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Fostering Independence for Your Preschooler at Home, the Montessori Way

Montessori education aims to encourage independence and to stimulate growth for the child, socially, emotionally, and academically.

Here are some ways that you can support your Montessori child’s growth at home. Keep in mind that allowing for choices in as many tasks as possible, will create a strong foundation, from which your child may grow and learn from, in the future.

  • Have your child choose the order in which he or she prepares for the school day or getting ready for bed
  • Allow your child to put his or her own shoes on; therefore, they will need to be velcro or slip-on shoes, as shoe tying skills come along later
  • Let your child help make simple meals; allow for him or her to help prepare lunches with you, and also to assist with dishwashing, table washing, and kitchen and meal clean-up
  • Show your child how to set a formal dinner table; describe and practice proper table manners, often
  • Teach your child how to help with laundry from sorting it to folding or rolling it, and finally, putting it away.
  • Have your child help to feed family pets, water plants, or to plant the family garden
  • Once your child is a reader, have him or her help you with the grocery list and grocery shopping

All of these tasks, or as we call them in the Montessori classroom: works, are Practical Life lessons available for practice in our Montessori classroom, which is what we call The Prepared Environment. These tasks may be reinforced at home on a daily basis.

Perhaps you recall doing these things with your own parents or grandparents, and now it is your turn to pass on the skills and knowledge to your own child. You will be amazed at how much your child will be able to do, even at the youngest ages of 2.5-6, independently and/or with minimal assistance. Once you provide your child with the opportunities, you will be delighted with the eagerness in which your child is willing to help around the house and you will naturally encourage and foster responsibility skills in turn.

 

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