Foster IndependenceMontessori programs encourage independence. Children choose their projects, work, and clean up independently.
If your child is used to instruction in preschool or at home, you can help him prepare by encouraging independence at home as much as possible. Here are a few ways to encourage independence:
- Easy & Accessible - Keep shelves and bits at child height and have step stools to make things like bathroom sinks and kitchens accessible.
- Self Sufficiency - Encourage your child to do things for themselves, from getting dressed in the morning to getting ready for bed at night.
- Big Helper - Ask your child for help with things such as cooking and cleaning. This teaches them valuable skills and provides a sense of ownership over their world.
Encourage Motor SkillsThe emphasis on independence in the Montessori classroom also promotes strong motor skills. Through drawing, writing, cooking, and cleaning, children have a chance to practice their fine motor skills.
Here are a couple of suggestions to help your child practice their fine motor skills:
- Cooking and Serving - Cooking and self serving foods offers another opportunity to practice fine motor skills such as spooning, pouring, and stirring.
- Tracing, writing, drawing, and coloring - Drawing, coloring and tracing promote creativity and fine motor skills.
Set Up a Work Area at HomeA crucial part of the Montessori program is the prepared work environment, where children have everything they need to explore, create, and learn. You can set up a similar area at home.
Your child's work area can be anything from a corner of the bedroom to a designated craft room, but should include:
- A child-sized table and chairs.
- A rug for working on the floor and spreading out.
- Supplies such as pencils, crayons, paints, lined and unlined paper, and scissors.
Follow the ChildOne of the most fundamental principles of Montessori is that the lessons plans "follow the child." This means that kids learn by choosing their own projects and exploring their interests, under the guidance of the teacher. This principle of choice encourages a love of learning.
Here are a few ways that you can "follow the child" at home too.
- Give your child plenty of unstructured time - Avoid the temptation to over schedule your child. Instead, allow him plenty of time to create and learn in his work area.
- Explore the world together - Take trips together to parks, zoos, museums, and anything else that captures your child's interest.
Changing to a Montessori program can be an adjustment, but by making a few easy changes in your home, you can smooth the transition for your preschooler. The Montessori School of Flagstaff Sunnyside Campus works with parents and guardians to ensure the transition is a smooth one for everyone involved. For more information on how Montessori's emphasis on independent learning can benefit your child, contact us today and request a tour of our school.