age. This allows students to work together and collaborate throughout their learning journey as they guide each other.