Tuesday, January 18, 2022

How Montessori at Home is Different

I am writing this because I love the variety of Montessori classrooms whether they are stationary, whether they move, or whether they are in your own home. When the class is in the home, you are both a parent and a teacher.

So I wanted to write exactly how Montessori at home has transformed my home.

Clutter is the Enemy

While it is a mess right now since life has been too stressful (more on that later). I found that I was no longer in love with accumulating things and I was more comfortable with letting go of clutter. 

Kids learn the functions of things. Having a bunch of stuff around to add to the mess, clutter up the home, or have things that only work half-way can be good lessons, but they complicate the lessons, remove focus, and almost train the child to be desensitized to a mess. And let me tell you, they will not clean up their toys if they are normalized to a mess. 

So that’s the biggest challenge, a classroom is not completely controlled, but it has defined contents. Where is the lesson on using things from the junk drawer in the Montessori classroom? Where is the lesson organizing the mail by recipient and junk mail? 

You are Actively Doing Two Jobs

"You are actively doing two jobs?" You might think.

"Trust me, I do more than two jobs all day long, 24-7." You might respond. 

And all of that is true. It is true actively, passively, it is true all day long. 

What I unique to the "teaching experience" for some of the sensitive periods or just activities that relate to the Montessori approach of following the child, is that while you are a unique wonder-human who takes care of another, younger, wonder-human, these lessons are "excerpts" that could technically fit well into a lesson plan or list of goals. 

I am not saying anyone can do it, but the task that you are performing is teaching. If you wanted to outsource this task, you would be looking for a teacher, not a nurturer, a cook, or a musician.

You are both a guardian and a teacher. And in this situation it is harder for the parents to divide their time between teaching, caring and nurturing, but the kids love it! Kids are sponges for everything and even if you just do something on the weekend, they know and they are learning.

Less Variety and Less "Learning Centered Tools"

The next way that Montessori at home is different is that you have less variety of tools and toys to figure out if your child likes something. Say a classroom might have 10 different brooms and mops, but your home has 3, and if there’s a variety that works better for your child, you might not find out! You might think that your child doesn't like the water poring activity, or the washing and hanging activity.  

Home Atmosphere Instead of Classroom

Montessori classrooms come in all shapes and sizes, but each follows the child and different stages of development. That is difficult to do when you are in the real world because quite frankly, reality can ruin the ideal timeline of lessons. Kids learn about things pretty fast based on their surroundings. While I wish I did not have to talk about germs until my kids could actually use a nail brush effectively, I have to talk about at home COVID tests. Trust me, I rather talk about what snowflakes look like underneath a microscope instead of what viruses are, each and every time. 

So you cannot avoid the much needed topics, lessons, and conversations. To do so, would be a great disservice to your child. 

And here is something even better. Why not strive to have a home that is more welcoming than a classroom? Why not feel fine about deviating from learning tools readily available, and instead have things that spark joy? Each child will have different things that spark joy. 

What if that thing that sparks joy is some kind of flashy animatronic dinosaur? Yes, let this live in your home if you have the means and the patience for it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

And Then We All Got COVID

Every day felt like we were just getting the life sucked out of us with no light at the end the tunnel. And then we all got COVID. Cover art...