Montessori Home Program
We are excited to start preparing our Montessori at home program! This stage is all about clarifying what Montessori is and how to make room for Montessori in your home. After you find the right room and get it ready to set up, you need to focus your attention on your mindset and principles and make sure to prepare the environment correctly leading to your child’s interest. To get ready to make your room as a Montessori room we have five easy steps to make this happen. The steps are to Observe, Follow, Sort, Rotate, and Prepare. We’re going to go through them to make sure your home is prepared for your child. So each of the steps is equally as important as the next.
Observe this step is simple, but quite possibly the most important in your Montessori practices. Montessori and observing your child will allow you to follow your child’s lead. Take note of what toys or materials your child is most interested in. What toys or materials do they not have any interest in? You will also want to observe what activities your child is interested in, apart from their toys. So, for instance, washing dishes, getting dressed, nature running, use the worksheet below to take notes. Just observe them when they’re playing or working and take notes. It shouldn’t take you longer than a day or two to complete.
We are now focusing on the second step Follow. Is your child playing with mostly gross motor choice? Maybe they’re all about puzzles, colors, or numbers right now. So have a good think about what activities, materials, or toys would help your child engage in more of the activities and materials he or she is already interested in.
The next step is sort. Now that you’ve observed your child and you followed their lead; it is time to sort the materials and toys that you already have in your home. Start by boxing up any tours and materials that your child didn’t even touch once and the time that you were observing them keep any toys that he or she did play without for him or her to engage with. You’re also going to want to box up any lab flashy, distracting toys from your collection. So just remember that the main priority with Montessori and the Montessori materials is to build concentration levels and these types of toys will not aid in this.
The fourth step, Rotate. Now you’ve decided what’s going to stay and what’s going to go. So first you want to leave out six to 12 materials. So, remember this is all about building that concentration and that is going to happen by not overwhelming your child. Then you can rotate these toys or materials. When you notice your child needs a change so follow your child’s leave. Just choose one or two, maybe three to take off the shelves and switch out with another material. So definitely just do a few at a time, whether that’s every week or every two weeks or scattered throughout your month. Whatever works for your family.
Now we get to the fun part, which is prepared. We get to start actually preparing this environment. We’re going to be focusing on the main living space because that’s what we’ve been talking about. From a Montessori point of view, low shelves are used because they are eye level and the child can make an independent choice to play or work on a material without the adult’s help. So now it’s time to officially turn your main living space into a Montessori area for work. So, you’re armed and ready to go full force into stage number two, creating a Montessori mindset.