A Montessori Classroom is not just another classroom, it is a Prepared Environment specifically designed to facilitate holistic education. The Montessori method promotes child-centered education that helps children develop from within as well as at their own pace.
Montessori fosters a sense of freedom and the desire in young and developing minds to seek knowledge with minimum intervention and disturbance.
The Montessori Prepared Environment is a salient feature of the Montessori method that takes every aspect of the child’s development into account. During the first six years, the children are highly adaptable and receptive to the stimuli present in the environment.
Due to the Covid-19 surge, it was getting difficult for parents to send their children to schools and as most of the schools were conducting classes online, many parents were resorting to unique methods of education to facilitate proper education at home.
The Montessori Method of Education is a great tool for parents to provide proper education to their children in the comfort of their own homes.
The Prepared Environment helps to bring out the true nature of the child. The Montessori Environment is based on three main components of the Montessori method:
- The Child
- The environment itself
- The Facilitator and the interactions between these three components.
It is essential for parents who want to incorporate the Montessori environment at home to consider the Montessori method more than just an educational tool and think of it as a lifestyle choice.
The Montessori Prepared environment is based on 6 key principles:
- Structure and Order
- Nature and Reality
- Social Environment
- Intellectual Environment
All of which facilitate the overall development of the child. The Parents should understand the Montessori principles and should be willing to execute the required changes at home.
Creating a Montessori environment at home:
The Montessori method of education is a way of life, and before adopting the Montessori Environment at home it is essential for parents to understand the basic Montessori principles.
In a Montessori school trained teachers are responsible for preparing an appropriate for the overall development of children. The Montessori Environment at home can act as a bridge that helps to reinforce the knowledge the child learns in school.
Before starting the journey of Montessori parenting it is important for parents to do required research and reading to fully equip themselves for executing the Prepared Environment at home.
The Parents do not have to bring every material or apparatus of the Montessori Classroom at home.
The Parents can invest their money in the materials and furniture they deem useful for their children.
Preparing the Montessori Environment at home requires more than just materials, the parents have to be devoted, patient, resistant, and reliable for the learning process.
Role of the Parents:
- Understanding the needs of your child
The Montessori Method of education is a child-centered pedagogical approach.
It is important to understand the needs and requirements of the child during different periods of development.
To facilitate proper education during different stages the child requires:
– different materials
– levels of attention
-methods of learning
The parents should be aware of these changes and requirements of their child.
- Parent as a role model
For the first six years of their life, children are highly receptible to outwards stimulation and mostly depend on their surrounding environment to collect information.
The surrounding environment also includes the actions of the teachers, parents, and other adults.
The parents should always be positive, engaging, and supportive towards their children. The Montessori Method prohibits the punishment and reward system. Parents should let their children grow at their own pace without using rewards or punishments.
It is essential as a parent to understand and adopt the role of becoming a teaching figure for the child to facilitate proper education.
The parents should give their children freedom, independence, and free space to participate in activities at their own pace.
The parents should act like an observer, a director, and a facilitator.
- Removing distractions
The Montessori Environment provides the child with all the necessary stimuli to facilitate proper education and development. The use of multi-media technology can be disruptive during activity hours.
It is a Parents responsibility to remove obstructive stimuli during the educational process.
The use of television, laptops, cellphones, and other multi-media technology at home should be minimal.
- Chores and household activities
The Montessori method lays heavy emphasis on teaching children household chores. Doing the daily chores helps in the development of fine motor skills, instills a sense of independence and responsibility in the child, as well as brings order and structure to the child’s daily schedule.
Montessori Home Environment:
- Prepared Environment
Parents don’t need to bring the entire Montessori classroom set up at home. Child-sized furniture like:
– a child-sized bed
– child-sized table
– a chair, boxes
– shelves along with few Montessori materials
will be more than sufficient to start with.
- Free Space
The Montessori method encourages children to move around the classroom freely in order to participate in activities.
The Home environment is no different, just like the School Environment the Home Environment should also provide children with free space to move around freely.
The parents should provide their children with a free and open space where they can move around and interact with their surroundings as well as materials and apparatus.
- The Child’s Bedroom
The bedroom for the child should be a safe, clean, and clutter-free zone that should be designated to perform tasks like:
The bedroom should have a child-sized bed along with other child-size bedroom furniture.
The child-sized furniture is more accessible and functional for children.
There should be lowered-down clothing racks, designated shelves for shoes and boots.
The Child should also have a Child-sized desk and bookshelf in the bedroom.
The Parents should promote their children to keep the bedroom clean and maintain tidiness independently.
The bedroom should be distraction-free as well as organized.
- The Bathroom
Keeping the furniture child-sized is essential for every part of the house for the child.
A child’s bathroom should be specially designated for self-care and self-hygiene. The Parents should promote their children to perform self-hygiene independently. The child’s bathroom must have:
– a mirror at the child’s eye level
– a step stool
– a toothbrush
All of which should be within the reach of the child. There should be designated shelves and racks within the reach for towels, washcloths, and robes.
The parents should provide the child with a designated space to eat, comprising of a child-sized table and chair.
The child should independently and willingly wash hands after a meal with help of a step stool.
The parents should promote their children to actively participate in the kitchen and provide the children with easy to reach drawers.
The Montessori Environment should be simple to help the child concentrate. The child does not need an overload of sensorial stimulation that can lead to the child becoming overwhelmed.
Minimal decorations, toys, and furniture will keep the child engaged and attentive.
Provide the child with a separate workspace. Giving the child a separate workspace to learn and participate in activities will help the child develop a sense of independence, confidence, pride and keeps them excited to perform their next activity.
The Montessori method of education uses specially developed materials that stimulate the child’s senses and keeps the child engaged.
Parents can invest their money in the Montessori teaching materials that they think will suit best their child’s development. The Montessori Materials are made from natural substances like wood, cotton, jute, metal, glass, and bamboo.
The use of Montessori helps with the stimulation of:
– proprioception senses
providing the child with sensorial, physical, and cognitive development.