Creative Child

Can I Do Montessori at Home?

by Rebecca Eanes

The Montessori Method of education was founded in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician, which she achieved in 1896. In 1901, she gave up her work in the clinic and studied philosophical education and pedagogical pathology. Dr. Montessori based her educational methods on scientific observation of children's learning processes.

What I love about Dr. Montessori is that she always emphasized respect for children. She believed even very young children have a sense of personal dignity, and therefore she advocated for allowing children freedom of choice to choose their activities and also for teaching them autonomy – to do things for themselves. She discovered that children had a wonderful ability for deep concentration at tasks that interested them and also a great sense of order. Children are naturally eager learners, and Montessori believed they are capable of initiating learning in a prepared environment.

The question is can one provide a Montessori environment at home? The answer is yes! Here's how:

Your child needs freedom to move and explore the environment. Prepare a place in your home where your child is allowed to freely explore without interference and “no's”. Make this space clean and clutter-free, pleasing to the eye, engaging, and of course, safe.

Provide simple toys for babies and toddlers, such as wooden blocks, rings with a rocking base, and simple wooden puzzles. You may want to create a busy board with a real key and lock, zippers, buttons, wheels, etc. You can find many ideas for busy boards online. Provide several different baskets of activities, all neatly arranged and easy to see, and allow your child the freedom to choose at will. Montessori emphasizes learning through all 5 senses, so be sure to include activities that stimulate each sense.

Related Article: Making the Decision to Homeschool

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