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Every parent wants to raise happy and healthy kids. They want to do everything they can to ensure their children have what they need to be successful. And that’s why so many parents have started incorporating Montessori at home.
These methods have proven to help children build a strong emotional and mental foundation. A Montessori lifestyle uses a positive environment to build character and provides a valuable education at the same time.
Becoming a Montessori parent may seem overwhelming at first. But it really doesn’t have to be! All it takes is a little bit of conscious effort to implement a couple of small changes and you’re on your way! Check out these tips for creating a Montessori-based home.
Get Everyone on Board
Before any change, it’s a good idea to get everyone on the same page. This helps get rid of any hesitation or pushback from the other members of your family.
Start with a simple family meeting to go over the basics of the Montessori approach. This can include a history of the methods. Or, you could provide a big, 30,000 foot overview of the Montessori method. You could also include what a typical day might look like. But it’s most important to share the benefits of having this be a part of your lives. Be specific about the fact that your child(ren) will become informed, responsible and resilient as a result of living a Montessori lifestyle. Emphasize that your child(ren) deserves the best, especially in the most critical years of their life.
Brainstorm Potential Activities
Next, you should take a little bit of time to brainstorm the type of Montessori activities you’d like to add. There are so many different ways to approach this method. The possibilities are truly endless.
Do you want to simply embrace the philosophy by setting up your home in a more Montessori-aligned way? Or, do you also want to include practical life activities for your youngster? Or, are you wanting to ensure that your child receives ALL of the benefits of Montessori philosophy by providing a truly authentic Montessori homeschool experience for your child? Regardless of your choice, it’s a good idea to do some research and figure out your game plan before making any adjustments.
Consider spreading out the types of things you’ll be incorporating in all the areas of your life, from discipline to food prep. It can be helpful to focus on which things you’ll add to each room. That will give you a wide variety to teach a lot of different types of skills.
Start by Decluttering Your Spaces
Once you’ve figured out the direction you want to take, it’s time to start decluttering!
A main aspect of this method is that things are much more simplified than a traditional route. And that includes the environment as well. This kind of clean space creates the perfect background for Montessori.
Decluttering a home can quickly get out of hand if you don’t go in with a plan. And once it gets to that state, it’s really hard to recover and finish the job. So be sure to be as systematic and organized in your cleaning as possible.
Take it one area at a time, the smaller the category the better.
Make Tool Options Accessible
A hallmark of a Montessori-based home is places for your child to be as independent as possible. This means they need to have reasonable access to the things they need.
While you’re decluttering, watch for spaces where you could rearrange to make this possible.
One of the most common examples is in the kitchen. A Montessori space will have a child’s dishes in a place where they can reach them all on their own. It may even have snacks or food options in a similar place for the same reason.
Similar things can be done in other rooms to encourage responsibility. As you’re getting rid of things is the perfect time to see what you have and how you can change it to fit your new goals.
Involve Everyone in the Housework
With this kind of set up, a Montessori mom isn’t the only one who’s doing housework. In a Montessori home, everyone is involved in the chores! Even down to the youngest members. And, it’s a very good thing. Research shows that kids who take part in household chores do better than those who don’t. Helping out around the house is a great way to boost independence and teach a lot of good skills.
Start by creating a list of all the tasks that need to be done to keep your home running. Then comb through it to find those ones that a child could help with. If your child is very young, that may look like them helping with one aspect of the task and you handle the rest.
It might take some time for the jobs to get done to your standards. But practice is an important part of the Montessori Method! And, giving your children the gift of patience is beneficial for the entire family.
Select a Few Montessori-Style Toys
Ok, ok, the truth is that there are no Montessori toys. But, we do know what toys are aligned with the Montessori methodology. The key here is to just be thoughtful before making a purchase.
Even with all the helping with household duties, there’s still time for play in a Montessori home. But the recommended toys may look different than you’re used to.
Montessori is all about encouraging your child to be more curious, to develop a love of investigation, and to test things out on their own. The toys you keep in your home should push the child to do just that.
This can include things like building blocks, instruments, or even a play kitchen.
Display Toys for Easy Playtime
Once you’ve gathered a collection of Montessori-type toys, you’ll want to find a place to store them. In the Montessori lifestyle, everything has a place so it can all be cleaned up when that time comes. But, everything is also easily accessed, so kids feel free to explore their environment.
Many families choose to have a place in their home where the toys can be displayed on open shelving. Oftentimes, this is a pricey expenditure, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out these Affordable Montessori Furniture & Supplies options on Amazon!
Avoid hiding the toys away in a closet or large storage bin, where there will be extra steps to get them. The easier access a child has, the better with this lifestyle.
And the great thing is, with these kinds of toys and the overall approach to daily life you don’t need a lot of them! Simplicity and minimalism align well with a Montessori lifestyle.
Don’t Forget the Books
And you can’t forget the books in a Montessori-based home! A wide variety of books should always be available to your child so they can pick up reading whenever they like. I REALLY like the idea of forward-facing books, so that interesting books can easily catch the eye of small children.
When gathering books, you want to focus on educational stories. They should show real life as opposed to fantasy. This will help them integrate the thing they’re learning into daily life as well. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Stash Away the Extra
Less is more when it comes to a Montessori lifestyle. Too many toy options can lead to less independent play and more chaos. The best thing you can do is pick a couple of toys that offer some variety for your child and then stash away the rest.
Many parents find success in starting a rotation of toys. On a set schedule, they’ll pack away the current set of toys and switch in some new ones. Just remember not to put away anything the child is currently using regularly.
This not only keeps the clutter to a minimum in the home. It also creates new excitement around the toys you have. Your child will have so much fun discovering how to play with these toys they haven’t seen in a while!
Model the Behavior You Want to See
There’s no better teacher for a child than their parent. A child naturally looks up to their parents and wants to emulate them. So it’s important for you to participate in Montessori activities and model appropriate behavior.
Make time for your child to see you being curious and exploring the world around you. Show them that you don’t know everything and how you go about learning new things. It’s good to share your goals and the things you’re practicing with them.
Be as involved as possible with your child, and if you really want to provide ALL of the benefits of Montessori at home, consider an investment in our Montessori curriculum. This will help them feel empowered and ready to tackle it all.
Begin with One Change at a Time
Making any kind of lifestyle change can feel like you need to overhaul every single thing. But taking on every change all at once will be overwhelming. It’ll likely mean you give up and don’t follow through.
Just avoid that mindset altogether. Make one small change at a time instead.
This approach will help make Montessori a natural part of who your family is. Instead of something you’re working on doing. It will make it less of a burden and more of an opportunity for growth.
Each small step will get you closer to your goal of giving your children the best you can!
Creating a New Lifestyle With Montessori at Home
Making any drastic changes to your family’s lifestyle can seem like taking too much on. But the great thing about integrating Montessori at home is that you can take it one step at a time. Even small changes can make a big impact on your child’s development and education.
A Montessori lifestyle is much easier when you have a great curriculum to follow. It will act as a guide as you get more and more confident in these kinds of activities. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our free curriculum sample today!