Choosing the way a child should be nurtured and educated is a sole responsibility of parents, whose decision will have a great impact on kids’ academic and social progress through adolescence and adulthood.
As a rule, before taking a particular education pathway, parents get to know how their children learn best and make sure the chosen philosophy align with their upbringing attitudes and practices. With a solid idea of what kids should gain from preschool experience, parents are expected to become active participants who provide consistency for children by supporting the chosen style of learning at home.
The Importance of Parental Involvement
The Montessori approach welcomes parental involvement in opportunities offered within a supportive learning environment. However, Montessori is not a discipline, rather an attitude towards life, growth and development, which helps parents find the right way to foster their kids’ development progress. By building connections between home and school, the Montessori environment aims to reinforce the learning experience and make transition from preschool to home seamless and coherent.
Along with a role of parents as observers and caregivers, Montessori encourages them to join a collaborative preschool family and take part in activities such as school community meetings, school-wide events, mom’s and dad’s days celebrations, etc. Such events provide groundwork for experience and knowledge sharing, and enable to keep parents updated about their kids’ endeavors and achievements.
The family is a unique world for children. Parents are primary educators not only in the early formative years, but throughout the entire life. They are here to rear, support and guide kids, and buffer them against any ups and downs. They lay the foundation for the living environment and social development. That is why parents and teachers need to combine their efforts and understand each other’s’ roles to help children grow into mature and self-reliant adults.
Montessori Tips for Parents
Here is a list of most essential Montessori tips and guidelines for parents to help them create a full-blow environment for wholesome emotional, physical and cognitive children’s development.
• Support creativity
Kid’s creativity is more than merely a kind of amusement. It defines kids’ ability to solve problems, make decisions, entertain themselves, and perceive the world in their own fascinating and funny manner. The capacity to think and act creatively enables children to be flexible and adjustable to changing life circumstances.
Montessori children come home overfilled with emotions from things they were doing during the day at a preschool. They keep talking about interest in a new cookery and nature discovery project, explorations about the world during culturing studies or doing math on their own. It is a great thing, if parents are able to support kids’ creativity and fuel their obsession to get inspired and learn at home. This implies parental involvement in sharing kids’ excitement as well as provision of supportive, play-and-learn materials such as Montessori alphabet, puppets or sensorial play boxes.
• Maintain order
In Montessori schools, children are encouraged to keep the classroom in order. A clean and organized environment help kids be independent in what they do for themselves and foster better concentration on necessary objects. At home, parents can support children’s aspiration for order through home organization. For example, in the entrance hall, parents can designate a special child-friendly area for kid’s footwear and clothes. In the kid’s bedroom, it is meaningful to place hooks, shelves and toy storage bins, so that children can easily access things they need and put them away without parents’ help.
• Let kids do things on their own
Independence is a key to building child’s self-confidence, and household tasks are the best way to prove it. In a preschool family, children are encouraged to perform practical life tasks on their own. When they feel they are capable of doing something small like tying shoes or brushing teeth, they feel they are able to manage more complicated tasks.
Parents can continue Montessori practices at home by reinforcing kids’ experience and expanding their horizons through other common daily tasks. With this in mind, parents should let children learn to take care of themselves, in particular when they are able to perform certain tasks without help.
• Keep children closer to nature
The Montessori approach highlights the importance of outdoor activities, when children can connect with nature. Kids who spend enough time outside the classroom are believed to be better learners and can longer maintain attention spans and focus. Being out in nature, children develop the sense of wonder that cannot be cultivated in any other environment.
Parents can introduce children to nature by taking them for walks in the woods or working together in the garden. While in the outside, all kids’ senses are activated, since children collect new knowledge through seeing, touching, hearing and even tasting.
• Teach kids through modelling
It is a common fact that children are likely to imitate parents in what they do or say. Such an ability can be used to the advantage of kids’ development through modelling. When a child does something wrong, parents are expected to model how it should be done without judging or criticizing them. Parents should not correct children, but rather make them aware of their mistakes subtly and gently.
• Use encouragement, not rewards
Children love to be praised, when they do things right. However, some parents take to some rewards, when they want to demonstrate encouragement to their kids. As a result, when children take up certain tasks, they are intrinsically motivated to accomplish them, as they expect to get reward.
Children should have innate feeling to do things because they bring value to themselves, the family or a society. Encouraging statements like “You did it on your own” or “You’ve worked hard to succeed” are better than sweets and toys.
On top of that, parents should know that nothing can replace love and personal sacrifice to their kids. By providing a lovely and warm environment at home, a kid feels that he or she is the most important treasure in the life of parents. Love helps children grow in trust and learn to be thoughtful to other people and the world they live in.