What can I do with my infant (birth to six months)?
Over the weekend...

Five ways to Apply Montessori at Home.

Otis making salad 2015

How has your week been? Our week days feel so full that I am always relieved when the weekend comes. Yesterday I spotted a children's drop in art centre that we might check out over the weekend. It looks fantastic and I can't wait to show the boys, I'm thinking it would make a perfect Saturday morning activity! 

I have written a variation of this post before and every time I re-read it I want to publish it again. I feel it really stresses that Montessori means so much to us as it really is a philosophy, a parenting as well as an educational method. 

When I first started implementing Montessori principles in our home I really focused on the physical things, making sure we had child size furniture and lots of Montessori inspired materials such as toys and practical life tools. The prepared physical environment is very important. However after a while I began to pick up on some of the other concepts of Montessori such as peace, respect and true love for the child. Here are my top five ways of introducing Montessori concepts into your home without spending a cent.  

"The child builds his inmost self out of the deeply felt impressions he receives, and this is especially important in the first part of his life." - Maria Montessori - The Absorbent Mind


 1. A positive home environment

I feel that a positive home environment should come naturally. However in our home it is something we constantly work on. I strive for a home that is not overly serious and is filled with joy and playfulness. Remember this needs to be genuine, we can provide a stable environment even in times of stress.

We need to provide stability, warmth and security. We need to filter the external influences and negative impacts of the outside environment. To provide security we need be consistent in our approach to the child, provide order, rhythm and routine. With more than one child in the home conflict resolution is especially important and the ability to trust and respect others. 


2. Surround the child in beauty

The beauty that Montessori was referring to was that of nature. We use natural materials and fibres when possible and try to look at our surroundings in a simplistic way. Beauty is not that of having a lot of things, it is having surroundings that inspire (you and the child) and promote a sense of well-being and calm.


3. Experience nature

Montessori believed children (and possibly adults too) need direct contact with their environment and suggested regular nature walks. She suggests to put your self at your child's disposal, see what captures his attention, be guided by the child.

Spend time in nature, bring some nature inside (nature table, indoor plants), use natural fibres in clothing and textiles, have natural food experiences. 


4. Allow the child to concentrate

I know many parents struggle with this one. Montessori once said that interrupting a child is one of the most harmful forms of repressive actions we can take. At school, at home, doing puzzles or just putting on shoes - allow the child to concentrate, don't interrupt, allow them to work at their own pace. Most of our interruptions are completely unnecessary, unhelpful and don't contribute towards the child completing the task. 

We want children to develop concentration and then to work on it, to strengthen it. Children need things to concentrate on. We always need to be reconsidering the toys in our home and the activities in which we engage our children. We need to provide opportunities for the child to be engaged and work at things. We need to tap into our children's interests. Toys and activities need to stimulate the mind, work the hand and satisfy the child.


5. Contribute to family life

Take every opportunity to allow children to make a meaningful contribution to family life. It is very empowering for a child to make meaningful contributions to their social groups including the family. There are so many ways that children of all ages can do this and most can be practical life exercises - watering plants, setting the table, contributing towards a meal, feeding the pets. 

Respect the child and acknowledge their capabilities. Allow the child to be actively involved in decision making. Allow the child to have responsibility within their capabilities. 


There are so many other principles which we strive towards. Some come really easy and others we have to work at, it's a journey after all! 

If you would like to share a Montessori inspired article, environment or activity please feel free to join the Montessori at Home link up below.  

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