Enhancing Montessori Education with Freedom

July 14, 2016

The unique environment of Montessori education is the backbone of the curriculum. The attention and care of instructors, the presentation of ideas, and the materials used all have a big impact on the effectiveness of schooling. Like traditional education, Montessori needs parents at home to be involved and reinforce the important lessons they’re learning. Let’s look at some critical ways you can supplement your child’s education as they learn about personal freedom.

Allen Montessori Preschool Enhancing Montessori Education Freedom

Don’t Schedule Too Much

There are so many different activities available for children of all ages. You have extracurricular choices for sports, music, art, and so much more. Increasingly, the phenomenon of having highly structured afternoons has begun to invade childhood. We encourage you to resist this as much as possible. Play, both independent and group, is the greatest vehicle for learning available to developing children. Their time is precious but they should be allowed to spend it experiencing free exploration.

Make Things Accessible

There’s an old adage that if a kid can find it, they’ll play with it. That’s how they get into so much mischief. But, keeping things that are for the kids readily available will greatly improve their ability to serve themselves. Most parents keep toys and some books where kids can get to them but there are so many options beyond that. Giving your child free access to the closet or a dresser of their own clothes reinforces their motor skill lessons. Creating a space where they can retrieve cups and flatware teaches them to fulfill their own basic needs. Books they can grab are much more likely to be read, especially when presented in an appealing way.  Having things within reach can change the way a child moves through the world.

Allow Time for Self-Preparation

There will be many, many years where it’s simply much faster (and usually easier) to dress and prepare your kids to leave the house. While you may run into circumstances where there just isn’t time, it’s overwhelmingly preferable to let your child put on their own clothing on a regular basis. They’re still developing the necessary motor skills to  fasten buttons, tie, and lace. The only way to really do that is through hands-on practice. Develop a daily routine that gives plenty of leeway for the triumphs and frustrations of learning. This small piece of personal liberty is immensely helpful in developing a sense of self-worth and personal ownership.

Encourage Service Activities

Learning to give back can be a difficult lesson for adults. As children, we’re less cynical and more likely to strive for empathy with others. Montessori education strives to nurture this natural altruism and teaches children to help each other and become good stewards of the world around them. This is one area where the benefits seem to be almost equal for parents and their children. You can volunteer together, clean up parks, or inspire strangers with random acts of kindness. As your children learn to be kinder people, you may also find yourself feeling warmer at the end of the day.

Complementing your child’s education is a wonderful way to help them grow even more. With only so many hours in the day, even the best school isn’t enough to replace the interactions and environment of the home. Reinforce lessons about freedom, self-care, and compassion through a few straightforward changes and watch your children grow.

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